Murals and selfies go hand in head these days, and if you walk along Melrose Avenue near Crescent Heights, you’ll find a few popular spots for taking them, including one that's made of yarn.
It’s the work of street artist London Kaye, but instead of stencils and spray paint, she’s been making a name for herself as the queen of crochet. Yarn is her medium and for the last five years, the world has been her canvas.
“I got into yarn bombing because I absolutely love to crochet,” says Kaye. “I started crocheting when I was 13 and I haven't stopped yet.”
After suffering an injury from dance, Kaye took up crochet to stay active when she couldn’t use her legs for a year. But even after selling enough pieces to buy her first car, crochet didn’t become a full-time job until something unusual happened.
“It was a really big a-ha moment when I took a scarf I made and wrapped it around a tree outside of my apartment because that's really what yarn bombing is,” explains Kaye.
That tree became an Instagram destination. From Malibu to Brooklyn, and now back in Los Angeles today, Kaye is getting the latest addition ready for a mural she’s been working on for the better part of a year.
Like many artists, her work is a reflection of herself. In this case, a giant heart full of bright colors and she can’t help but skip to work.
A work-in-progress, Kaye's mural does more than add a bit of sunshine to passersby. It’s helped create a safe space for a street without much light.
“This wall was really sort of dark and dismal and a little scary,” says Elizabeth Mason, owner of the The Paper Bag Princess, the shop next to the mural. “But since this wall has been constructed, we just have the most fabulous people from all over the world come here all night long and it’s amazing and it feels safe.”
A little tape and a hot glue gun is all Kaye needs to complete her crocheted mural. And even though the wall is full of rainbows and yarn art, it’s still not complete.
She intends to come back and add flowers and accents throughout, but for now, she's happy to bring peace, love and happiness to one little corner on Melrose.