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People are sharing the weirdest, most unforgettable art they've found in thrift stores

As the old saying goes, one person's trash is another one's treasure.

thrift store art, thrift stores, bryan dickerson

A few of the rare finds at Thrift Store Art's Instagram page

As the old saying goes, one person's trash is another one's treasure.

Even though people can easily buy used items on eBay, the thrift store business thrives in America, bringing in an estimated $10 billion annually. At a time when the economy is shaky, thrift stores are a recession-proof business. When times are tough, people love to find a deal, and there's never any end to the fashionistas who roam thrift stores looking for a rare find.

San Francisco surfer and self-proclaimed thrift store junkie Bryan Dickerson has turned his passion for rare treasures into an Instagram page with over 246,000 followers. Thrift Store Art showcases the most bizarre things that thrifters find in stores and leans heavily into strange-looking works of art and clothing with questionable sayings. His crowds of followers send him countless strange finds every day, and he rewards them by calling them rude names in the comments.

But for Dickerson, it's all in fun.

He told Bored Panda that the idea of Thrift Store Art is “not to bash art but to expand what can be considered as art—clothing, album art, book graphics, vacation souvenirs.” Dickerson's foray into thrift store content was a much-needed break from his job as the editor of a news website.


“I wanted a space where I could post fan art of Tom Selleck and say that it’s Pat Sajak or claim that every post is our 'first post ever and still our favorite!'” he told Bored Panda.

Here are 13 of the best finds from Thrift Store Art and they cover everything from odd-looking rock stars to a truly epic portrait of a sad Barack Obama.

1.

This appears to be a work of art celebrating a kind-looking lady with three beautiful cats and a husband that loves to light up a Camel while sitting shirtless in his Lazy Boy.

thrift store art, bad art, paintings

Painting of a family

via Thrift Store Art

2.

It's either Elvis Presley after he went a few rounds with Muhammad Ali or an impersonator with a rather large nose.

thrift store art, bad art, elvis

The King (we think)

via Thrift Store Art

3.

"Chewy loves the little children. All of the children of the world."

thrift store art, bad art, chewbacca

Chewbacca scaring children

via Thrift Store Art

​4.

The Kennedy brothers as remembered by someone with some serious issues with depth perception.

thrift store art, bad art, jfk, rfk

John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy

via Thrift Store Art

5.

A pillow of former President George W. Bush admiring Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This probably helped a lot of people sleep easily in the early aughts.

thrift store art, bad art, george w. bush

George W. Bush and Jesus pillow

via Thrift Store Art

​6.

It's either a coffee mug of E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial or a monkey missing an arm. You decide.

thrift store art, bad art, et

E.T. in his teapot pose

via Thrift Store Art

7.

This is truly an impressive beehive. Priscilla Presley would totally be jealous.

thrift store art, bad art, big hair

A woman with an enormous beehive hairdo

via Thrift Store Art

8.

The artist took a big swing at capturing the majesty of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, but the piece falls a little flat. It could be that it looks like the microphone is attached to an upright vacuum cleaner.

thrift store art, bad art, queen

Freddie Mercury on canvas

via Thrift Store Art

9.

David Bowie's French passport was located in a thrift store in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

thrift store art, bad art, david bowie

Ziggy Stardust sans Spiders from Mars

via Thrift Store Art

10.

The guy on top is clearly John Lennon and beneath him, Paul McCartney. But the other two don't resemble Beatles at all. It's more like John Oates from Hall and Oates and Sonny Bono. This must have been for some Monsters of Rock-themed Ice Capades show.

thrift store art, bad art, beatles

The Beatles on ice

via Thrift Store Art

11.

This is the look Willie Nelson gives people when they owe him money.

thrift store art, bad art,

A stern-looking Willie Nelson

via Thrift Store Art

12.

It's either former president Barack Obama or Moe Howard of "The Three Stooges" after a lousy round of golf.

thrift store art, bad art, obama

Obama looking super bummed out

via Thrift Store Art

13.

