I’ve known the Rathur family for as long as I can remember, and most of them are slightly off-kilter. They are a large, loud group that absorbs anyone walking by who is too slow to get away. If you’re ever fortunate enough to encounter them, consider yourself lucky to be assimilated.
Non-Idiot Artist: B.J. Rathur
Quick background: After graduating college with a degree in Computer Animation, B.J. tried to find work in the field, but with no luck. He took a role in touch screen design (which still sounds cool to me), and would doodle in a notepad during his free time. This caught the eye of his boss, who gave him some Rapidograph drafting pens as a gift. Drawing then paved the way to painting. From his website bio: “In some works I attempt to mimic the fractal nature of things. When you look at them from a distance, you get one image, and as you get closer you see a whole different world. Most of my works are whimsical experiments that focus on my favorite subjects: animals, science, space, nature and the origins of creativity.”
Do you start new pieces knowing what you’re going to do, or does something pop into your head at that moment?
Sometimes I have a general idea…but the majority of the time, I just start drawing.
What materials do you prefer to work with and has this evolved over time?
Mixed media, I like to draw over rough paintings or add a little paint to drawings. My work used to be more intricate and busy, but I have toned it down as I’ve evolved.
What materials are you dying to work with that you haven’t tried yet?
I would love to give sculpture a try. I made some clay stuff in high school and took a metal sculpture class in college. I never got to try casting, but maybe one day I will.
What goes through your head when someone calls you an “artist,” and do you call yourself one?
I do call myself an artist…but I don’t throw too much weight into it since I have a day job and can’t commit to it full time.
Who are your favorite current artists and what do you like most about their art?
Jeff Soto, Jeremy Fish, Silvia Ji…there are so many talented artists out there now. I like different aspects in each of their works…so much talent. They know how to make beautiful things.
If you had a favorite artist when you were younger, who were they and why?
There are so many who inspired me, but my favorite was Dali. I loved the illusions he created. I still haven’t made it to his museum in Florida, though I plan to soon. Paul Klee and Kandinsky get honorary mentions.
When in need of inspiration, do you have anything you do or anyplace you go to find it?
I usually take a break. If it’s been a while, I’ll force myself to start a bunch of pieces until I find something I think has potential.
What has been the best reaction to your art and the worst?
I had one young lady call me a genius – she was really sweet. I try not to let the compliments go to my head, because then I had another tell me my art made her nervous and that she had to get away. That was awkward.
Any upcoming gallery events or things like to mention/promote?
I have a bunch of art in the pipeline, but unfortunately no set events in the near future. I’ve been too busy at my day job to pursue galleries or festivals, so I spend any free time making more art. I do plan to open an Etsy store soon but…again so busy! [I’ll update this post with a link when the store is live.] I encourage people to reach out to me if they see something they like on my Rathur.net Facebook page.
If you could design a tattoo for the Statue of David, what would it be and where would it be placed?
Hmmm, I’d probably give him a tramp stamp. Something tribal 🙂
Here are a few extra amazing pieces B.J. sent me when I commissioned the fox piece that is the featured image on this post. I probably should have staged them better, but I haven’t made my way to photography yet in the world of art, so cut me some slack!