I Wish I Said Hello: Making street art out of missed connections

Newly launched online project I Wish I Said Hello invites members of the public to create street art out of missed connections.

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Remember when we ran a missed connections competition, and the winning entry was illustrated by author Sophie Blackall? Well here’s your chance to visually portray some of those poignant, public expressions of unrequited love/lust. Lisa Park and Adrià Navarro—the team behind I Wish I Said Hello (iwishisaidhello.org)—have created a street art project based around other people’s crossed paths. Here’s how it works: Choose a suitable missed connection from Craigslist or some other source, making sure it mentions the specific location where the event unfolded. Download the template (which is in the shape of a Google Maps pin) and fill in the details. Print it out and stick it at the site of the missed connection.

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The site launched in May with six stickers proclaiming thoughts like “You caught my eye. Didn’t want to be creepy so I tried not to look your way” and “Next time you bum a smoke, we’re falling in love together” at various Manhattan locations. But Navarro is quick to point out that this is a street art project, not a platform to help people find each other. “Although we would love it if the two main characters passed by our stickers and reconnected, we think the chances of that happening are very low,” he says. Instead, the focus is on the street art itself, and the reactions it provokes in passersby. “There’s something poetic about this desperate hope for the reencounter. Everyone can relate to it, because it’s those little details and everyday encounters that improve our quality of life.”

  • Illustration: Sophie Blackall

    Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections

  • Illustration: Sophie Blackall

    Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections

  • Illustration: Sophie Blackall

    Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections

  • Illustration: Sophie Blackall

    Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections

  • Illustration: Sophie Blackall

    Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections

  • Illustration: Sophie Blackall

    Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections

  • Illustration: Sophie Blackall

    Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections

  • Illustration: Sophie Blackall

    Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections

Illustration: Sophie Blackall

Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections

And if you need more inspiration, check out these selections from Sophie Blackall’s sweetly whimsical book of illustrated Craigslist ads titled Missed Connections: Love, Lost and Found (Workman Publishing, $14).

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