Hey girl, want to play around with Ryan Gosling? Because it seems like everybody's already doing it.
Since a Tumblr site featuring pictures of the handsome Canadian star accompanied by silly catchphrases took off in 2010, it's become a cottage industry to have fun with the actor's image online. A panoply of imitators have popped up, including Shakespearean, Liberal and, of course, Feminist Ryan Gosling (the last one inspired a book that's out this week).
The most ingenious chapter of the Gosling-as-meme trend in recent memory is Colour Me Good Ryan Gosling, a colouring book by Mel Simone Elliott, an English artist who has garnered great buzz with her simple, crafty tomes dedicated to pop-culture figures such as Kate Moss and Tupac Shakur, which she sells through her website www.ilovemel.me.
"Making these is more than a full-time job for me now," Elliott said last week on the phone from her home in Northampton. "I studied at the Royal College of Art, and I love books, but I'm also very dyslexic. That's why I was drawn to picture books and colouring books. I wanted to make things that I liked that weren't in the shops."
At the moment, she is overwhelmed with thousands of orders for the book, largely from the United States and Canada. (She's producing them all herself using her husband's printing press.) The pictures include pencil sketches of Gosling caressing a blow-up doll in Lars and the Real Girl, and him posing buff and shirtless in Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Elliott says she was drawn to Gosling as a subject after getting into an argument with a friend. "We were talking about who we would sleep with if our husbands were okay with it, and we both chose Ryan Gosling. Then we started talking about who he would pick, if he could chose between us, and I thought this would kind of push me over the top."