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In today’s world, Bob Ross’ painting tutorials have served as a refuge of peace and joy for BYU-Idaho students.

“Bob Ross is a very peaceful gentleman. He makes me feel like I’m on cloud nine,” said Manuel Santos, a sophomore studying business management. “Just watching his stuff and watching him paint makes me feel like I’m on a whole different cosmic plane. It feels good.”

Students shared how Ross’ use of phrases, such as “happy little accidents,” has inspired them.

“He changed my life,” said Natal Rossainz, a junior studying accounting. “There is a quote from him that says ‘We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents’ and I think that’s pretty cool. It releases stress not just in painting, but also in life when we make mistakes.”

Bob Ross’ show The Joy of Painting aired from 1983 to 1994, and today his tutorials have garnered millions of views on YouTube. For many students, Bob Ross’ tutorials provide a way to come together for a relaxing and bonding group activity.

“My FHE … had a Bob Ross party where we actually watched some of his videos and tried to imitate his painting,” said Carson Criger, a sophomore studying architecture. “They didn’t turn out as good as his, but it was exciting and interesting to paint what was on his show.”

So how did Bob Ross become the pop culture icon he is today?

According to Alexxa Gotthardt from Artsy, Ross’ rise to the mainstream may be attributed to his “un-intimidating introduction to art,” which enabled viewers with limited resources to enjoy painting from the comfort of their own homes.

However, there are other theories for Ross’ rise to fame.

“It’s the hair,” said Byron Bates, an art faculty member. “He looks like a happy little paintbrush with the devil all beat out of him. That is all.”

Regardless of how he reached his popularity, Bob Ross has now reached the mainstream and seems to be here to stay. This truth is manifest in the extensive array of Bob Ross merchandise has been carried by the BYU-Idaho University Bookstore.

Mariah Miller, a senior studying exercise physiology, and Paola Benavides, a senior studying art, talked about the recent Pop Culture Sale at the bookstore and the wide array of Bob Ross merchandise carried by the store.

They reported that this year the Pop Culture Sale was successful. Items in the sale included Bob Ross, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who themed merchandise, as well as toys and games.

The University Store carries a wide array of Bob Ross merchandise including buttons, socks, notebooks, mugs and coloring books

The Pop Culture Sale came to a close on Feb. 2, but students can look forward to more sales from the University Store.

The Student Day sale is coming up this month on Feb. 21 and will feature sales on a wide array of merchandise, including exercise clothing. There will also be a sale on items from the Think custom print shop, including Valentine’s Day (and anti-Valentine’s Day) graphics.


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