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Jimmy Pierce is a Los Angeles-based contemporary urban artist. From a mixed ethnicity background, his work embraces many ideas and concepts that remain constant across cultures. He developed his creative focus at an early age, experimenting with a range of mediums and disciplines and later moving from Arkansas to Los Angeles to fully develop his potential. With elements inspired by 70’s pop culture combined with Pollock, Koons, and Hirst, the artist’s work conveys a message of happiness, freedom, and hope.

Pierce struggles with internal conflicts and demons from his past and by communicating the pain and torment he is able to find positivity, peace, and hope for the future; a message that he shares via his artwork. His pieces have found their way into the collections of ‘A’ list celebrities, professional athletes, fine art collectors, and investors from far afield as LA, NYC, Miami, London, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Artist

the story



February 2017, I boarded a plane with my mom. She wanted to take a trip to the Philippines but she was worried about traveling alone. I had just started painting my first street art smiles that same week and was happy to show her my new art and maybe place some abroad while we were traveling. Our connecting flight was in Hong Kong and my mom was excited to stop there bc she had not been back to HK since she had permanently moved to the US right before I was born. 

The last moments I remember were her telling me she was cold, so I shared my blanket with her and we both went to sleep. That was the last time I got to talk to her. She went to sleep on the plane and never woke back up. Everything was blur after that.


I had to stay in HK for 10 days to make arrangements to send her back home to my dad. That was one of the hardest weeks of my life. I remember sitting in a hotel room with all of her luggage crying my eyes out for days. The only thing that helped me through that time was my smile art. I sat and made smile after smile, painting and drawing faces just to keep my mind busy. I went out all hours of the night and put smiles all over the streets of HK, just so I didn’t have to be stuck in a hotel feeling depressed and sad.

Once I got back to LA, I continued every day making smiles to try and offset my sadness. My mom was such a happy person and I knew she wouldn’t want me to stay in that negative headspace. By making smiles and placing them all over the world I started to receive more and more positivity back from other people that needed them also. Through other people’s posts and positive stories, I was able to heal myself a bit. These few years later I still have my struggles, but so many positive things have come from my street art. Thanks to everyone that enjoy my smiles for helping me stay creative and putting me on the path back to happiness. 

I miss you soooooo much mom! I really wish u were still here to see me grow. I’d give anything just to give you one more hug. All the smiles I paint in this world are for you!

I really hope u can see them all from up there in heaven. 🙏

The Story Behind The Smiles
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