I enjoy making public works that are open and accessible to everyone who walks by. It started in 2002 with a small sticker that simply states “you are beautiful.” That sticker has traveled around the world, by the power of community. It’s been handed or stuck over 2 million times, on every continent (including Antarctica) and translated into 81 languages. The project has really taken on a life of its own, with community being the driving force behind the message.
My personal work has branched out into many other phrases, all bold, positive messages in the landscape. The messages are intentionally vague and open to interpretation. I never want to tell people what to think. I want people to experience the phrase, and let them run with it, however they need to. My hope is to make moments in daily life just a little better. One person at a time.
Matthew Hoffman is a Chicago-based artist and designer who operates out of his studio, Hey It’s Matthew. He is the founder of the You Are Beautiful project, and his ideas and work have been included in Good, the New York Times Magazine and Ready Made as well as a number of art books. In 2013, he was featured in a segment on the Oprah Winfrey network. Learn more about his work at heyitsmatthew.com and you-are-beautiful.com.