Sunday Nobody

Sunday Nobody

The 29-year-old artist known online as “Sunday Nobody” is among the first to describe himself as a “meme artist.” Based in Seattle, Sunday Nobody creates art that embraces the absurdist humor of internet culture.

 

His logistically challenging, time-intensive projects often go viral on social media—he’s buried a 3,000-pound sarcophagus with a preserved bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos inside, created a portrait of Bob Ross using 7,104 paint samples, and, earlier this year, set up a (completely legal) fake ID vending machine in Brooklyn. The over-the-top nature of his projects often leaves viewers asking the question of “Why?”, but Sunday Nobody responds with another question: Why not?

 

ArtRKL recently sat down with him to discuss the role memes play in his art, how he can pursue his work in addition to a full-time job, the reactions his internet-centric art has garnered, and what he’s working on next.

Memes as the Language of the Internet

Art and memes have always had a unique relationship. Traditionally, art has influenced memes. However, for Sunday Nobody, memes influence his art. The subject matter of his projects often explores films, people, or other “random” concepts the modern internet has used as meme fodder.
 

Previously, he’s written out the entire script of Shrek via robot, painted “a huge maze” where its only solution is to draw the main character from The Bee Movie, and built an elaborate puzzle box that ultimately dispenses a can of beans (as well as a copy of the first Twilight novel and the DVD for Paul Blart: Mall Cop). Approaching his art through the lens of memes is something that comes naturally to Sunday Nobody.

“I think [memes are] just something that I'm interested in in the same way that someone who's really attracted to doing ceramics, it's like, ‘Where does that come from?’ It's like, their whole life experience.”

Sunday Nobody grew up with dial-up internet. He witnessed first-hand how much easier it became to access information online over time. He feels that there was a distinct “before” and “after” period in terms of how the internet changed how we communicate: “I love the internet. And so memes I think are, in some ways, sort of the language of the internet.”

 

The idea of memes as a universal “language”, for those who are deeply familiar with internet culture, is not a new one. By  understanding the joke or reference being made, memes provide people with a sense of community and belonging to an in-group. Because there’s an innate desire to share memes with others who “get the reference”, memes become the internet’s unique way of sharing jokes, information, and beliefs with one another. This is why Sunday Nobody’s art has resonated with over 500,000 combined followers on TikTok and Instagram.

 

With viral viewership comes increased scrutinies. Luckily, Sunday Nobody has answers. 

Flaming Hot Cheetos in the concrete sarcophagus he made. 
Sunday Nobody burying the sarcophagus. 

More Than Just a Hobby

One of the most common questions Sunday Nobody fields is how he is able to have enough free time and money to pursue his art while working full-time as an animator at an advertising agency. He credits this to the flexibility his job provides him and the freedom that comes with having his own studio.

 

“I've told my boss like, ‘Don't promote me, don't give me more responsibility.’ Like, I'm fully remote and my studio’s a 5-minute drive from where I live.” Sunday Nobody explained. He originally split the rent of the studio with two of his friends, but both have since moved out of the space. Now, the studio—which was originally a truck bay—is entirely Sunday Nobody’s.  “Having a non-creative job is really helpful for allowing myself to pour the energy into the art stuff.” 

One of the most common questions Sunday Nobody fields is how he is able to have enough free time and money to pursue his art while working full-time as an animator at an advertising agency. He credits this to the flexibility his job provides him and the freedom that comes with having his own studio.

 

“I've told my boss like, ‘Don't promote me, don't give me more responsibility.’ Like, I'm fully remote and my studio’s a 5-minute drive from where I live.” Sunday Nobody explained. He originally split the rent of the studio with two of his friends, but both have since moved out of the space. Now, the studio—which was originally a truck bay—is entirely Sunday Nobody’s.  “Having a non-creative job is really helpful for allowing myself to pour the energy into the art stuff.” 

 

Sunday Nobody also acknowledges that he had financial advantages coming out of college: he graduated with no student debt. 

“When I got my job and was living really cheaply, I could save up a bunch of money. Setting up the studio space, putting the electrical in, buying all the tools… That costs like, $35,000. That was like, my savings. And so, If I had $35,000 in student debt, I wouldn't have been able to do that.”

Although Sunday Nobody has a day job, he views his art as more than a hobby. With the success his art has found lately, he currently finds himself “getting to a transition point” where he’s able to invest more time and resources into his projects. He enjoys the security his full-time job allows him, though, and has some qualms about quitting his full-time job to pursue art. 

