While she refers to herself as an "asphalt eccentric", children who have seen her at work call her a "magician".
Tracy Lee Stum, an American 3D chalk artist, is in the city to create a three-dimensional street artwork based on Indian dances at the 14th Kala Ghoda Arts Festival on Wednesday.
"We need more pavements in Mumbai to promote professional street art. This will help artists to move out of their galleries and paint for the masses," said Stum, who holds a Guinness World Record for creating the largest chalk painting in 2006.
Stum will use chalk pastels and tempera paints to create an illusionary two-dimensional image that will appear to be three-dimensional when viewed from a specific point in Fort. "Though I have thought of the basic idea for the design to be created at the festival, a lot will depend on the way people react to my work. I create interactive street paintings, which will bring the street to life," added Stum, who turned street art from a passion to her profession in 2004.
While Stum has toured the world, creating anamorphic street paintings in tiny lanes and bylines, she said that "manipulating space" is more than just art. "Geometry, perception, lighting, colour and movement are all essential to my work. I have fine-tuned my imagination and now, perceive designs in three-dimensional form even in my head," said Stum, who is a self-taught street artist.
Stum will take two days to create the massive visual street art on Rampart Row, starting on Wednesday. "Everyone is fascinated by illusions. My intention is to turn a barren street into a lively city by sketching people interacting with each other," added Stum.
The artist agreed that India was still warming up to street art. "In the west, there are designated spaces for street artists to create art for the masses. In India, the artists are still looking out for spaces outside their galleries," added Stum, who said that she will perform and act as she sketches at Rampart Row.
"I am a born actor and performer. I might just break into a dance while painting, if the festival visitors cheer on," she said.