We Heart ThisSpread Love Project by Nicholas Konert
A global initiative started in 2016 to serve as an iconic reminder for people everywhere to spread love without restriction, reason or reward. We believe spreading love today is more important than ever.
Spread love and random acts of kindness. Break down barriers. Bring people together. Be a tool for opening people's hearts to one another. Help people see love. Raise money to support communities and organizations, through collaborations and partnerships. Combat hate with love.
It started this way actually. Literally, within the first 24 hours of designing the heart, it was appearing on the streets on New York City. I've always believed art and design should be accessible. Artist and activist Keith Haring has always been a key inspiration in my life and work. I'm so inspired when I give a sticker to someone I meet, and they say "I see your heart everywhere," "I've always wondered who created this" or "My kid has one on their bedroom wall!"
At this point I've printed over 85,000 stickers, so the reach and project is much larger than myself. The stickers are such a great way to spread the message globally. It is heartwarming to know people have a relationship with my work even though we don't know each other (yet). Since trademarking the design and collaborating with brands, the heart can now be found in stores (not only the streets), which is a fun evolution for the project.
Thanks to friends, collaborations, partnerships and the public… the heart has spread more places than I know. Some places that come to mind: New York City, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, London, Taipei, Cape Town, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Milan and Laramie, Wyoming (home to Matthew Shepard), at marches, store windows, on cars, projected at clubs, on advertisements, at restaurants...
Favorite places where you've seen them?
There are so many special moments. To be honest, spotting someone pushing their kid's stroller with my heart on it is equally as gratifying and inspiring as a celebrity moment. I love seeing how kids play with them, where they place them—kids are so free spirited, you know? A lot of kids wear them as superhero/Wonder Woman cuffs, which I think is so cool.
And it is hilarious and always fun when friends send me paparazzi pics of celebs, like Bella Hadid or Leonardo DiCaprio, on the streets of New York with the hearts appearing in the background. Recently, the heart appeared in the final scene of the series of Broad City on Comedy Central. That was special moment, as it was the final episode from a show and features a cast I love. The heart also recently appeared in the Melissa McCarthy film, Can You Ever Forgive Me?—you can see it in the scene that takes place at Julius' on West 10th. A historic institution in the city, it's one of my favorite bars in NYC, and has supported the project since the beginning in 2016.
When you spot a heart in the wild, the first thing that comes to mind is...
The time is now! Be present. God. Love. How magical life is…. These thoughts come to mind, and then a smile comes across my face. :D
All images and artwork © Nicholas Konert; the Spread Love heart is a registered trademark of Nicholas Konert