The Artists behind the "You are Beautiful" Project talk with

They’ve been painting our town “beautiful” for months now, but their identity and reasons have remained a secret. While they still wish to remain anonymous, they were kind enough to answer some questions that we know you’ve been asking yourself.

Here we get a little more insight to their vision and purpose for this project that we like to think of as a Daily Affirmation for the Magic City!

How many people are involved in the You Are Beautiful campaign in
 Birmingham?  Are you all from Birmingham?

“There are two people involved in the You Are Beautiful Birmingham campaign.  We both grew up in the Greater Birmingham area.”

This is part of a broader art project in other cities, right?  What’s the 
connection to Birmingham?  How many total have you painted here?

“Yes, the message is part of an international campaign. The original people behind the idea have moved on, and people around the world have taken it upon themselves to spread the message.  In Birmingham there are seven large pieces and several smaller stencils downtown.

Have you asked permission before any of the projects?

Not successfully other than our current mural in Homewood.


What do you want people in Birmingham to take away from viewing your work?

We want people to find meaning in the message on an individual and community wide basis.  In general, we want to have a positive influence in the city.

Why do you think Birmingham needs this message now?

“We think that it’s time the city had a visual acknowledgement of how great it is.”

Since you are remaining anonymous, how are you getting feedback from 
viewers?  What’s the reaction been like?

“We get feedback via Facebook, word of mouth, even in person although they may not know it’s us.”

What’s your distinction between graffiti and art?  Are they mutually

“Graffiti is anything done without permission, and not all graffiti is considered art. It’s more on a personal level.  It’s all about how it makes you feel”

Are you concerned that some people will miss the message because of the 
illegal nature of the art?

“We know that we can’t please everyone who views our pieces, and we’re not trying to.  The people that do appreciate the message make it worthwhile”

What’s the closest you’ve come to getting caught?

“Usually before beginning a piece we see a cop passing. That’s about it. We like to think of it as a good omen.”

We see that your Facebook page has over 1,000 people on it. How do you
 plan on using their support to further the message through social 

“We don’t really plan on using our page unless we’re posting pictures of recent pieces. We don’t use it for any sort of advertising or debate.”

What do you want to see happen next for the You Are Beautiful campaign?

“We would like for it to become a citywide art project. Either way we’re going to continue painting.”

Last question:  Do you do kid’s rooms?

“Haha. I don’t think that’s our target audience. Only public pieces for now…”

Due to sign ordinances, the project they referred to in Homewood will be going before the Homewood City Council on Monday, January 31st at 6:00pm. They could use support from the community to explain to the city why this is a good thing.. Come out and join us to help further this project!

Photo courtesy of: Operation Beautiful

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