A new guitar (and a new brain) for my Birthday!!!

 I just turned 42.

So… I have an acoustic Guitar now. Birthday present. But, I have never owned one and that begs the question: WHY NOW, SHAUN?

Well, other than my continual interest in Music on all levels, my constant reworking of musical pieces on various digital and analogue platforms and my participation in several bands as (bad) drummer, vocalist, Bassist… I have danced completely around the prospect of learning the Guitar in a disciplined manner. Sure, as a creative I have picked them up and toyed with a solo or a couple things that sounded good to me, but never to the point of making it a part of my proficiency. With the advent of Garage band for my iPad mini, all that changed. As I began to strum and select various keys and rhythms to capture mood for an arrangement  and soon discovered my love of soloing over those patterns with great expression. I even began to write songs note by note in real-time to push myself and see if I couldn’t make something that moves the soul. Maybe something could replace my soundtracks for live artwork?! – And then there was this video. Done deal. No more holding back.

My new acoustic guitar. Not bad for a beginner guitar.

My new acoustic guitar. Not bad for a beginner guitar.

Huge Sale – and why I’m doing it.

In honor of my wife, Faith:

I am putting ALL MY STUDIO ART 75% OFF until NOV 1, 2014!!!

Today is my wife’s birthday. She is turning 40 and proud of it! She has asked me one thing. For money (surprise, right fellas?) – seriously though, she is talking about money for a house down-payment. I am seizing an opportunity to change the life of my family. We can begin to build up some things that should have happened long ago with our home, finances and business but I need to raise funds for that to happen and you benefit from my need. I am ready to part with the chalk art works I have held back from the public for many years. Some have special meaning to me, others are just too good to let go for less than $1000.00 and since my name is becoming well-known, it isn’t unlikely that my art will be pulling larger and larger prices soon. I need to give my wife something from the heart and not just a gift bought in the store.

big_sale Shaun Hays Chalk Art 2014

big_sale Shaun Hays Chalk Art 2014

Originally, I was going to do this for ONE WEEKEND ONLY. Buuuuut…

(Sappy love sick story area you can skip if you feel nauseous)

I have painted billboard signs with graffiti, filled her car with balloons, candlelit dinners on rooftops, had favorite artists serenade her, hand made chocolate dipped pretzels/strawberries/etc., love note treasure hunt, Buried treasure (seriously it was her engagement ring!), baked, cooked, sculpted, painted, chalked, horse-drawn carriage rides, sang, wrote and recited poetry, massaged, recorded, blown up (fire works), sand art, BMW, ipad, breakfast in bed, invisible black-light messages, hotels, 3D illusion candle sculptures, theme parties, clothes from around the country and the UK, Custom shop Flower arrangements, WILD flower arrangements (hand picked by me), and about a billion other things I came up with too tedious or strange to mention here. It really does get difficult to raise the bar and maybe I have failed at raising it some years, but if I dont try… well I fail for sure. right?

I was going to put my art on sale a few weekends ago (only for that weekend) but I needed a way to take it to the NEXT LEVEL.

Steve Hindelong of The Choir wrote a song about doing anything it takes for his little girl when she was born. The line “Set my guitar on fire with a long stemmed match” always got to me. It’s about sacrificing your art for the one you love. I once sat down and wept when I lost a folder of my created art to mold. Its meaningful and a part of you. It is hard to let go. But as the song says: “I WOULD DO ANYTHING”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2LH4WlXiFU

This is the only real thing I can think to do that will serve the purpose this year. It’s a BIG SALE for a BIG BIRTHDAY for a really BIG REASON.

I understand if you don’t care about my artwork, my dreams, or the house we need to get into…seriously. Please, for her sake, consider purchasing a piece from me for this reason… you love her and want to show her that our house will be a miracle house. I promise you will get more than you paid for.

I have offered pieces for sale online before… it cannot be 75% off of those sale prices. I couldnt even mail them to you for that. I will begin listing them aggressively on WEDNESDAY AUGUST 6, 2014 until then, if you like one of them and want it, please tell me via FB or email artsale@shaunhays.com I will be taking VISA, MC, Discover immediately. Thank you!

http://wp.me/p1ap5q-bf  -TO SEE THE WORKS OF ART BEING SOLD-

Huge Blessings and grace to you! -Shaun A. Hays

I’ve been busy…

Ok; so here’s a few updates for anyone interested in my wacky world:

1) Most of you know I’m now a daddy… and its AWESOME! Ethan will turn 1yr on Dec 30th, 2013! He is walking everywhere and climbing stairs! (…and over my head whenever I lay down.) Faith and I have struggled with balancing our schedules more as the year got later, but with God’s help, we are making it all work and still moving forward.

