We live in a generation where finding a job is like finding alcohol during the Prohibition. If you are fortunate enough to come across some, it’s probably illegal (or on Craigslist). So, you have to grab social media by the proverbial cojones and create your own job. Like 26-year-old graphic design artist turned Instagram star Patrick Thorendahl’s hilarious Photoshop interpretation of famous celebrity photos.
Patrick, or as his Instagram followers might know him, @Peejet, became a viral sensation after inserting himself into photos as every major celeb’s virtual BFF or lover. Whether it’s hooking up with Rihanna, chilling at the Grammys with Beyonce and Jay-Z, or being the father to baby North West, Patrick’s comical renditions of our favorite celebrities’ best moments have garnered attention not just from social media followers but employers as well.
So how did all of this Insta-fame begin?
“I just thought of doing something stupid to make my friends laugh one day, so I made a picture,” says Thorendahl. “Eventually it just sort of blew up.”
And blow up it did. Megastars like Nicki Minaj, Ludacris and Chad OchoCinco have shared his viral Photoshop flicks to their millions of social media followers. Inevitably, this attracted attention from employers who contracted his help for their campaigns. RCA Records and hip-hop star Meek Mill are a few.
While they didn’t hire Patrick to continue making his now famous self-imposed photos, it’s those Instagram pictures that sparked an interest to investigate his skills further, leading potential contractors to check out his graphic-design work. “Most of my work comes from people finding me on Instagram,” Patrick states. “I've worked with small companies all the way to major record labels. It's crazy where all of this has taken me.”
How long does each photo take to make?
“It depends on each picture,” Patrick says. “I'd say on average about 30 minutes. Some take less, some can take an hour.” Seems like a quick recipe for success.
But was all this a preconceived plan to get to the level he’s at now?
“No, I never thought I could possibly make a career out of it,” he says. “It all started just for fun. That's why whenever people ask me my end goal, I laugh. I never had a goal. I just wanted to make people laugh.”
What cracks us up even more is the one-man-band process of snapping the photos. “The hardest part is running to pose before the timer on my camera goes off,” he says. “It's way too embarrassing posing next to imaginary people to ask anyone to take the pictures of me.”