&

“O Beautiful, for Threadless Tees” – National Parks Challenge Winner

We’ve all gotta give a little love to our purple mountain majesties and amber waves of grain. And our National Parks are just the way to do that.

Our National Parks Challenge winner Ross Bruggink, a.k.a rhinosserossy, creates cool, minimal outdoorsy designs that will satisfy your wanderlust even if you’re surrounded by more steel jungle than redwood forests.

We talked to Ross about everything from his winning design “O Beautiful” to his spirit animal to his belief in the now-endangered Sasquatch.

NationalParksWinner_2
Sweet Betty’s Sparkling Yetis

Sasquatch believer?

You gotta believe, right?

If you could travel to one place, where would you go?

I really want to see New Zealand. But there’s a lot of America I haven’t seen and I don’t want to neglect the natural wonders that are so easily accessible in the States.

NationalParks_7
The Archer

You have a super cool minimal-meets-adirondacky style – how did you develop this?

It’s a style that I’ve developed over time and continues to evolve. I think a lot of illustrators with traditional design backgrounds, like myself, gravitate towards creating complexity out of uniform elements.

NationalParksWinner_4
I Was an Eagle

So you’ll see a lot of consistency in shapes, angles, and line-weight. When you combine these elements together you get a sense of consistency, even when the design itself is complex.

Are you a big outdoorsy person?

I like to think I am. Certainly a lot of my inspiration is driven by nature. But I’m not someone who tends to spend extended periods of time outdoors backpacking.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 9.27.05 AM
Jack of Hearts

I prefer day hikes, cabins, and camping with a car nearby. I do love the outdoors but I find it more enjoyable when there are some modern comforts close by.

NationalParksWinner_6
Llama

What’s your favorite animal? Spirit animal?

My dog, Merlin is my favorite animal. He is also my spirit animal. There has never been or will there be a better creature. He is a bundle of anxiety and joy and I love him. 

tumblr_mu2660Aoio1qatqnoo1_400

What kinds of topics do you like to look into for your pieces?

Animals (real or imagined), landscapes, and natural elements. I am most successful and happiest when I work on these projects. I don’t have quite the success or level of achievement when I work on pop-culture topics. I don’t think I’m cool enough.

NationalParksWinnter_6
Paper Tiger

Is there symbolism behind how you construct a lot of your animal designs out of inherently human products, like notebook paper?  

I’m more interested in the idea of combining organic and natural subject matter with geometric shapes and man-made elements and textures. There’s not too much symbolism, unless if it works as part of a visual play on words like in Paper Tiger

NationalParksWinner_3
Paper Panda

Do you have a favorite National Park?

I spent a week at Glacier National Park with my friends a few years ago. It was breathtaking and unforgettable. Zion is next on my list.

NationalParks_8
O Beautiful

What’s your artistic process? 

I tend to start in the sketchbook. Here, I work out an idea and a very rough composition. I sketch just enough to provide a foundation for the design moving forward.

Do you do art full time?

I suppose! I’m working for Stout and we infuse art into the design process.

Shop the Winning Design!

Carlyn Hill

Dad joke aficionado, cartoonist, & contributor for sites like HelloGiggles and The Mary Sue by night. When I'm not writing or drawing, you can find me in my cave of a room hanging out with my boyfriend, Netflix.