When googling “Unskilled Worker” there is not much coming up. Well, a lot of translations, definitions and stuff, but nothing about the ghost who is breaking Instagram (180k) “I really didn’t expect to get so much interest in my work and then myself“. We have met the anonymous, self-taught artist, who is fashion’s new discovery…


Unskilled Worker



It is barely believable that in today’s digital world someone as talented as the Unskilled Worker decides to stay anonymous (and manages to do so!).

But not only Instagram is in love with this passionate artist – commissions from big fashion houses are piling up, overwhelming the artist on a daily basis “I’m finding it hard to fit everything in and still paint!“.

Why we want to watch? Because there is a certain depth in each painting, touching something vulnerable in each and everyone of us. We can relate to what we see and are fascinated by the beautiful sadness starring at us…



Be part of the Unskilled Worker’s journey @unskilledworker and stay up to date by following us (@jilvalerie and @whatstowatch) on Instagram!



WTL: What do you want to express with your paintings?

UW: I paint as an emotional and instinctive response to an image. It just happens. My purpose is to create a warm, imperfect image that the viewer recognizes and feels that they know.

WTL: Can you describe your design process?

UW: I use materials in an improper way, I like the paper to curl and become a part of the image. I work in layers, keeping the naive shape but creating emotion with color. I am interested in the way clothing and makeup are used as a way to hide vulnerability and to try and control the way we are perceived but for me it is about the inner world and what they cover.

WTL: Your work is…

UW: …a mixture of control and accidents, there is no plan, they happen.

WTL: What inspires you?

UW: I look at so many images, many of them on Instagram. Mostly to do with youth cultures that have been around in my lifetime, I look at them in more of a tribal way. The image chooses me, I can’t quite define why but I have to paint it.

WTL: The fashion world loves your work… Does this come as a surprise to you?

UW: I’ve never defined myself as a fashion artist, the fashion world has picked up on what I am doing but it definitely is not fashion illustration.

WTL: You mostly paint faces with somewhat of a sad expression. Can you explain?

UW: The missing children are concerned with a similar idea, in that at a certain age children begin to feel the pressure to fit in or belong to a type. I think we pick out our characters, we have choices as to who we want to be and we act and dress accordingly, it starts at a young age. In the process things get lost. We can forget who we are. The faces I paint often look a little lost and sad, they are not smiling, I think life does have sadness, we all loose so much. It’s what I see when people think no ones looking.

WTL: Where did you learn to paint and why do you name yourself “Unskilled Worker”?

UW: I am self-taught and use the name Unskilled Worker as a way to denote this.

We respect your anonymity and even more so appreciate this interview. Thank you!



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Picture Credit: Unskilled Worker