O love the idea sfoster. Reminds me of my own paintings...... I recognise myself in the protagonist.
Hahaha......I did do art school. I recognise him as myself. I made depressing art installations and paintings. Wanted to communicate feelings of surreal and dread into the audience. (that's how I did feel ad the time) .... the art installations pusht me into the direction of movies. Now I only paint as a hobby. Perhaps I was looking for a way to communicate to the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind fascinates me....I'm not religious but I think the subconscious mind is linkt to a world that is immaterial.
As I said there are a million ways to go with this. I could give you some suggestions but I do not yet know the outline of your story. So Does his paintings need to go viral in your story? Mass suicide is a must? What's the message you want to get across?
He wakes up in the hospital greeted by a doctor that tells him on his request they have performed a surgery on him to forget his past ( Like the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind). His past is shrouded in mystery. He's been given money and everything else he needs to be able to live a happy life. He doesn't know/ remember how he achieved all this. The itch comes in to find out about his past again. During his journey, although he has everything everybody dreams of, he still attracts and perceives only the negative in life, as if he's wired to do so. A quote by schopenhauer comes to mind ( Used recently in the Dark tv show season 3 ) : " A man can do what he wills. But he can not will what he wills". By the end of the movie he realizes there is no escape from creating these depressing paintings that have caused so much human loss. That is the only thing he loves and gives meaning to his life. Now he must decide : Paint and let others commit suicide, or commit suicide himself.
I hate amnesia tropes
anyway i think youre missing the heart of this story which is about the internal conflict - coming at me with a suggestion of a character that isnt even aware of his past or feelings shows youre not getting it
He's always dreamt of it but he can't help create something so depressing that causes people to commit suicide. Because of his past he is propelled to do so. It's a natural human response: What we do not have we yearn for.#2 an artist that has always dreamt of creating something happy is the exact opposite of what this character is tho