2) Chalk wise: I had an incredible year doing work for Navy Pier, Ashton Kutcher and many Media groups (NY, LA, Chicago) I was flying all over and even developed some new ways to seal the works for foot traffic. I will be taking my Artwork indoors in the Spring for MACY’s Flower Show March 25-April 5 in 2014!

3) Audiofeed Festival: In early 2013 I unexpectedly launched out on a new endeavor to start a brand new Christian Music Festival after the demise of my beloved Cornerstone festival in 2012. I had no idea how big this new endeavor would become and just how amazing the experience would be. After only 5 months to make it happen, new friends and partners were formed and 2-3k people attended. We have still not heard a single complaint other than “it wasn’t long enough”! I am so thankful to God for it all. I am now acting as Creative Consultant to Audiofeed.

4) Creative Consulting: This has long been my role in life. It was what I was meant to do. I do it every time I speak for a conference. Besides Afeed fest, I am consulting several companies, guest lecturing at colleges and Universities when I can and helping entrepreneurs establish their presence in the marketplace. I have also made a good friend in Ben Rau this year and will be consulting him in his leadership of The Asylum, a ministry geared toward ministering to Goths, those in various dark arts and witchcraft, and the socially outcast.

5) I will be hosting a new talk show on Spreecast.com called “Sagah Brothers Presents” starting Jan 2, 2014. This is a dream I had over 25 years ago finally coming true. Please feel free to come join in the conversation. Signing up for Spreecast is free and allows you to chat with us during the show. I hope you enjoy it!

Baby News and End Of Year Updates 2012

ETHAN ALEXANDER HAYS was born today; Dec 30th, 2012 at 12:17am.

See more pics and posts on my personal Facebook account: CLICK ON THIS LINK I’ll accept your friend request – just ask.

Ethan Weighed 9 lbs 4 oz

Length was 21.5 inches

When the pediatrician came to visit the nursery he said “Who’s the Moose?” He’s big.

Baby Ethan Hays Picture

Ethan Alexander Hays 1/2 hour old. (c) 2012

Family pic

Shaun introduces his son to his wife Faith for the first time. (c) 2012


This is the ongoing post as it stood before Ethan was born on Sunday December 30th, 2012:

Latest News:  Ethan’s birthday (should be) December 28th 2012!!   

WHOOPS Gotta change this again…….. i’ll let you read through the lines if you missed the last update. Otherwise read the paragraph in green below it. And more news in Black below that as of: NOON Saturday.

Faith has been to the Dr a few more times and all is looking wonderful. She will be induced just after midnight (1am) on Friday morning. Baby Ethan should be making his appearance (hopefully) soon after. I will update this post again with any and all news.

**OK so here’s the latest: We checked in last night to be induced (technically; 1am this morning Friday Dec 28th).  We expected that Faith would be put on Pitosyn (sp?) right away but she was put on a different medicine to get her ready. We were then told that she would need to be on that for 12 hours before the real inducing can begin. So…tag 12 hours on what we expected. I was able to sleep from 3-8, but then found out Faith slept only 1/2 hour all night. I felt really bad for her. She said she was just fine and she did sleep during the day yesterday preparing to labor in the wee hours of the morning. She has now had some food and is sleeping peacefully. We still fully expect to see Ethan sometime today… but most likely it will be tonight.

OK… as of 9:45 pm Friday the 28th Here’s the latest…

 Her contractions have been less than a minute apart for quite a while. However her body is NOT fully ready, so they are taking her Pitosyn down from 30 to like 6 or something and letting her get some sleep. When they start the Pitosyn again it should kick start everything and well, Birth. (Geeze I’m tired lol) Faith has not been in pain even when she’s had big contractions. Faith  is in great spirits. She was up and walking around making the nurses laugh and even Skyping with her mom and sisters. She has a sniffle and a slight cough, so a little prayer is needed. We have requested something from the Dr. for that.  She will take an Ambien to help her sleep tonight. I will definitely be back on FB and Twitter (and phone and text) once we have let Faith get some rest. Love and Hugs to you All.  Now go make an “Ethan Heart” art project here. I don’t care if you don’t have TIME FOR IT….. just DO IT!!! (I’m saying this as cute as I can: PLEASE??? :))

NEWS FLASH! – Dr. Broke her water and we are in the swing of things now. Shouldn’t be extremely long but I will be sure to update any BIG NEWS as soon as I get it and am available to do so! HUGS TO YOU ALL!

