Service Dog Inspires Artist To Paint With His Wheelchair (VIDEO)

Service Dog Inspires Artist To Paint With His Wheelchair

Former art student Tommy Hollenstein was 24 years old when he crashed his bike in a cycling accident in California, leaving the young man wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. It wasn't until 12 years later that the artist reignited his passion for painting, and the inspiration came from one of the most unlikely sources -- his service dog.

In an effort to memorialize his animal companion, Hollenstein decided to have the dog walk across a canvas with paint-covered paws. Hollenstein thought then to cover his own wheels with paint and roll alongside the dog's tracks, creating a touching ode to the relationship between a man and his best friend.

What was intended to be a single art project, though, ended up turning into a lasting pursuit, as Hollenstein has continued to paint using this unique wheelchair method. In fact, he paints regularly now, spending anywhere from a day to three months on a painting. As a result, he's earned quite the reputation as an artist. Celebrities like Slash and Ringo Starr have collected his works.

"I thought that art was stolen from me," Hollenstein recounts in the video above. "I thought creativity was all in my hands. I didn't realize it was really hidden within."

Watch the video above and let us know what you think of Hollenstein's art in the comments.

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