Most people look at thrift store art and see trash. Dave Pollot sees opportunity.
By day, Pollot works as a software programmer. At night, he turns thrift store artwork into the kind of nostalgia-laced magic you see above.
'Before I began repurposing discarded thrift art, I painted more 'serious' architectural paintings and landscapes. While I loved this, I found that I got bored very quickly (which resulted in about three completed paintings a year),' Pollot explained on his website.
But between his wife's love for thrift store shopping and his passion for pop culture, a new concept was born.
Pollot spoke with Business Insider via email. 'I paint pop culture parodies of the things that I know and love,' he said. 'Gaming was a big part of my childhood, so you'll definitely see a lot of classic video game paintings, but movies, television, sci-fi, and tech also make up a large part of what I've done.'
After choosing a painting from his collection of thrift art, he spends anywhere from 8 to 36 hours transforming the work.
'It very much depends on the size and complexity of the piece, but generally somewhere between 8 and 36 hours,' he said.
Pollot doesn't do this full-time; his day job is programming. 'Perhaps someday I'll be painting full-time, but for now it's really nice that there's no pressure on the artwork,' he told us.
Pollot says he loves his job as a software programmer, and creating this art on the side allows him to 'balance the left and right sides' of his brain.
'I also really enjoy my job. It balances the left and right sides of my brain while allowing me the opportunity to work with some really smart and talented people who generally stay pretty immersed in geek/pop culture,' he said. 'My wife, Becca, takes care of the business side of things so that I can focus on the art. It works out really well.'
'I hope that I'm getting better and learning more with each one, so I try to take what I've learned from past paintings and apply it to whatever it is that I'm currently working on,' Pollot said.
Since the paintings are all completely different styles, Pollot has to be really flexible with his talents.
'The challenge of blending my additions into each new piece keeps me pretty busy,' he told us. 'More importantly, it keeps me interested!'
Pollot's process varies from piece to piece, but the overall concept remains: choose a canvas, sketch an idea, get to work.
Pollot describes his process as such:
'I have a basement full of unaltered backgrounds (most of which are old framed prints on board or canvas). It kind of works both ways: Sometimes I'll know what I want to paint and need to find the right background, and other times I have a great background and just need to figure out what to add. Once I've got a background and subject, I'll typically either sketch it out on paper or use my tablet and draw on a capture of the background for placement. From there, it's just a matter of making that first brush stroke. I'll often use a light colour and sort of paint an outline of what I'm going to add, and then fill in.'
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