Out From The Crowd stands for uniqueness, difference, individuality. It means following your own way and not doing things the way others do. There is good and bad in such a state of things and it’s just a matter of time till you find your balance on your way through this life.
On this way you will find moments when you stand out but at the same time stay ‘in’ the crowd. Stay in society, stay in community. It means being yourself but also being a part of something bigger. This philosophy lies in OUT brand. Being inspired by Pacific Northwest amazing landscapes it is also a part of Portland - both its weird and common side.
Street art in the past
Never forget how amazing a thing can be if some enthusiasts take it in their hands. They are the crowd where everyone stands out. That is what happened with Portland street art. There were times it was illegal, it was cleaned up from the walls, windows and sidewalks like in many other cities. It was considered vandalism and even had its own place in the Broken Window Theory. As a reminder, the theory states that visible signs of crime, vandalism (such as paintings on walls and broken windows) and disorder encourages further crime and disorder.
Street art nowadays
But now it’s different: street art is supported, protected and promoted. Though, still not completely legal.
Street art is firstly an art. An art that doesn’t require admission tickets, has no rules, and more than anything else reflects the current state of minds. For example, throughout the Southwest part of United States street art once was a form of spreading messages about civil rights. It also can be called quite an ancient type of art if we remember paintings in caves made by people thousands of years ago.
It was about the late 1990s when street art changed from a form of property damage and vandalism to something that the public enjoy and value. Just remember Banksy with his simple yet vivid style. Though he had to hide, constantly running from the police: those were still times of anonymity.
Now there is a trend to decorate walls: industrial areas turn into craft breweries, loft apartments and modern galleries and bring more space for every form of street art. Cities that used to arrest underground artists now host art festivals attracting artists in neighbourhoods.
Now you can locate street art in almost every city and town from Los Angeles to Melbourne. But for the OUT brand Portland keeps a special place. In the city whose motto is “Keep Portland Weird” and where murals can be located in major cultural locations, people are constantly experimenting with counterculture.
What is special about community?
Who made it possible? Those are ordinary people, passionate about what they do and eager to share it with the world. Portland’s non-profit organizations that facilitate art projects in the city by building the whole network between artists and community members, businesses, and corporations, by involving public and facilitating commissioned work, collaborative projects, and volunteer opportunities. They organize events, focusing on collaboration and building awareness.
They give artists an opportunity to share their concerns and beliefs with the world, share their mood and emotions, and stand out from the crowd in their own way. They let them be open, not hiding from the police and not hiding their identity. On the other hand, people in the town have an opportunity to enjoy every form of art just walking along the streets, catching this unique aura of freedom and lightness only artists usually have. And it always cheers you up when you suddenly see something bright and cheerful painted on the wall next to you!