Awesome Outcast – or, a gentleman artist who happens to love ceiling fans.

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This is RJ.  I have known his mom, Wendy, for many years through her work with dog rescues.

RJ is an extremely talented artist who happens to not only have autism, but he also has Williams Syndrome.  Because of these medical issues in his life, his mom has helped him set up his own company called Awesome Outcast.  Here is a small bit from his website:


The reason I put this page together for RJ is so that he could share his unique sand art, and learn from the experience. It will hopefully be a pathway for him to learn about responsibilities he will need as he transitions into adulthood and away from home.

So, utilizing his skills in creating sand art seems to be a pretty good fit. With each and every piece he creates, he is mastering fine motor skills. His concentration grows, his attention span grows, and he is gaining the self-esteem for his overall health. Feeling good about yourself, disabled or not, is essential for survival.

When we started shooting his portrait in Bayfield, Wendy and RJ told me all about how much they both loved Gitchee Gumee (Lake Superior) – RJ even brought me a lamp he made just for me with Lake Superior on it.

RJ then told me about how much he loved ceiling fans.

I was completely fascinated by the fact that he loved them so much.  I have very, very little experience interacting with anyone on the Autism Spectrum, and it was incredible to see how much knowledge about and LOVE he has for them.  When I told him I knew where some cool ones were, he immediately wanted to check them out.  Once he saw them, he wanted his portrait taken with the fans.  It was a most unusual request that I was happy to accommodate. I take portraits of people and things in their natural environment, and for me, this was the ultimate environmental portrait!

So if you are looking for a cool new artist to support – check out RJ’s Facebook page Awesome Outcast.

autism spectrum portrait

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