After a successful career in the banking industry, Bri Patty, a Dutch-Moluccian woman living in Italy, decided to jump ship and follow her dream in fashion.
At 32, Stapling shoe boxes wasn’t the most glamorous start of a fashion career, but she worked her way up the ladder and was globally managing the shoe collections at Celine, which is one of the leading fashion companies in Europe.
Although, still in love with the process of creativity, and a weak spot for shoes, she decided to take a sabbatical year. And instead of going on an exotic holiday or buying a new car, she decided to do something courageous and spend her savings by the magic words of Maya Angelou: “when we learn teach, when you get give”
Grateful to the people who gave her a chance to realize her own dream, her mission became to inspire by paying it forward, which has led to The Spring Projects.
I was able to sit down with Bri and talk in detail about The Spring Projects, and below is how it went down:
Hi Bri, Could you tell us who you are?
I am the Dutch founder of The Spring Projects, an open platform created that I set up as I wanted to give creative minds (professional, or amateur) a chance to communicate their message and realize their street art dreams with the aim to bring back hope and smiles back to the streets.
What is your background?
I have a background in fashion, shoes more specifically, similar to street art driven by the process of creation, colors and putting a relevant message out there.
You are the founder of The Spring Projects. Could you elaborate on that project and where did this idea come from?
I want to sparkle around the message to give a chance to people to jump ( in Dutch, Spring means Jump) by using the streets; An act of generosity that we should all experience. If we care all in our way today about the unknown person next to us on the streets, spoiling with a smile, a compliment or a positive gesture that nobody would expect, by tomorrow half of the world would look already different.
Why Street Art?
They say street art is dead and over-commercialized, but if you look around on the streets across this planet there has never been more need for a message of hope , encouragement to connect to our hearts as now. Creativity has the magic and the power to do this, so street art has still lots of honorable work to do. If my motto is that an act of generosity today can change the world tomorrow, lets spread it out on the streets and have hope and smiles live vividly on more streets in this world
What is the Spring Projects getting in return?
Very uncommon these days, but we actually ask nothing in return, we just truly believe in helping people and we believe this all should start on the streets. It is quite strange that often we have to convince to believe there is a free gift. We are not used to this anymore. But I hope we should instead be more generous to get used to this in our life rather then getting suspicious about it when it happens. Like I said to “Dutch girl in London”: “ It’s incredible how people doubt someone’s motives when doing something good for a stranger. The prize winner and myself were even detained for 2 hours at customs upon in arrival in London where they questioned my motivation for paying a plane ticket for a total stranger” “ We have to start being very generous before it is too late, it is an alarming sign that an act of generosity starts to be treated as a suspicious crime.
Luckily with the first project we have proven that we do what we say. Even we do more than we say, cause the price was a trip to London and put your work in the Femme Fierce Leak street tunnel but we end up giving 9 walls across Europe adding Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna and Milan (video below). We had women applying after they saw the first walls regretting that they did not believe in a true act of generosity.
Could tell us about The Next Best Thing and your recent collaboration with Femme Fierce on International Women’s Day at the Leak Street Tunnel in London?
The Next Best Thing was fantastic and Ayaan Bulale has done something amazing, gathering 130 street art girls in London for the first time. It is very empowering for the girls that are very often a minority in the street art world to be and work together. I fell in love with Ayaan’s project for her guts to put this up just by herself. On the night before Christmas I got her phone number and the same evening a plan was made. Two weeks later we started and 40 countries across all continents applied. Fio Silva, an unknown Argentinian artist struck us with her work. After 2 weeks in Europe covering 9 walls in London, Amsterdam, Milan, Barcelona, Milan and Bologna, she embodied The Next Best Thing at its fullest. The experience we offered being A life changer as she said herself and we were happy to be able to help her jump. Now up to the next one to launch for a jump.
What are your thoughts on the way the internet is influencing the art world?
Well for sure it allows us to dream away a bit with what is happening on the other side of the planet creative wise, especially if you don’t have means to travel….and it allows also to connect with other artist who perhaps without internet would not be able to get inspired by each other. For sure we as The Spring Projects could never have gathered so many creative women in 2 weeks time reaching stories from the sole female street artist in the Himalaya till down under Australia doing amazing things with dots…. without internet. Those voices high up in the Himalaya or far down in Argentina who would have heard otherwise?
What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
We are launching at the day of Spring #big dream. Allowing one person , men or women, to have his street art intervention dream being realized anywhere in the world. The criteria is that is should take place in an public urban space with people passing and that the message and idea sparkles hope and smiles around on the street. It does not need to big or bombastic, your dream can be dream but it is often small things that strike our heart.We reward the winning idea with a dream ticket to any location he or she has been dreaming about.
REMINDER: Deadline for applications for the BIG DREAM is end of April!
Where else can we find you? (blog, website, twitter, facebook, etc.)
Our webpage www.thespringprojects.com that gathers all the information we put out on social media has also a blog. On Instagram we add pictures behind the scenes, twitter @nogutsnoglories we alarm when we are ready to launch a new project or have a winner or other interesting news who could interest you.
Any words of advice for aspiring new artists?
Always TRY! Fio Silva the last winner never thought she would have a chance, but she did try anyhow. You have to keep on dreaming and always always TRY. It is really never crowed on the end of the extra mile. I speak out of my very own experience. I have always been a squared head in a round peg hole but look where this odd head got me. Not so bad after all, traveling around realizing street art dreams, walking in the finest shoes.
Thanks Bri for taking the time and answer our questions, we know how busy you are with the preparations for the Big Dream Project. Good Luck!!