It all started when Bataclan moved to Boston from the Midwest to teach computer graphics. After he lost his job, he started painting what are now his signature characters. He sold 49 in two days and wanted to show his gratitude somehow.
But how? Bostonians’ reserved demeanor had bothered him for years. Now he realized the city’s residents were as friendly as Midwesterners—in their own way. It finally came to him: He would give away his artwork and ask just one thing in return. He attached this note and his website address (bataclan.com) to each canvas: “This painting is yours if you promise to smile at random people more often.” It was the beginning of his Smile Project.
Bataclan has left his giveaways in 20 states and 20 countries. People who have found his paintings send him notes and photos. The characters make them smile, his fans tell him, and they give them hope. “It’s nice to know that my art really is making a difference,” he says.
Since the economic downturn, Bataclan, who supports himself as a full-time artist, has been attaching a different note to his canvases: “Everything will be alright.”
Some people like to travel by train because it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of an airplane.
I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”
“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” —Everyone following you on Instagram
A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.
Comedian Greg Davies
Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.
Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.
My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me everything you know.”
“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” —Alcohol
@yoyoha (Josh Hara)
My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.
Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?
A: A mechanic.
More About Inspiring Stories
What You’re Sharing
- Orphaned on the Ocean: The Unbelievable Story of Terry Jo Duperrault
- “Pull Yourself Together!”: Rob Lowe on the Unexpected Tears of Sending His Son to College
- Romancing a Terrorist: I Posed Online as a Young Woman Interested in ISIS
- The Reunion That Took 77 Years to Happen
- The Baby Who Refused to Die: 11 Hours in Room 407