When Rob joined our Chicago community, he didn’t just want to share his car. He wanted to share his craft, too — so he stocked his wheels with some blank canvases, picked up a fresh set of pastels, and invited his riders to contribute to a living work of art that’s growing by the mile. What looks like a bunch of random doodles are powerful narratives that form a bigger picture of community. It's not unlike the technique Rob uses in his own pieces, including the 5-foot acrylic sculpture he made for Hearts a Bluhm, a public art display on Michigan Avenue.
His specialty is pointillism, the same technique used by Vincent van Gogh, but with a modern twist. Instead of a making dots with a paintbrush, Rob creates scenes with Sharpies.
Landscape by Rob
He started experimenting with pointillism a decade ago on vacation in Mauai, shortly after leaving a career at an ad agency in the Loop to return to his childhood passion. He started small, tapping out just a first dots at first, and by the end of the day, he had six figures of specks that formed a single beautiful landscape.
Today he’s a full-time artist in Chicago and one of the city’s founding Lyft drivers.
Ridesharing is a great fit for a freelancer like Rob, who needs a flexible schedule so he can travel for shows. When he’s not drawing or driving, he’s using his master’s in higher education to tutor adults in public speaking. His ease at making great conversation in his gallery-on-wheels helps every rider feel like a friend.
"You're a driver, but an artist even more."
Chicago is the third largest in the U.S., but the Lyft community makes it feel a little smaller. Driving for Lyft has connected Rob with faces old and new, reuniting him with his fellow Columbia College alumni and helping him grow his professional network. His most serendipitous ride yet was with the curator of a downtown art gallery, who took a liking to Rob’s work and gave him his own show!