The new "Optimism Starts With You" mural that has gone up on the side of the restaurant TLC in Lamar Union Plaza has brought a bright burst of color to the mixed-use development. This is the seventh and newest mural to be installed in the residential and entertainment plaza.
"I hope people see it and ask or think, 'How can we be more encouraging and positive with others? How can we make a difference in other people's lives?'" says Mike Johnston, the local artist who goes by the moniker Truth and who painted the mural. "How can you be the calm one, the encouraging one, the one with clarity."
It's the latest project in Frost Bank's Opt for Optimism campaign, in partnership with CultureMap. The colorful new artwork is based around the idea that optimism may start with one person, but it can easily ripple out through small acts and thoughtful moments, therefore changing the people and communities around you.
The mural's silhouette is meant to encourage passersby to stand in its place for photo opps.
Johnston's also hoping that the mural will remind everyone that it's okay to start small. "Just share a smile with someone on the street or at the grocery store, or simply ask someone how they're doing," he says.
Johnston created an Opt for Optimism Spotify playlist — check it out here. Give it a listen if you're in need of some pick-me-up tunes.
If you're looking for some fresh air, stop by and snap a pic with the uplifting mural at 1100 S. Lamar Blvd., on the side of TLC facing Alamo Drafthouse. Be sure to tag @culturemapatx and #optforoptimism if you snap a picture.
"You don't have to pay money to come up and appreciate street art," Johnston says. "It's out there for everybody to enjoy."