Bob Ross: The Happy Little Artist

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By Alina Issakhanian

Bob Ross’ positive attitude and big fluff of curly hair helped us all to not only paint in his iconic “The Joy of Painting” and “Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere” but also feel a little tranquility in the world. For many people, his calming voice has helped encourage sleep through tireless nights. For others, his enthusiasm for painting and his talent in the medium inspired a pursuit of the arts. 

Ross coined the term, “happy little accidents” which can be seen on tee-shirts, pins, stickers, and anything else that can be screen-printed. This phrase is just one of the many things Ross gave us to help us feel calm and encouraged. It also allows amateur painters to feel welcomed into the art community by motivating them even when they make mistakes, which is a word he stays away from. This phrase is no longer limited to the art world, rather becoming the new motto of reassurance. 

“He shows that art isn’t exclusive but rather open to anyone. He helps me understand that painting doesn’t need to be stressful and perfect, that there can be bumps and dips along the way and that it’s all part of the process. He inspires millions of other artists out there. He really has left his mark in society,” junior Ara Cho said. 

Despite his passing away nearly 25 years ago, teenagers who weren’t even alive when his show was airing on live television still have an attachment to him as a person, artist, and TV personality. Many give credit to memes, his iconic hair style, and his soothing voice for bringing him back to the pop-culture scene. His start into the current pop-culture icon that he is, can be credited to Twitch, a popular videogame streaming website. Twitch aired a marathon of all episodes in the series “The Joy of Painting,” which according to Mental Floss, garnered over 5.6 million views. People began to demand the show to be aired regularly. While people started watching his show “ironically,” as in just for the jokes or because it was a meme, many found that they actually liked it, specifically because of his voice that made them feel less stressed. For others, especially those in the art community, Bob Ross has always been an icon, because of his obvious talent in painting. 

¨I first heard about Bob Ross when I was in 3rd grade. I think what keeps his legacy alive is the fact that he isn’t perfect. In this world, we’re all about perfection and trying to be the best, but he opens up this new perspective of not being perfect and that being okay,” Cho said. 

Bob Ross is an inspiration to artists everywhere, a funny meme to people obsessed with the internet, a late-night star of a TV show for students under stress, and in the best possible way, the perfect voice to fall asleep to. May his legacy and art, live on forever.

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