The Restaurant Worker – Tyler Voorhees

Tyler Voorhees
The Restaurant Worker


My art is about jobs. Workers of the past have been my primary focus for the past 10 years and these stories still get my painting hand shaking with excitement in the morning. There are a handful of reasons that I’m drawn to this subject matter but the most important motivation for my art is that I want people to know that their work is important. By looking at The Jobs of Yesteryear, I hope your thoughts meander to the present and the work that you do. I hope the significance of this past worker will transfer to your industry and you come away feeling a renewed sense that the work you do is needed and meaningful. Because no matter what your title, your work is important.

As I watch millions of people’s jobs around the world shift in the last month, varying from being completely laid off to juggling kids and working remotely to busier than ever, I’m struck that maybe now is the time that people, like you, won’t find your work so mundane. Perhaps there will be a renewed sense of vigor for your job, the work you do, and its importance. We often fail to fully appreciate something until it is gone and for many, their job and ultimately part of their identity have gone missing during this pandemic.

The work I do involves a lot of reading and researching stories from workers of the past and now I want to shift the focus to the present. I want to read your story about your job and work as it is right now:

What do you do?

What does it currently look like?

What has changed?

How do you feel about it?

I will choose from the stories I receive, create a small sketch or painting to go along with that story, and post it to my social media and website using just your first name and location. If I choose your story, I’ll send you the art I create that goes along with it, no strings attached. Booyah!

I want to hear and share workers’ voices from the present, the right now, as it is changing. My hope is that this campaign and the art that comes from it will brighten some workers’ days and help us collectively appreciate the work we all do.