Bob Ross and the Joy of Painting - Deepstash

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Why Is Bob Ross Still So Popular?

Bob Ross and the Joy of Painting

  • Bob Ross created and hosted Joy of Painting, an instructional television show that ran for years.
  • Even 25 years after his death, Bob Ross Inc. is still thriving. The official Bob Ross YouTube channel has over 4 million subscribers and more than 360 million total views. With the pandemic, millions of people have turned to Joy of Painting episodes.
  • Bob Ross had a level of positivity that was contagious. When someone can display that amount of peaceful happiness, it compels people to partake in the bliss.
  • Each episode feels complete. Before therapists knew to tell clients to be mindful and present, Ross told his viewers to appreciate every breath.

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Genius is not tied to age
Genius is not tied to age

Genius is tied up with precocity. We think brilliance requires youth and energy and freshness. Mozart wrote his breakthrough Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-Flat-Major at the age of twenty-one. T.S. ...

Early and late bloomers

Prodigies like Picasso, who created a masterpiece at age twenty, tend to be "conceptual" in the sense that they start with a clear idea of where they want to go, and then accomplish it. Picasso once said that he could hardly understand the importance given to the word 'research.'

But late bloomers tend to work the other way around. Their goals are imprecise and their procedure experimental. They build their skills gradually throughout their careers, improving slowly over long periods.

Experimental artists

Experimental artists are perfectionists and are typically plagued by frustration in their inability to reach their goal. Their creativity proceeds through trial and error and takes a long time to come to fruition.

  • When Cézanne was painting a portrait of the critic Gustave Geffroy, he made him endure eighty sittings before he declared the project a failure. He was notorious for slashing his canvases to pieces in fits of frustration.
  • Mark Twain was the same. He fiddled and despaired and revised and gave up on "Huckleberry Finn" so many times that the book took him nearly a decade to complete.
Limitations of Language

The rich and diverse aspects of human experience cannot be captured by the language of philosophy, no matter how rich it becomes.

Great poets see life around them as we do, but they skillful...

The Canvas

Literal language is functional, and is a utility, serving the purpose of communication, while poetry captures the beauty, the essence of an object, doing away with the descriptions and linear definitions.

The creative nature of consciousness can be described by the analogy of a canvas. Our consciousness is a blank canvas initially and as we gain education, experiences and perform actions, we paint this canvas, slowly adding details, and the final work of art is the story of our lives.


Our expression of creativity is born out of the interactions and experiences we keep having. The canvas that we paint can be cohesive and whole or can be broken and messy.

The Truth Shines

There are some creative and artistic people who are genuinely authentic in anything they do. They are having a secret inside them, a fragrance that comes with completeness and realism. These people have, through hardships, suffering, and reconciliation, have discovered a core inside them, a certain light that is brightly shining.

This quality shines through in the writings and works of genuine artists. Maybe their poetry, which is seemingly so profound, isn’t poetry at all, but pure truths that they have simply expressed honestly.

The planning fallacy
The planning fallacy

Is our tendency to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a task. Estimation mistakes can usually be attributed to 2 key factors:

  • Failing to consider how long i...
Use historical data

Start by asking: How long do such projects usually last?

If you’re coding a new feature for your company’s app, look at how long it took your team to build and release a similar feature in the past. If you’re writing a 4,000-word blog-post, review your data showing how many hours/days it took you to write a similar piece previously. Then, base your estimates off of that data.

Search outsiders' perspectives

While we tend to be optimistic about our own abilities to complete tasks quickly, we’re much more pragmatic when it comes to figuring out how long it will take someone else to complete a task.