There is a wonderful documentary called “Beautiful Losers.”
The 2008 film was created by filmmaker Aaron Rose and is about an underground, outsider, creative movement called the “beautiful losers” movement.
It has interviews with Shepard Fairey, Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, Jo Jackson and others who help us understand the meaning of being a beautiful loser.
It is a heartfelt, quirky look at 14 artists who use graffiti, skateboarding, street music and other mediums like these to help us see and feel the world more clearly and deeply.
You might know of Shepard Fairey. He is the street artist who created the iconic HOPE poster of Barack Obama that became the picture of the 2008 election.
Do you know any of the other artists? Some are graffiti artists, some are photographers, some are directors, some are painters and some are sculptors. They are bound by a common philosophy that inspires me: “make something from nothing.”
As you hear their stories, you learn that they were considered “nothing” and “losers” when they first began creating their art, but that they became “something” and “beautiful” by joining together into a community and encouraging each other to keep on creating.
Their stories and art remind me that genius is found in amazing people and surprising places, and that I can find this genius if only I have eyes to see and a heart to hear.
I encourage you to make something out of nothing and create art every day.
Trevor Barton teaches second grade and is a member of First Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C.
A fourth grade public school teacher and member of First Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina.