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West Seattle artist brings clever look to Coronavirus

After wrestling with the idea, Rudy Willingham sides on humor to cope through troubled times.

SEATTLE — One of the Northwest's most memorable artists is a guy named Rudy Willingham. He combines paper cutouts with real Seattle landmarks to create humorous photos. And now, his work is adding a new perspective to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Willingham said, "This is such a serious thing and I kind of wrestled with it, is it a time to be funny? You know people are dying. People's financial lives are being upended. But it seems like people are responding very well to it."

"The first one I did I was walking by a CVS and I saw someone walk out with like 6 bags of toilet paper and I was just looking at the sign, CVS: Corona Virus Supplies."

"So that was the first one I did and it kinda made people laugh, and it was like Ok, let’s keep this going so I went into the CVS, I bought some 409 Multi-surface cleaner and I was cleaning my house and I was like man, we should do this to the whole city. So I went down to the beach and kind of pretended to spray down the whole city, now we're cured."

"The most popular one I probably did was the elephant car wash and I made it say wash your hands. A lot of people have been buying it and putting it up in their bathrooms."

"I've been getting a lot of messages and comments like thank you for making me smile or I really needed that laugh. So Just hearing people's responses I'm just trying to keep that going and bring some levity to the situation hopefully and ah like I said It's a coping mechanism for me. it's such a crazy time And this kind of helps me like smile and you know, distract me."

"Every time I open my phone you are bombarded by negativity. It feels like the sky is falling. So if I can just inject a little positivity and humor into things it makes me feel good, it makes other people feel good. I think humor is very important especially in times like this."

You can follow Rudy on his Instagram page: @Rudy_Willingham and you can purchase his work at RudyPrints.com.

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