If you’ve been to a bar that serves craft beer in Honolulu chances are you’ve seen some amazing chalkboard menus. In the past few years chalkboards have become the hip and functional way to display menus that change regularly. Many boards become rotating pieces of art with beautiful drawings and perfectly placed lines thanks to the talents of artist Erin Mauro.
Mauro, a New Mexico native, got tired of the desert and moved to Hawaii on a whim six years ago. While working as a waitress at Murphy’s she decided to take over the drawing of the small beer of the week chalkboard. After doing a drawing for the release of Sierra Nevada’s Life & Limb people started to take notice of the chalkboard on a regular basis.
That one small chalkboard led to the opportunity to design Real’s boards on a weekly basis. With constant word of mouth new opportunities popped up for Mauro. Along with Murphy’s and Real, she regularly draws the boards at Pint + Jigger, Ferguson’s, Tropics, Auntie Pastos and was recently commissioned to do a chalk mural at the new Collection building in Kakaako.
A craft beer fan, Mauro is crazy about IPAs. Current favorites include Ballast Point Sculpin, Maui’s Freight Train IPA and anything from Rogue and Deschutes. She enjoys recreating her favorite brands logos in chalk and adding her own creative statements to each work.
She recently completed her two largest boards at Tropics Tap House. Two massive chalk murals grace the walls in the newly opened venue, one featuring Sierra Nevada and the other Kona Brewing Company. Each wall took about 10 hours to design and complete. Mauro notes there is a buddhist quality to doing chalk walls, “you do it knowing it’s going to be destroyed. I can come back to that same wall, erase it and do something different. It’s like the buddhist monks doing sand art, then erasing it right after they are done.”
As a kid Mauro liked to draw on walls and was fascinated by street art. She never pictured herself being able to do art for a living and feels blessed for all of the opportunities. Her art expands far beyond chalkboards and beer menus as well. She enjoys drawing and painting, pulling inspiration from her native New Mexico, which she showcases and sells every month at the Kakaako Night Market.
Check out more of Erin Mauro’s art and chalkboards at her site theheartofhonolulu.com.