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A TikTok star, famous for paint-mixing videos, was fired this past summer from his part-time job at the Athens Sherwin-Williams store after the company discovered he created content while on the clock using company machinery.
According to Athens News, Tony Piloseno is an Ohio University senior studying marketing in The College of Business. He is also tonesterpaints, a TikTok star amassing more than 1.3 million followers on the platform. He did this by experimenting with paint mixtures that yield gorgeous colors and rich textures.
He began playing with TikTok a year ago, and became fascinated with the creative opportunities of the platform. His talent is paint, and he managed to find a way to popularize his love for paint in his content. “I tried it out and my videos took off almost immediately,” he said in an interview.
His paint-mixing videos became so popular that saw an opportunity to help Sherwin-Williams appeal to a younger crowd. With the help of his professor, he created a presentation which impressed his manager. They both together contacted the corporate marketing offices of Sherin-William, but was rejected after months of silence.
While this was upsetting to Piloseno, he continued to create his videos. One featured him squashing blueberries and mixing them into white paint in an attempt to create a natural blue. In another more recent clip he poured red fruit juice into a canister of paint to create a satisfying textured swirl.
Months later, Pilseno received a call from the corporate loss prevention department, which terminated him on the spot. Their reasoning was the blueberry paint-mixing video, which was subject to a complaint from a customer. It remains unknown why a customer felt upset with the viral blueberry video.
“I mean honestly, I didn’t think they were going to fire me,” Piloseno said. “Like I said, I really loved working for Sherwin-Williams. I loved the process of paint — everything about paint basically. I loved all my co-workers at the Athens store. I loved all the customers. The Athens community is very, very good.”
Just days ago, Piloseno went public about his termination in a TikTok video that went viral, garnering more than 6 million likes.
“I was pretty bummed out at first, but with the support of my friends and family I continued to do what I love … It’s been a struggle, but I’ve been continuing to develop my own brand and make content for people,” he said in the video.