If you’re not American, you may be unaware of the continued popularity of Bob Ross. His “The Joy of Painting” television show first aired in 1983 and captivated even those uninterested in painting with his big hair and soothing voice and talk of “happy little trees.”
I’d count myself a fan, and so I was interested when I found Makeover Monday 2020 Week 50 used a data set summarizing the paintings from the show.
Creating Links to the Paintings
Exploring the data, I found it was fairly easy to convert the title of one of Bob Ross’s paintings (for example, “Camper’s Haven”) to a link to the painting and associated episode. Just replace the spaces with – and remove any apostrophes:
Put this string at the end of “https://www.twoinchbrush.com/painting/” and you get a link like this: https://www.twoinchbrush.com/painting/CAMPERS-HAVEN.
Creating Icons for Selected Features
The dataset has a column called “Element” that lists features of the paintings – mountains, clouds, trees, grass, beaches, and so on. There are over 60 features, but I wanted take the top 5 or so most common features and allow the viewer to click and icon to see paintings with those attributes. So I headed over to https://www.flaticon.com/ and searched until I found some good color icons. I created a BobRoss folder under My Tableau Repository\Shapes\ and downloaded the icons there. I also saved the attribution information since flaticon requires you to credit the creator unless you pay a license fee.
Adding Extract Filters
The dataset has rows for all elements for all paintings, with a 0 for times when the element is not in the painting and a 1 where it is in the painting. For example, Clouds, Lake, and Mountain are not in A WALK IN THE WOODS, but the painting does include a River:
The rows where Included = 0 seemed like a distraction for my purposes, so I filtered them out. I also removed all of the elements other that the six I was interested in: Tree, Clouds, Lake, River, Mountain, and Sun:
Creating the Feature Selector
With the icons in my Shapes folder, I could assign the elements to the related images:
Here’s the feature selector – the idea is you click on an icon and the dashboard shows just the paintings for that icon.
Creating a Banner
I combined a Bob Ross Signature image with the words “Painting Selector” in PowerPoint. PowerPoint makes it easy to scroll through potential fonts to find one that’s good in combination. Then I used Greenshot to snip the image and added it to the top of the dashboard.
A Worksheet to show the Paintings
Here’s my worksheet showing the paintings. I spent some time trying to figure out how to make the title as helpful as possible. If you just select one feature, it will say something like, “Click to view a painting that includes the ______ feature.” Ideally if you selected two or more, it would list them out, but Tableau kept giving me “All” when rather than the list, so if multiple features are selected you’ll just see “Click to view a painting”
Adding the Credits
I followed the guidelines at flaticon that each designer must be mentioned separately. Most of the icons I used were by Freepik.
The Finished Product?
Not bad, but I feel it’s a little too minimalistic… could maybe use a background color a border that looks like a picture frame.