Corie Mattie, a mighty muralist measuring just five feet tall, single handedly created a 100 ft wide mural supporting The People Concern’s “Together, We Can End Homelessness” campaign.

Mattie rose into the spotlight this spring as ‘LA Hope Dealer’, known for her bright yellow murals encouraging people to stay home and stay positive during the darkest moments of the pandemic.

Her latest piece takes on a different issue — the dramatic rise in unhoused people living on local streets.

The enormous mural located on 7th St and Colorado Ave features a series of interconnected hands symbolizing the communal effort needed to tackle homelessness. The interactive artwork features a QR code that links to a video from homeless service provider The People Concern and empowers viewers to get involved in their critical work.

“The mural is obviously meant to beautify the community, but it’s also meant to heal it,” said Mattie. “There are a lot of homeless people in the area, so it’s a call to action and should hopefully garner a lot of traction for The People Concern’s campaign.”

Painting a 100ft by 35ft wall is a daunting undertaking, especially for someone like Mattie who is a self-taught street artist and had never worked on a project of this scale.

Luckily, it turns out that her frenetic hope dealer mural making combined with sheer pluck was all the training she needed.

Mattie crushed the project in just ten days working from sunup to sundown and using 30 gallons of paint on the background alone.

“If I was asked to do this a year ago before I’d made all the hope dealer murals I would have had no clue what to do,” said Mattie. “It was almost like, if this was a game of Mario, the whole last year was levels of preparation and now I was meeting Bowser.”

Although relatively new to the LA street art scene, Mattie is incredibly prolific and has painted countless murals throughout the city this year including several prominent Santa Monica pieces.

Mattie’s “After the plague came the renaissance” mural on 4th St became a viral sensation. For this piece Mattie recreated the iconic reaching hands from Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam using her signature black and white sketch style on a bright yellow background.

True to the fluid nature of street art, the piece went through many iterations reflecting the tumultuous events of 2020.

The mural was designed to build hope during the initial stages of the pandemic. It was vandalized during the May 31st looting and repaired with the help of community members. Mattie then painted one hand black in solidarity with the BLM protest movement.

Mattie also collaborated with Ruben Rojas on another 4th St mural combining her hope dealer motif with Rojas’s colorful cursive ‘spread love’ tagline.

The idea to create art focusing on the public’s role in fighting the pandemic came from watching her brother’s struggles as a medical professional.

“People weren’t taking the situation seriously, so it was hugely frustrating to see people outside when he was so stressed working in the hospital,” said Mattie. “I’m promoting good habits and hope, but also telling people they need to get their act together in the nicest way possible.”

While the hope dealer series catapulted Mattie into the spotlight, it also came with its own challenges — primarily how to reconcile this persona of perfect positivity with her edgy side that likes to push boundaries around sex and gender.

“It was hard when I first became LA Hope Dealer because I was like ‘this is rad I love it’, but I couldn’t erase the things that I was doing beforehand. I do like to toe the line with sexual things or LGBTQ advocacy,” said Mattie.

Mattie ultimately decided that it was futile to keep the two sides or herself separate and has had to learn to accept the criticism that comes with having a larger platform.

“Why can’t I still give back to the community and do good things while also trailblazing or pushing the boundaries of what women can say or do?” said Mattie. “I’m hoping the direction I’m going with my art will continue to merge the two. If I lose people along the way that’s ok; they don’t see my vision anyways.”

Clara@smdp.com