Tacos are nice and all, but not very inspiring when it comes to prolonged artwork adventures. That’s why I like drawing inspiration from unusual sources like repairing fridges, as my uncle does for a living, or installing gutters on residential houses, whom my best friend does full time. It feels great to be alive in a world full of strange art and home decor. It’s even stranger when the art has a strange source. Not many artists know how to draw inspiration from such things, but a lot of the best art in history focuses on the mundane. After all, historians like to study art and iconography from history that represents the common people to learn more about regular folks in history, as written sources generally neglect these aspects. For example, we can learn a lot about the roles of women in medieval society from medieval paintings of poor women who are active in their roles.
Painting images of appliance repairmen, likewise, in our modern day will show people in the far future a glimpse into the lives of the people who fix our fridges, ovens and other major home appliances. If you’re a painter, I invite you to paint an image of your window cleaner or the guy who cleans your exterior gutters, because these unusual images naturally draw curiosity, and struggling artists who paint things people expect them to paint have a lot of competition.
This is a special tip for beginning painters who would love to make a name for themselves in their local community: not only paint the common things that people won’t expect, paint a person in your community who a lot of people know, so that when they see the painting in display they will laugh and feel a connection.
It’s easy to paint the things people expect of you, like mountains, lakes and character coffee shops, but if you can paint a person installing gutters on a house and people know who it is, then you got a free ticket to expanding in popularity in your local community. So go out to construction sites and meet people, offer to paint them and tell them when your next exhibition is. They might show up with friends to see your end result.