After a 10-year-old boy asked his dad to teach him Photoshop, they came up with a unique project: adding lifeboats and other search and rescue vehicles into iconic paintings.
Last week, Andy Doe's son Henry, a young artist and sailor, asked his dad to teach him to use the program. Their efforts resulted in a whole collection of famous paintings edited to show help on the way — and the internet loved it.
Over the weekend, Doe posted some of the images in a Twitter thread that has since gone viral, amassing thousands of retweets and more than 50,000 likes.
Doe, a volunteer crew member at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's Hastings Lifeboat Station in southern England, told BuzzFeed News he and Henry decided to add lifeboats to paintings because of his background in search and rescue and "because there are so many famous paintings representing people in peril at sea."
"It started as a bit of a joke, and I only put them on Twitter so a few of my friends on the Lifeboat crew could see," Doe said in an email. "I thought it was pretty niche content, but it quickly became clear there are lots of Lifeboat fans out there."
Pretty soon, Doe said, they started to get requests from friends and strangers around the world to add vessels, vehicles, and aircraft to different works of art.
"I’m always a bit nervous putting anything to do with my kids online, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with the exception of a few of my clients, who want to know why I can’t make content this popular for them," said Doe, a university lecturer and digital marketing consultant. In his work, he uses Photoshop to edit album covers for classical records.
"This has been a really great project to do together, and it has been fun to combine our hobbies," Doe said.
Henry told BuzzFeed News his favorite image was probably J. M. W. Turner's "Wreck Off Hastings," the first painting they edited, because it shows an area where his dad and the other volunteer crew members do rescues in real life.
"There’s a print of this in our bathroom, but I might have to swap it with my version and see if Mummy notices," Henry said an email.
Now, the 10-year-old has a new hobby and is thinking about relocating some famous buildings in his next Photoshop series.
"It’s been a good chance to learn how to use some new tools and methods, and I think this will keep me busy until I’m old enough to join the [Lifeboat] crew myself," he said.