"Try to Make the World Better": Artist, Richard Hutchins Goes From Homeless to Hollywood
Richard Hutchins, who struggled with homelessness and spent numerous years in prison, now sells his artwork for thousands of dollars to celebrities including Steve Harvey.
Hutchins, born in Atlanta, Georgia, grew up in Techwood Homes, one of America's earliest federal public housing complexes, before relocating to Los Angeles. After discovering an art studio in Los Angeles, California, he began to pursue his passion for painting.
Unfortunately, Hutchins eventually ended himself in a LA county jail for a felony he was subsequently found not guilty of.
Hutchins spent days in prison painting using whatever materials he could find, including toothpaste, Kool-Aid, the colourful dye coating of Skittles and M&Ms, and a paintbrush created from his plucked beard hairs.
Hutchins' painting studio had been destroyed by a fire when he was freed resulting in him becoming homeless once again, spending six years in shelters on Skid Row. However, everything changed on Easter Sunday.
Hutchins was at a grocery store when he bumped into Charlie "Rocket" Jabaley, the former manager of rapper 2Chainz. Jabaley and his firm, the Dream Machine, have been instrumental in changing Hutchins' life ever since.
“My dream is to walk into a museum one day and see one of my paintings hanging on the wall,” Hutchins says.
Spending over $2,000 on painting supplies, Jabaley purchased a shop for Hutchins. Jabaley and his colleagues then created a website for Hutchins to sell his art, including the 250 envelopes he had painted while in jail. Four hours after the website went online, the team had sold $50,000 in paintings.
So far, Hutchins has generated more than $200,000 through art sales, with customers including Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, and Steve Harvey.
Hutchins aims to assist others in escaping Skid Row. “I remember the night I slept in a firm good bed. It was a wonderful experience,” he told CNN. “But I am not comfortable until everybody around me is comfortable, which means the people that I left behind.
“The money that we have raised and continue to raise, I am going to use … to at least try to make the world a little bit better place to live in — especially on Skid Row.”
View More of Richard Hutchins' Artwork Here.
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