“That's something that I've been struggling with, is the security component of having a consistent paycheck, health insurance… It allows you to have freedom. I don't want to have to monetize every project.”

Whether his projects are monetized or not, audiences are always interested in what Sunday Nobody is up to—especially on the internet, where Sunday Nobody’s art takes so much inspiration from. 

Social Media’s Reaction

Apps like TikTok and Instagram are forums where Sunday Nobody’s art can thrive. Users in the comments of his videos are often both dumbfounded and impressed by the sheer complexity of Sunday Nobody’s art.

“The world needs more chaotic neutral. Keep ‘em guessing,”

One user commented on Sunday Nobody’s TikTok of his Bob Ross paint swatch project.

In the TikTok video showcasing the process for his piece Venuses in New York, a cityscape of New York City with every mom from a Pixar film hidden within, another user commented: “My mans [fits] at least six viral TikTok concepts into one video.” The piece was created using a grand total of 104 Sharpies attached to a tattoo gun. In every one of his process videos, Sunday Nobody ensures he details every part of the process to his viewers.
 

Fortunately, most of Sunday Nobody’s comments have been this positive—at least from his perspective. He stated that he doesn’t allow himself to read comments often as “it’s helpful for my mental health not to.” 

"Venuses in New York"  by Sunday Nobody 

“Say out of a hundred online opinions—I'm speaking very loosely here, this is my perception, I may be skewed—but like maybe 85 to 75 percent are positive. 20 percent are like, pretty confused. And 5 percent are like, ‘I hate this.’” Sunday Nobody stated. “Maybe more, maybe 10 percent is ‘I hate this’,” he added.

Sunday Nobody explains that, like many other artists, his self-worth is often tied to how viewers receive his art. When people don’t like his art, Sunday Nobody explained, it feels like people don’t like him as a person. After having some conversations with friends and attending his first football game, though, Sunday Nobody says that it’s become easier to untangle his perceptions.  

“I’ve never been to a football game before. I went to one in Seattle with a friend who had some tickets. I went and looked around the stadium and there's probably 40,000 people there,” Sunday Noboday recounted. “And it really puts it into perspective where it's like, of course, everyone has their own opinion in this massive stadium. It's just completely unrealistic to think if I were to put up my stuff on the Jumbotron and be like, ‘Everyone, what do you think of this?’ Of course everyone's not gonna be like, ‘We love this! We think this is great,’ you know? And so… I try to just stay true to what I think is good and funny, but that doesn't always work, but hopefully, it's in a positive direction.”

When coming up with new project ideas and displaying his art in public spaces—which he doesn’t always get permission for beforehand—Sunday Nobody makes sure it’s always driven in “a positive direction”—with a little bit of added chaos, of course. 

“I don't wanna be an artist that's like, an ‘edgelord’. I like doing stuff that's silly and unexpected, but generally positive. I don’t wanna something that makes people feel like, worse about themselves or society. I don't want to do something that is like, pulling a fast one on someone. I don't wanna do like anything that's mean to anyone. I want everything to be… Maybe chaotic neutral or chaotic positive. I don't wanna do evil at all,” he elaborated.

Sunday Nobody in front of his vending machine of fake licenses.
Sunday Nobody in front of his fake ID vending machine. 

What’s Next for Sunday Nobody?

As his projects typically take months of preparation and logistical planning, Sunday Nobody always has something in the works. Sunday Nobody’s new projects typically start with him wanting to learn a new skill or master a new tool.

 

For his latest project, Sunday Nobody created his own aluminum press. With it, he’s recently finished creating 394 ice sculptures made from water used to boil hot dogs. He then mailed the ice sculptures out to friends and family in unrefrigerated containers, “not giving them any context.” When the sculptures arrived, they ended up being “just puddles of hot dog water.” 

“I'm making a bunch of hot dogs. I can't consume 394 hot dogs, clearly. So I’m dressing up as a hot dog salesman and going around the city and giving them out for free to people with a big free hot dog sign,” Sunday Nobody explained when asked where the hot dog water would be sourced from. “And then I'm saving the hot dog water.”

Committed to doing acts of chaotic good through art that speaks to a generation raised on the internet, Sunday Nobody is an artist you should be watching out for.

 

Follow Sunday Nobody on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter to keep up with his latest projects. To purchase any of the art he currently has available, visit Sunday Nobody on his website.


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