How Timing And Going Viral Just Changed One Artist's Life: 'Five Days Ago I Was Homeless'
Photo Credit: Robin L Marshall

How Timing And Going Viral Just Changed One Artist's Life: 'Five Days Ago I Was Homeless'

A random store run on Easter Sunday changed this man’s life forever!

Richard Hutchins was once an artist who lived on the streets of Los Angeles, but now he’s turning his life around after landing his paintings in the right hands.

According to The Grio, Hutchins began living on the streets due to his art studio burning down a few years ago.

That all changed during a trip to Ralph’s grocery store when Hutchins met Charlie Rocket, a philanthropist and founder, who just so happens to be the former manager to the rapper, 2 Chainz.

In an interview with TMZ, Rocket explains the moments that led up to meeting Hutchins.

“I went into Target, and I’ve never seen Target closed before, Walmart, Target, they’re just always open,” said Rocket. “So I was like, you know what, let’s go over to Ralphs, we pull up to Ralphs, and this guy is sitting on a shopping cart with amazing energy. [Richard] said, ‘Nephew, I like your car let me drive it.’”

For Rocket, meeting Hutchins was fate.

“I was like, ‘I like this guy,’” Rocket said. “How I look at it is, God closed down Target just so I could meet Richard and we fell in love with him ever since.”

It was Hutchins’ story that inspired Rocket.

“He started telling us his story about how he used to be a world-famous artist like he would win art shows and he painted for Muhammad Ali and you know Richard Pryor and all these different people have his art,” Rocket continued. “He just started showing us his art and that’s what inspired us to make Richard’s dream come true because his dream was simple, ‘I just want people to be inspired by my work.’”

According to Because of Them We Can, Rocket joined forces with Hutchins to help him fulfill his dream of selling art and inspiring people through his work.

Rocket kicked off the plan by selling some of Hutchins’ paintings online, helping him to develop a website, and encouraging others to purchase his art to get him off of the streets.

Upon launching the site, the movement exploded even more!

After going viral, Rocket decided to organize a gallery and auction event for Hutchins which — despite the short notice — garnered hundreds of attendees. 

Not only was the event a success, but Hutchins even managed to sell one of his paintings for $23,000.

“Hey guys, five days ago I was homeless. What I didn’t do, I didn’t give up my dream. I didn’t lose hope,” Hutchins expressed to a crowd on the red carpet before the event. “My spirit wasn’t broken. This night is not for me. It’s for every homeless person or homeless artist that is left on the street out there. This is for them. And I promise you to this end, I’ll pay it forward!”

With his newfound success, Hutchins wants to pay it forward by giving back to his community.

“I’m going to go back to skid row and see where I can be of use,” shared Hutchins. “At this point right now, I have over $200,000.”

Click here to support Richard Hutchins’ work.