Here at DL!, we have a pretty simple business model– 70% client work, 30% whatever. That’s a head scratcher, sure, but the “whatever” is what keeps the business true, playful and honest. The “whatever” has created some of our best work: the documentary After the Factory, the clothing line, posters on your walls, the remote-control race car track at Georgia Street and all the public art projects. In truth, the “whatever” is that thing we call the “social brand.”

For the last few years we’ve been chipping away at a mural series called MANTRACITY. The project is heavily inspired by the work that Stephen Powers started in Philadelphia with “A Love Letter For You.” We paint message-based murals in locations throughout the city that aim to uplift and bring a smile. It’s that simple. Here are some of them:

photo (36)

MANTRA3-3

wakeupstartdreaming

We’ve done four murals, which is cool, with all of the labor and cost coming out of our pocket. Each of the murals still stand today, and each has taken on a little life of it’s own: the “Kahn” mural amidst countless “taggings” has been mysteriously cleaned up (fixed) by strangers, wedding photos have been taken in front of the Martian Mural, magazines have included photos of the “Dreaming” mural, etc. This is part of the whole process for us.

Thing is, we want to do more. A lot more. So, we’re making a “call for walls.” We need walls with permission to paint, and we’ll work on handling the rest. So, if you’ve got any ideas on locations, give us a shout (talk@detroitlives.com), send us a tweet, a FB message… or, hell, a smoke signal. The key is this: we need you.