Proposing marriage is never easy. Last year, Kansas City-based artist Aaron Vandenbroucke pondered his financial situation and general nervousness over when and how to propose to his then long-time girlfriend Tamara Marie Altherr. Finally, he decided upon something personal.
The couple met through Tamara’s interest in art, and art had continued to be an important part of their relationship.
“We got to know each other through art. As an artist and graphic designer, I like to draw and paint. I’d even paint on her old t-shirts and put them back in her closets as a surprise,” said Aaron.
As they booked a trip to Bend, Oregon, to visit family for Thanksgiving last year, Aaron set out on his secret plan–a street art proposal.
“I’ve always been a big fan of graffiti. I hadn’t really worked with wall paste before,” said Aaron, “But I was inspired by the work of graffiti artists and graphic designers who pulled it off, so I thought, ‘I’d like to do that–only bigger.’”
Aaron got to work.
“I prepared for almost four weeks, working every night in my basement, painting on rolls of newspaper,” said Aaron. “Every piece is personal, a scene from our lives together so far.”
He also enlisted the help of his friends and family.
“I contacted some friends who are artists, and two of them, Simon Stutts and Nic Trent, sent me artwork I incorporated into the plan. I had my brothers and their girlfriends help me with installation in Bend the night before.”
With all the pieces in place, the artist and filmmaker put the wheels in motion. Here’s how it turned out.
Love makes you do crazy things.
For some, love is an industry–a $14 billion dollar industry, according to the National Retail Federation. For instance, during Valentine’s Day, some stick to the tried and true buying of roses and candy. By some estimates, over 200 million roses are given by paramours and admirers during the Valentine’s week. Others contribute to the over $400 million spent on candy.
We’re so glad for people like Aaron, who use their creativity and inspire us to do the same. We wish him and Tamara all the happiness $14 billion can’t buy. It just goes to show, a little and creativity goes a long way–like forever. (For more of their romantic story, go here.)
What’s next for Aaron? Let’s just say warehouses and walls in Kansas City should look out. There’s a love-struck street artist in town.