How A Sticker With A Positive Message Grew Into A Global Street Art Movement

10.28.16 3 years ago

At the outset of this series, The Mad Ones, we planned to talk to people about travel. People who were going places, doing big things, and changing, if nothing else, their own respective worldviews. We wanted to highlight people vagabonding around the globe in ways that were uniquely their own.

From that jumping off point, we expanded. We began to realize that a change in worldview can come from any particular genesis — as long as someone commits to a bold choice, wholly and genuinely. So we began interviewing people who made things, and had weird weird ideas. We started chasing people who cultivated the change they hoped to see in the world. Many of these people traveled, sure, but their creative outlets were often the cornerstones of their respective lives.

This installment checks all of those boxes at once. As a street artist and graphic designer, Matthew Hoffman decided to create something that would send good vibes percolating through his home of north Chicago. He wanted to share the simple message: “You Are Beautiful.” No more, no less. As the popularity of that message caught on, there was plenty of traveling done, but not by Hoffman. His “You Are Beautiful” stickers, in all of their metallic, rectangular, heart-warming, glory have been printed over three million times, in over one hundred languages. The message is the thing hitting the road.

As Hoffman’s message continues to grow and expand, we sat down to talk with him about how he got started, how the current political climate plays into his goals, and how none of this would have been possible without Oprah.

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