Q&A: Local artist Nikos Rutkowski

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Local artist Nikos Rutkowski has been painting, drawing, sculpting, doodling and making collages for nearly three decades. And most of his work is still around. Rutkowski's parents saved nearly everything he created from age two to 20. He's currently archiving his artistic autobiography in hopes of donating the project to a children's museum.

I've been completely dedicated to art since I was a kid. I can't remember when I decided or when I knew, but that's the only thing I've ever pursued or focused on. I love making art. Sometimes it feels like there's nothing else I can do, but I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it.

I'm the kind of person who likes staying in and working on stuff more than going out and socializing.

When I was really little, my parents starting putting everything in boxes. I had a drawing desk and a box set up right next to it. As soon as a drawing was done, it'd go in the box. I started saving everything, too, out of that habit.

Going through the old boxes, it was like a whole new world. I don't remember actually doing any of these drawings. I was looking through them and was just dumbfounded. It was like someone else did it, even though I know I did it.

I've got stuff from every era. You know the awkward phase where kids usually throw stuff out? I have stuff from that period of time. I'm guessing it's at least 10,000 drawings, paintings, objects.

There's a certain cringe factor. I found some things from when I was about 13, when I wanted to be a fashion designer for half a minute. Cross Colours were the big thing - and Arsenio Hall. There are these big, bulky, ridiculous purple suits. There's a bunch of drawings of Alf, too.

I wouldn't say the old work defines me, but you can kind of see things that I still use today. Every once in a while, I'll see a hint of something that would come later.

Three things I can't live without are art supplies, a Wii and my fiancee, Meghan.

One thing I want to do before I die is make a movie. It's one of those things that I get ready to do, and then I just don't do it. I mean like a good movie, though, not like a student film.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? Email John Ross at jross@columbusalive.com.

Age: 31

Neighborhood: Victorian Village

Hometown: Columbus


Last Words

Last movie you watched: "Exit Through the Gift Shop"

Last song you listened to: Something by Hot Chip

Last place you traveled: Hocking Hills

Last thing you ate: A bagel with lox and cream cheese

Last book you read: "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi