One mural, many hearts—also known as “bleeding hearts”, an iconic mural by Los Angeles and New York-based muralist, James Goldcrown.
His bleeding hearts pattern first went viral on Instagram in 2015, in the form of a Valentine’s Day mural which he created just for fun.
Since then James has spray-painted his way all around the world, creating similar artworks and murals and commissioned collaborations with brands including Rag & Bone, Sephora, Armani and more.
We had a chat with James about the inspiration behind “bleeding hearts” and how he kick-started his career in the world of art.
How did you begin your career as an artist?
I used to work in the streets as an artist in New York. Slowly as I was there, just listening to music, subliminally looking around and seeing other street art. The hearts was just one of the things I did among many others.
Where did the inspiration for the hearts motif all come from?
I’d always test the pressure of a spray can and for some reason just draw a heart. It’s a very simple and easy shape to do. Over time I’d completely cover this door with the hearts. And it kind of looked cool so then I started doing them on canvas. And this was before social media, so I’d go out on the streets and I’d sell them. They were the quickest selling canvas’ I had out of all the other things I did with hearts. They’d just go like cupcakes.
Was there a particular moment that sent your artwork on a trajectory?
I was offered to do a mural in New York City on a very famous wall that’s home to a lot of famous muralists. I was asked in November 2014 and the wall was available for February 2015. My friends were like, “you have to do the hearts for Valentine’s Day.” Soon enough it was February and I still hadn’t thought about what to do, so I was like… I should probably do the hearts.
Within three days it was viral and it changed everything. At the time I didn’t really understand the power of social media. So as tricky as social media can be in our lives it has a lot of benefits and it definitely helped my career.
So having your artwork go viral wasn’t intentional?
I think you can have intentional ideas but you can get let down a lot if you get too serious about them. It’s kind of when you go happy, go lucky, especially in my industry, is when things will come back to you.
What do you think of the Melbourne street art scene?
To me, it’s been very impressive, just Melbourne in general. I was told about the whole street vibe here and I don’t think I understood how condensed it was, or how it was laid out. I also think Melbourne has this grit to it, it’s a very raw city to me and it’s got great energy.
While James is in Melbourne there’s a chance he’ll also be taking his art to a Melbourne laneway near you, so keep your eyes peeled.
Checked out Melbourne's enormous new brewery in Preston yet? Read all about Moon Dog World here.
Image credit: James Goldcrown