More updates to come…

EthanMeanwhile, when I have spare moments I will bring anyone interested up to speed on the exciting (sometimes frightful) year we’ve had:

Highlights of this year in no particular order: Expecting Baby Ethan of course! Baby shower(s) with friends and family. Moving back to Aurora. We spent a week in Florida near Palm Beach in the Spring. I did several new 3D chalk concepts including the World’s first 3D QR Code illusion. I was the first 3D chalk artist to do work at the famous McCormack Place in Chicago. My speeches this year were at a whole new level than in all my previous year combined and that has me looking forward to 2013. There were times I wished I could go home from being on the road too much and times of praying that I would get more work. I met many new friends in several states and gained some new “sisters and Brothers” when the opportunity presented itself. Faith has been wonderful and is going to make a great mommy. I’m “All Systems Go” for daddy time. I’m letting my youngest niece and nephew teach me some much needed songs and TV skills. I’ve done plenty of diapers, wiped boogies and cleaned up from other fluids over the years with other babies. Let’s get this show on the road.

I really planned on writing all about the craziness of each event and trip… the family challenges and changes… the people that impacted us the most throughout the year and ridiculous humorous moments, but honestly I just don’t feel like that. I just want to be alone with my thoughts and prayers. I am reflecting on the world my son will soon be a part of. The big picture and the little things that are most important. I have always wanted to impact the world in a positive way (even if it is just in small ways)… now my mind is simply flooded with the reality that my son will need to do the same. He will need to know the importance of belief and dedication, love and trust, family and caring for others as well as his health. No, this hasn’t just now hit me… I’ve always considered what legacy I might be leaving for the next generation…my children or others. It’s just that in the last few months my mind has become quite calm and introspective in the face of a huge task ahead of me. I have waited for this day for a very long time. I suppose those of you closest to us already know much of the burden I carry and the depth of my thoughts towards all those around me. Know that I appreciate your role in my life and in Faith’s life, no mater how big or little the role may be. Thank you for your concern and prayers. We love you all very much – even if we have not had the ability to express it to you. Hugs and warm thoughts!

Shaun, Faith, Dugan (Doo-gun, the dog) and COMING SOON: Baby Ethan Alexander Hays!

Having a garage sale is hard work – but worth it!

I’ve been getting an earful of advice from everyone about Garage sales since I decided to have one. (Actually my circumstances are forcing me, but, let’s look at this with an optimistic view, ok?)

  • Apparently you cannot hold one on Sunday because my mom says NO ONE shops garage sales on Sunday.
  • Forget putting the address on your sign…no one reads it anyway and it takes up precious sign space. Just write: “SALE” with an arrow on many signs and point people to the next sign.
  • You can say Garage/Yard/Moving if you want to.
  • Put them on MAJOR ROADS like highways and point in from different directions (like a road west and a road east of your area…heck, go for North and South too!)
  • Make the signs BIG and BOLD!
  • Make the Sign POP! Black and White is fine if done right. Use Yellow or Orange Signs with Black letters to really get attention! Hot Pink posterboard with bold black letters worked best for me… you could really see it from a long distance away and I got more traffic from those.
  • Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! – I didn’t do any other advertising than my signs and the link below and it worked amazing.

****Find sugar-grove yard sales on yardsalesearch.com ****

And…here’s a less effective way:

Posting Flyers for attention

I don’t know about you, but once this thing is over I’d like to just forget about it altogether, but in the spirit of helping someone out, I’ll post my post-sale wisdom up here soon. In the meantime, you should know: I had amazing traffic to my sale. My neighbors, who had been in this subdivision for 10 years, said they have never seen traffic like that even at the advertised citywide and neighborhood sales. So, I guess the advice works. Some things could have been better, so I’ll update this post with those lessons when I have more time.

Hair, challenges and learning to laugh.