This painting appears to be a tribute to a dog that really needs some water.

thrift store art, bad art, dog painting

A painting of a dog panting

via Thrift Store Art

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

Gen Z is navigating a career landscape unlike any other.

True

Every adult generation has its version of a “kids these days” lament, labeling the up-and-coming generation as less resilient or hardworking compared to their own youth. But Gen Z—currently middle school age through young adulthood—is challenging that notion with their career readiness.

Take Abigail Sanders, an 18-year-old college graduate. Thanks to a dual enrollment program with her online school, she actually earned her bachelor’s degree before her high school diploma. Now she’s in medical school at Bastyr University in Washington state, on track to become a doctor by age 22.

a family of 6 at a graduation with two graduatesAll four of the Sanders kids have utilized Connections Academy to prepare for their futures.

Abigail’s twin sister, Chloe, also did dual enrollment in high school to earn her associate’s in business and is on an early college graduation path to become a vet tech.

Maeson Frymire dreams of becoming a paramedic. He got his EMT certification in high school and fought fires in New Mexico after graduation. Now he’s working towards becoming an advanced certified EMT and has carved his career path towards flight paramedicine.

Sidny Szybnski spends her summers helping run her family’s log cabin resort on Priest Lake in Idaho. She's taken business and finance courses in high school and hopes to be the third generation to run the resort after attending college.

log cabin resort on edge of forestAfter college, Sidny Szybnski hopes to run her family's resort in Priest Lake, Idaho.

Each of these learners has attended Connections Academy, tuition-free online public schools available in 29 states across the U.S., to not only get ready for college but to dive straight into college coursework and get a head start on career training as well. These students are prime examples of how Gen Zers are navigating the career prep landscape, finding their passions, figuring out their paths and making sure they’re prepared for an ever-changing job market.

Lorna Bryant, the Head of Career Education for Connections Academy’s online school program, says that Gen Z has access to a vast array of career-prep tools that previous generations didn’t have, largely thanks to the internet.

“Twenty to 30 years ago, young people largely relied on what adults told them about careers and how to get there,” Bryant tells Upworthy. “Today, teens have a lot more agency. With technology and social media, they have access to so much information about jobs, employers and training. With a tap on their phones, they can hear directly from people who are in the jobs they may be interested in. Corporate websites and social media accounts outline an organization’s mission, vision and values—which are especially important for Gen Z.”

Research shows over 75% of high schoolers want to focus on skills that will prepare them for in-demand jobs. However, not all teens know what the options are or where to find them. Having your future wide open can be overwhelming, and young people might be afraid of making a wrong choice that will impact their whole lives.

Bryant emphasizes that optimism and enthusiasm from parents can help a lot, in addition to communicating that nothing's carved in stone—kids can change paths if they find themselves on one that isn’t a good fit.

Dr. Bryant and student video meeting Dr. Bryant meeting with a student

“I think the most important thing to communicate to teens is that they have more options than ever to pursue a career,” she says. “A two- or four-year college continues to be an incredibly valuable and popular route, but the pathways to a rewarding career have changed so much in the past decade. Today, career planning conversations include options like taking college credit while still in high school or earning a career credential or certificate before high school graduation. There are other options like the ‘ships’—internships, mentorships, apprenticeships—that can connect teens to college, careers, and employers who may offer on-the-job training or even pay for employees to go to college.”

Parents can also help kids develop “durable skills”—sometimes called “soft” or “human” skills—such as communication, leadership, collaboration, empathy and grit. Bryant says durable skills are incredibly valuable because they are attractive to employers and colleges and transfer across industries and jobs. A worldwide Pearson survey found that those skills are some of the most sought after by employers.

“The good news is that teens are likely to be already developing these skills,” says Bryant. Volunteering, having a part-time job, joining or captaining a team sport can build durable skills in a way that can also be highlighted on college and job applications.

Young people are navigating a fast-changing world, and the qualities, skills and tools they need to succeed may not always be familiar to their parents and grandparents. But Gen Z is showing that when they have a good grasp of the options and opportunities, they’re ready to embark on their career paths, wherever they may lead.

Learn more about Connections Academy here and Connections’ new college and career prep initiative here.

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