She visited an antique warehouse five towns over her home and reunited with her childhood artwork for free.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 27, 2023. It has since been updated.
Artwork by children often reveals a unique and unfiltered perspective of the world. Through their art, they express their emotions, imagination and creativity, which provide insights into their thoughts and experiences. Such artwork can serve as a powerful tool for communication and self-expression while also serving as a source of inspiration for adults. However, we might not expect anyone to sell the artwork we created as children without our knowledge. A TikTok user's casual visit to a thrift store unexpectedly led her to reunite with one of her old paintings, which was up for sale without her knowledge.
While visiting an antique warehouse on a whim, Nicole Dominguez stumbled upon an artwork that looked familiar. In a TikTok video, she showed a portrait of her mom that she had painted when she was five years old, which was on sale for $48.00 as an "Amateur Watercolor." Nicole expressed her confusion in the video as she held the painting and looked around in disbelief. However, the seller was kind enough to let her keep the painting for free. The text overlay in the video reads, "POV: You visit an antique warehouse five towns over on a whim and the first thing you see is the portrait of your mom you did when you were 5yo being sold for $48.00 as 'Amateur Watercolor.'"
The video has gathered almost 600k views and over 218 comments. A TikTok user @tinoandyeggy said, "Was this in Aurora? I was there and overheard the convo at the register asking you for a pic!! The algorithm is wild." Another person @mistymadonna commented, "I saw a TT where something similar happened and it was the school who took the artwork and they found theirs in a museum." @sillykon said, "This happened to me but the oil painting was by my grandmother! $75."
Nicole explains in the video, "The first thing that I saw was the portrait of my mom that I did when I was five. I immediately FaceTimed my mom who was shocked that it was being sold, and she instructed me to buy it back no matter the cost and ask where they sourced it." According to Nicole, she and her mother have relocated and some of their possessions were either left in old furniture or placed in storage. The owners of the antique warehouse contacted the seller who allegedly claimed to have no knowledge of the painting's origin.
"She said that because it came in a frame already, she could not get the back off of it… I told them that if they opened the back they would see the date, name and the age I was when I painted it written by my mom on the back," she added. Nicole then defends her mother, saying, "We’re very very happy that she’s home. For those who say that my mom gave it away, you do not know my mom," she laughs, pointing out that her mother only kept one piece of artwork from each of her and her sister's childhood. "Because of the small space of our new house, she wrapped it up and had to choose to put it in storage. And that’s where she thought it was, even though she was looking for it later on." "We still have no idea how this piece ended up in a thrift store, but we’re very very happy that she’s home," Nicole concludes.