LOS ANGELES – If you have managed to get outside lately, you might have noticed the works of La Hope Dealer (aka, Corie Mattie), a local artist whose signature bright yellow artworks bearing messages such as “Cancel Plans, Not Humanity,” have been popping up throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
“I’m just trying to bring awareness and like positivity in just a creative way,” said Mattie.
Starting with a mural in West Hollywood, Mattie, who is normally a commission-based artist, decided to create an awareness-raising campaign that would remind people of both their social responsibility of physical distancing, and also the strength of the human spirit.
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“It just happened very quickly,” said Mattie of her artistic campaign that went viral (for lack of a better term), on social media. “I just wanted to keep that momentum going because I think it's important that not only you have to maintain your physical health, but obviously mental health, too.”
Mattie has plans to distribute her work to other cities as well, and she has already collaborated with local mask maker, Ello, which will donate a mask to charity for every one sold.
“Right now, it is a hard time for artists because they have lost a lot of ways to showcase their art,” said Ello’s co-founder, Charles Fradetti. “So, we thought, 'Why not do collaborations with local artists? That also can be our mission.' We fell upon Corie’s art on social media. The message was so strong and positive and we thought it was a perfect fit.”
Although the masks are not medical grade, they are meant for the general public, which has been instructed to wear face-coverings for weeks now while in public. Mattie and Fradetti have already donated thousands of them to LA’s Skid Row, with more on the way.
“We're trying to do as much as we can to help,” said Fradetti. “And we found that by donating one for every one [sold] it was a great way to really help that and help flatten the curve.”
Mattie lives with her brother who is a spinal doctor who might be recommissioned to the ICU. She said he was initially frustrated when people didn't follow the stay at home recommendations.
“People weren't listening for a long time and I think that's why this kind of came out first,” said Mattie. “The idea behind this was just to remind people that they could be affecting others regardless of what they're doing.”
Even though Mattie does go out to do her work, she says she works alone and follows all the proper health guidelines and until things return to some kind of normal, she will continue to share her message.