De La Vega Works to Change the Streets.

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

yi_vega388Why is it that half the time I get on the internet looking for something cool and new to learn about I wind up wishing I lived in NYC? (Rhetorical question BTs!) It’s because that city has a magical tractor beam that’s pulling me in.  Okay not really, but the artist that I found to talk about today got his start in NYC like so many others before him.  James De La Vega (I’m obsessed with saying his name out loud!) started as a street artist with a mission: to bring hope and empowerment to the Latino community.

He’s most well known for his fish drawing and positive catch phrases like “Become your dream.” De La Vega chalked and painted these signatures on the walls, sidewalks, and other street-accessible places often enough for it to become his brand before he moved from street art to online artist.  De La Vega has become a presence on Twitter and Facebook to speak out against those that he thinks are working against his community.  He’s spoken out against hazing and the negative messages of rap music through these medium.

de-la-vega-rainHe further made a name for himself by collaborating with designer Tory Burch on a collection of handbags. P art of the proceeds for the designs went toward helping “develop women-owned businesses in the city.” But the handbags weren’t the only online merch to feature his brand.  De La Vega has his own online store through CafePress where he sells the usual CP-type merchandise with variations of his fish design and other quotes from his brand.

39639485_b48625536c_oDespite having his desired audience as the Latin community I find his “become your dream” catch phrase refreshingly positive.  It’s no secret that I get a little fascinated with the tragic and macabre, but it’s very cool to see an artist so focused on bringing something bright into the world when it’s so easy to focus on the dark.

It’s inspiring to see how far he’s come.  Currently De La Vega is working with lawyers, marketers, and consultants who share his beliefs.  They help to protect and grow the De La Vega brand so that it can continue to battle social issues.  The success of his business helps him to do his work using “art to help society see itself.” It’s clear from an interview he did with NY Daily News that De La Vega has a very idealistic attitude.  But I think that works to his advantage.  Pretty awesome what street art and a passion for social change can do for you, isn’t it?

photo-8Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

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