Yesterday I needed to be in Crystal Lake, IL for a graduation speech. I had wanted my hair toned down a bit because (as some of you know) I am “The Mohawk Motivator” to teenagers so I needed some color and a style for the evening. I had wanted to do it earlier in the week, but my stylist had been ill. Thankfully she was feeling better and came in yesterday. I’m glad she was feeling better, but, I think her medicine was messing with her mind.

I told her how important it was that we hurry and that it was not one of my usual zany presentations to teens. I wanted to look somewhat professional. Well, she decided to go the other direction, completely! While I was engaged in conversation with others in the salon, she whips out a curling iron and starts curling my hair! (I’m a dude in case you don’t know.) The other stylist were looking at us weird and occasionally laughing at me. When I asked what was going on, she said matter-of-factly: “I’m curling your hair.” (Add screatching tire noise here… or a needle on a record getting dragged accross the grooves…whichever is your favorite “NOOOOOOOOOOOOooo!!!!” moment sound.) I asked her if she was kidding because she had spun me around in the chair to hide her antics. Everyone started laughing in the place and after a moment of confusion in my head, I decided they were all in on this and she was kidding me. After all, who would do that to someone with an important presentation to deliver in a few hours? (Apparently, Jani. My stylist.) When she finally spun me around I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I looked like… well, THIS:

Shaun Hays gets "Punked" by his stylist.

Shaun Hays gets "Punked" by his stylist.

Of course this was not the original expression I saw on my face…not that I was looking at my face. I cannot adequately describe the feelings I had. Mostly shock. Confusion, and sinking feeling were pretty prominent. I turned to her and yelled “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, WOMAN?!?!?!?” But one thing I have learned in life: LAUGH. My funny bone is working just fine… I could have screamed and kicked things demanding “A redo” but everyone was laughing so hard I had to join in. Gotta hand it to Jani, she knows my message and know I like to have fun. I was seriously stressed going in her shop. She helped me live my message yesterday and I shared the whole experience with my audience last night. I promised them I would post the picture… done.

Laughter releases endorphin into our body with helps us feel great, deal with stress and remain healthy. Stress releases cortizol,  a chemical that floods the brain and slows our thinking down making it difficult to do even simple tasks. Next time life is stressing you out, remember your best combatant to the stress and it’s effects: Laughter!

By the way if you can’t find humor in your life, I can give you the number to my stylist! (I think she has some medicine left.)

Chicago Attractions, Tours, and Things To Do


Chicago Willis (Sears) Tower at night

Chicago Willis (Sears) Tower at night

Go Chicago Card: Chicago Attractions, Tours, and Things To Do from Smart Destinations.

If you are going to be in Chicago, IL for some site seeing over several days, this is a great deal and a good way to plan your time taking in the major attractions. The best deal by far is the seven day pass, but if you go to many of the opportunities offered (And they are worth it!), you can still get a huge bang for your buck in just a couple days. A great idea for something unique is to go on Windy Of Chicago, a tall-ship that sails from Navy Pier. The “Go Chicago” site will give you lots of ideas and links.

If you’re just in town for the day you can just get a day pass:



For Food I’ll start with the basic “Must-have Chicago Foods”:

Portillo’s Chicago Style Hotdog – not into that? Try their Italian Beef! If you can’t do Portillo’s just make sure you get a Vienna all beef dog.

Gino’s East or Giordano’s For Chicago Style Deep Dish Stuffed Pizza!

If you’ve had those and are looking for something a bit more intimate and elegant still in the Pizza category try a Pizza Pot Pie from Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company. Good Salads too.

Steak? Oh yes! – Mastro’s,  Gene & Georgetti, Morton’s and Gibsons.

More to come…


Shopping, Ladies?

Well you have to check out the Mag (magnificent) Mile on Michigan Ave… that’s a given. After that: State Street. If you really want to check out something amazing: spend a day at the Merchandise Mart! The Merchandise Mart is the world’s largest commercial building, was commissioned by Marshall Feild and Co. in1930 and purchased by Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy (father of JFK) in 1945. 90 minute tours are avail. (just fyi-I used to clean floors in this building.)


Until I get more of my own personal favorites from Chicago up here, try looking at Chicago Magazine’s Best Of Chicago List.

Got a question about Chicago? Comment below and I’ll help you out.