Talking Point: The Real Power of Microsoft Paint

We’ve all been there. At some point we’ve been sat on Paint (the computer programme, not the stuff you put on walls) or an equivalent bit of software, drawing clumpy lines inaccurately with a mouse. It’s come in for its fair share of stick too, with people shunning it, and understandably so, in favour of more sophisticated pieces of software. But there’s still a fun factor with Paint.

But I would challenge you to think of any true masterpieces you’ve created  in Paint, or KidPix if you were a childhood Mac user like myself. They looked great at the time and you’d have been very proud of what you’d made, but never what you’d call sophisticated, especially if you’ve rocked up being a full-time graphic designer like myself.

Let me introduce you to Hal Lasko. He’s 98, and I was introduced to his work by a colleague at work. Lasko, who is of Austrian descent, worked as a graphic artist in Cleveland, OH, in the days before pretty much everything went digital, when proper, physical tools were used to craft our visual world. In the 1990s his family introduced him to the wonders of Paint, and amazingly, he transferred his skill from physical to virtual and became hugely interested in creating works on his computer. Paint’s accessibility has allowed him to keep creating things into his 90s, as in the last 10 years he has lost some of his vision and hearing.

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His prints are available to purchase over at his website, and a selection are currently on offer for $98 dollars in celebration of his birthday, with 10% of each purchase being given to Veterans of Foreign Wars (he served in WWII). You can find out more over at his website.

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I think we’ll all rethink Paint’s capabilities after witnessing Lasko’s work, but of course his talent as a creative is, it would appear, fairly unrivalled. An amazing story.