person making chalk art on sidewalk with caption 'so I told him to come check it out tomorrow (l) person hosing chalk art on sidewalk with caption 'my landlord's wife told me my chalk art was disrespectful' (c) person making chalk art on sidewalk with caption 'she immediately tells me that what I was doing was disrespectful and not okay' (r)

@varakaughn/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Husband probably complimented your art and she’s wildly insecure’: Tenant says landlord’s wife made her wash off her chalk art

'I don't know why chalk art is an issue when it's temporary.'


Brooke Park


Posted on Jun 9, 2023

Is sidewalk chalk art graffiti? One TikTok creator and her landlord’s wife have been debating this frequently asked inquiry.

In a series of videos posted over the last two weeks, Kara Vaughn (@varakaughn) chronicled how her smiling Pokémon-inspired Bulbasaur and Mayor Karp chalk creations, which initially drew admiration from her landlord, turned into a heated fight with his wife.

@varakaughn I wasnt mad that I had to wash it away. I understand that she has the right to ask me not to. She could have asked nicely…But to be rude to your tenant who is respectful and takes care of the place well better than some others just blows my mind. Shouldnt be barking up the wrong tree. #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #landlordproblems #rentingproblems #karensgoingwild #karen #washingawaychalkart #powerwashing #cleantok #cleaning #drama ♬ Daylight – David Kushner

Kara explains that her landlord initially complimented her on the chalk art she was making in the driveway of her rental. However, when the landlord returned to see the finished drawings, instead of hearing more compliments, the Kansas-based creator said the landlord’s wife called her art disrespectful.

“I explained that it was chalk art and it would wash away once it rained,” the creator says, adding that she also offered to wash it off herself. However, the landlords wife didn’t seem to want to hear it. “She kept calling me disrespectful because I didn’t ask,” Kara narrated using TikTok’s Trickster voice. Eventually the TikToker shows herself washing away the chalk art.

Other property managers have equated chalk art to graffiti before. At one Arizona apartment complex, a mother was told to clean her son’s chalk art or face a $30 fine. But Kara claimed this isn’t the first time the landlord’s wife has had an issue with her.

“She comes looking for the littlest things or flips things around to make me seem irresponsible and she says that to me a lot.” After the woman suggested that Kara could find another apartment if she didn’t like the rules at her current rental, Kara told her, “Hey there’s no issues here. I’m doing what you’re asking, I’ve been compliant. We are done with this conversation. Goodbye.”

Kara’s initial video has gained over 12.9 million views as of this writing.

In a follow-up video that Kara posted, she can be seen having a phone conversation with her landlord’s wife. It seems that after Kara was forbidden from making her chalk art in the driveway, the young artist confirmed with the city that it was allowed and proceeded to make her creations on the sidewalk. In the meantime, she says, she also asked her landlord’s wife to send her a copy of her lease, which led to the phone call.

@varakaughn I have no words!!!! ☹️☹️ #chalkart #chalkpainting #artistsoftiktok #diy #pt2 #part2 #karen #karensgoingwild #landlordspecial #landlordproblem #tenant #lawyersoftiktok #attorneysoftiktok #pokemon #bluey #tutorial #chalk #tiktok #foryou #fyp #viral #tiktokviral #help #ineedadvice #advice ♬ original sound – Kara Vaughn

The follow-up video has garnered over 24.8 million views. During the pair’s conversation, the landlord’s wife learned that Kara had started drawing on the sidewalks in front of the house. Throughout the nearly six-minute call, the wife reiterated her displeasure with Kara’s choice to continue her chalk art.

“I know it’s art to you, but to some people, it’s not,” the landlord’s wife said on the phone call. “It’s graffiti.”

The pair continued to go back and forth. The landlord’s wife eventually said she would be contacting her attorney about the situation.

“I’m not trying to start any problems,” Kara replied. “I’m just drawing.”

Users noted in the comments that the landlady’s reaction seemed excessive.

“People literally destroy rentals and this is the hill she wants to die on?” one viewer asked.

“Coming from a property manager, if it is not written in the house rules and you aren’t damaging the property, it is fine,” another added. “She is just being a Karen.” In fact, during the recorded phone conversation, the landlady does say that there is likely no clause specifically forbidding chalk art.

“She is acting like you drew all over the walls with permanent paint,” a third person chimed in.

“I don’t know why chalk art is an issue when it’s temporary,” another questioned.

This is not the first time a chalk art controversy has lit up the TikTok community. After a video of a woman spraying away chalk art gained popularity on TikTok, she was dubbed “Sidewalk Susan,” casting her in the same negative light as Karens.

Other viewers speculated that the landlady’s reaction came from a place of jealousy.

“Husband probably complimented your art and she’s wildly insecure,” a user wrote.

“She knows her husband like you. She is threatened,” another agreed.

In the comments section of the follow-up video, viewers suggested more chalk decorating should occur in protest.

“I’d start asking the neighbors if you could draw something in their driveway and put little yard signs that say we support chalk art,” one user said.

“Get the neighbors involved,” another person seconded. “Community sidewalk chalk art festival!”

These ideas turned into a reality. Kara said that after her local newspaper profiled her chalk conflict, two girls came and drew their own chalk art. In another video, Vaughn showed several hearts the girls drew, which dominated the sidewalk. A blue and purple heart boasted the word “art” in the middle. Another purple, pink and blue shaded heart had the words “love you” in the center.

@varakaughn Replying to @Santa Claus 🎅🏻 ✨❄️ Tag @Crayola and @MrBeast!!! Spread the word! #ChalktheTown #ChalktheWorld #chalktok #chalkgirl #spreadlove #positivity #love #kindness #viral #community #tiktokviraltrending ♬ Sunshine – WIRA

And now Kara is organizing an event called “Chalk The Town,” where anyone can come and practice their chalk skills.


Most recently, Kara received a letter attached to the lease from her landlady. The landlady apologized for any stress she may have caused.

@varakaughn BIIIIG UPDATE… #landlord #chalk #update #pt2 #karensgoingwild #karavaughn #chalkthetown #chalktheworld #tiktok #tiktokviral #gofundme #art #news #ksn #ksnwichita #whaleshark #doodle #illustration #chalktok #chalkgirl ♬ Wii – Mii Channel – Super Guitar Bros

“I’m not giving you an eviction notice, just your lease you requested,” the rest of the note said.

Kara told The Daily Dot via email that she hopes the conflict is over, but is nonetheless looking for a new home. Her hobby, which she has only practiced for about a month now, will continue to live on through TikTok.

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*First Published: Jun 9, 2023, 12:27 pm CDT