We had the good fortune of connecting with Corie Mattie and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Corie, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
On one hand, I have pieces that I want people to feel uplifted, hopeful, and most importantly connected. I want my art to be applied to people’s personal experiences and connect with it in anyway they see fit. Art is meant for interpretation. It can be universal and specific, which makes art expression so inspiring and beautiful.

On the other hand, I have work that stops and makes people think. I want to promote an open mind, allow people to see different perspectives, shedding light on issues that are prominent in today’s society. I want it to be that little nudge for someone that gets them to start evolving and growing, while reminding people we are all cut from the same mold. We are all human.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Growing up in a family full of educators, it never seemed practical to pursue art as a “real” job. I ignored my artistic side for a long time – losing myself in sports, friends, and academics. I received my undergraduate degree from University of Maryland, then completed my masters in sports management from Georgetown University.

After working in the sports industry for a few years on the east coast, I decided it was time for change. I felt like I was dying a slow death working a 9-5. My creativity was stifled, I couldn’t express myself the way I wanted to, and I couldn’t say everything I wanted to. I would come home from work and draw hours on end. I finally started coming into myself – finding what satisfied my soul and how much I valued art expression. It gave me the confidence I needed to take the leap and follow my passion. So, I packed as much as I could into my car and drove to Los Angeles, my favorite city, a creative and expressive city.

When I got here, I had to adapt quickly. Before moving to Los Angeles, I only drew with sharpie. I never picked up a paint brush, let alone any other mediums. To survive here as an artist, I had to stop being stubborn, embrace my persistence, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Fast forward 5 years.

February 2020 had been the worst month of my life. I totaled my car, my projects were falling through, I had to get a job after my accident, and I had a wedge between some of my closest friendships. Then the pandemic happened. I immediately lost my part time job – everyone did. I felt like a failure in every aspect of my life. I was so lost and lonely I didn’t have anyone to turn to but myself and my art.

I would see my brother, who is a doctor, come home from work frustrated that people weren’t taking precautions to flatten the curve. I wanted to paint a message where people knew this was dangerous, but we have to navigate the unknown together. I found a wall, painted the “Cancel plans. Not humanity” piece, introducing the LA Hope Dealer. I finished the mural on a Wednesday night, and the photo of it was in the LA Times Thursday morning. I knew I was onto something. I was doing what not many people were doing at the time: offering hope through art – connection when everything felt so distant. The next day I created a variety of pandemic-related pieces and signs and hung them in every neighborhood in Los Angeles.

This is when the LA Hope Dealer was born.

Hope is seeing light even in the darkest times. If I could push myself to keep moving forward, why wouldn’t I use my work to help others keep going?

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh man this is a tough one! There are so many good spots in Los Angeles. I would immediately take them to the Melrose Arts District. It’s one of my favorite places in Los Angeles – the art, the culture, the fashion – it’s all on Melrose. I would also take them to the Downtown Arts District, which is a completely different vibe from Melrose, but has fantastic art and some great breweries. (I guess it sweetens the pot that I have murals in both areas)

I would also take them to hike the Wisdom Tree for an amazing view of Los Angeles, then to Malibu for a little escape from society and a solid beach day.

Lastly, a staple in the itinerary would be taking them to West Hollywood. There is never a dull moment on Santa Monica Blvd. Between the food, the drinks, and the people, it’s likely my friend would never want to leave.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to thank the people that believed in my when no one else did. You know who you are.

Website: www.lahopedealer.com

Instagram: coriemattie

Linkedin: Corie Mattie

Twitter: LA Hope Dealer

Facebook: Corie Mattie

Image Credits
Josiah David Jones

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