GEORGETOWN, Ill. (WCIA) — A Georgetown man picked up a paint brush and found his passion. That simple act helped him get his life back on track and his work can be found across the country.
Aaron Schmidt said murals are his way of showing love to his community and they return that love by showing support. But he didn’t start out with murals like this one.
Two years ago, his life was on a downward spiral. He was on the street and struggling with addiction when he decided to start painting. Someone saw one of his paintings and they wanted to buy it.
He sold it for $20 and decided he could keep doing it. He said art got him out of his addiction. Today, he’s being commissioned for his work and he uses his gift to pay homage to Georgetown.
The names of classmates and neighbors who have passed away are worked into his latest mural. He encourages members of the community to add to it.
“I hope it just brings a smile to their face at one point in time. If it does that, I did my job and that’s cool with me,” Schmidt said. “At the end of the day, I’m cool with the smiles of people coming by, the honks, the waves, hey the good job’s. I’m awesome with that and that’s my payment for everything I’ve done.”
Schmidt has sold art pieces in more than 20 states and he is working on his fourth mural in Vermilion County. He said it shows that anything is possible, no matter the situation. The up-and-coming artist said his key to success is treating every project like a masterpiece.
He has a public murals at East Main and Brook Streets in Westville, Highway 36 and College Street in Danville, Main and West 11th Street in Georgetown and Kickapoo Drive and South Henning Road in Danville.