Bob Ross is Boss

Everyone likes Bob Ross, right? He's so charming, talented, and most of all, inspirational. There will always be artists in the world, but I'm sure Bob Ross has been a big inspiration to many, including myself. And there's a lot more to the man than his afro and happy trees. 

Who is Bob Ross?

Bob Ross wasn't always the calm and cheerful man we see in the Joy of Painting. At 18 he enrolled in the Air Force and moved his way up the ranks to first sergeant, where he became the guy that had to be mean.

''I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work... The job requires you to be a mean, tough person. And I was fed up with it. I promised myself that if I ever got away from it, it wasn't going to be that way any more.''

Source: Orlando Sentinal

Bob Ross was stationed in Alaska, where he was inspired by the landscapes. He developed his quick painting style during this time, and eventually started making more money selling his artwork than he earned with the Air Force. After leaving the military, Bob Ross eventually started up his art business and started appearing on television, on the PBS show The Joy of Painting. True to his word, Bob's persona was quite different, and he became a very encouraging and positive man. 

Bob's Influence

I'm a 90's kid, which means I never had a chance to watch the Joy of Painting when it aired, but I saw plenty of episodes growing up via re-runs. More than anything, I was mesmerized by Bob Ross's soothing instructions, and quick painting skills. It is something that has always stuck with me, and even more so in adulthood when I started working at Paint Nite, which takes on a similar structure. 

To be honest, I had only seen a handful of episodes, but then came the week of October 29th, 2015. For 9 days straight, all 31 seasons of the show were streamed non-stop on Twitch.tv. I was not very productive that week. Almost as amazing as the the paintings, was the chat. I've never seen a group of people more in sync, between the "RUINED" that would fill the boards whenever Bob would add a new element, to the "RIP Devil" that would occur when Bob would "beat the devil" out of the brush to clean it. If you missed out on that marathon, fret not! Every October 29th, you can look forward to the Joy of Painting. If you don't feel like waiting, you can always catch the full episodes on Bob Ross's official YouTube channel.