Get a KLU! Artist profile

-By Alison Leigh

Meet Rick Klu. When I first met him, I had just moved to Seattle and got a job at a local hot spot 24 hour cafe in Capital Hill. It was an insane place to work where literally NO ONE who worked there gave a CRAP about the customers. We would often be found on a busy night in a circle in some room in the back passing around marijuana cigarettes while the entire place was packed with people. Who cares?? Anyway, I didn’t become friends with him for a few more years after that, but when I did, he made a lasting impression. Funny, talented and smart, we had many a laugh and many a time… Here is a little bit about him. And 100 points to anyone who knows, can say, AND spell his full last name. Hint- it has like 95 letters in it…

1. So graphically designed drawings of cars and skulls and crazy things- on coasters. How many bars would you say you have drawn in? What are a few of your favorite bars to draw in?

I draw not only in bars, but pretty much everywhere I go, everyday. I like the “atmosphere” in bars, always have. My old alcoholic grandfather used to take my brother and I out with him in Arizona to places like, Bonnie’s Lounge, Carr Canyon Corral, and the Sorry Gulch when we were kids. I’d draw then too. The bar coaster thing started in The Mecca in Seattle. Still one of my favorite places. In Hollywood, here, I like drawing in the Powerhouse. It’s my favorite bar in L.A. (The Powerhouse is like THE crappiest, diviest bar in LA on Highland Ave. Haha…-ed.)

2. Do you sell more of your paintings than coasters and drawings?

In regards to selling drawings versus paintings, well, I have drawn at least 6,000 to 7,000 bar coasters alone, versus hundreds of paintings and drawings (on paper, etc.), so, the bar coasters reign king as in the most things I’ve ever done, artistically. I like coasters because I can carry them in my pocket very easily without carrying around my sketchbook, or paintings.

3. Remember when you drove a cab? How was that? What was your favorite odd job?

I drove a cab off and on for 5 years, then I bought a Cadillac limousine and drove that too. As a cab driver, I got in fights almost weekly. I also carried a gun every night. Driving a cab was stressful and dangerous, especially at night… I used to say that it was “the last great adventure in the big city”! I had all kinds of odd adventures and it taught me so much about people, and also how to kick people’s asses… But only those who needed a good ass whooping!!! There are no favorite odd jobs! But, my favorite job to this day is my work on film, television and commercials. I loved working on House, M.D. as an orderly… I am in the Superbowl ad for that show, which is very cool…

4. What were some of the obscene things you used to say while waiting tables at Minnie’s Cafe in Seattle? Especially when “coming around corners”? My first memory of you is this, which is why I am always mentioning it. You were hilarious to work with and that was from like- the SECOND I moved into town.

Oh crap!!! You know, when we worked together in that godawful restaurant, I was just a kid having fun and taking LSD all the time, like every week, so, I was at my height in silliness. I was also conducting ” research” for my artwork… Anyway, if you really want to know what I used to say, while walking around corners, with a full tray, well, here are a few… Pass them on to your restaurant friends:
1. “Coming inside ya!”
2. “Coming inside yer behind!”
3. “All up in ya!”
4. “Coming on yer behind!”


5. How often do you work on art these days?

I work on art every single day… For years…

6. Do you think you’ll be staying in LA for awhile?

L.A. gets a bad rap from everybody, but actually everybody I know is pretty cool. None of my friends are into “shopping”, what’s trendy, “clubs”, etc. And none of my friends are into all the celebrity shit, even though I am good friends with some who actually are, which I find funny and odd at times. Los Angeles has a lot to offer and people just need to go with the flow and not have any airs about it… If you bring your attitude about Los Angeles here, then, well, you’ll get it right back. But, most people who live here aren’t even from here… So, give it a fair shot and you’ll always have fun here…There’s so much history and cool places in this city.

7. Why 333? How do you feel about numbers and their significance in the world of superstition and hidden meanings?

333 is a very religious number for me, so, I can’t talk about it. It is tattooed inside my lip.

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2 Responses to Get a KLU! Artist profile

  1. Cloudy Onname says:

    He is VERY talented BUT rick klu draws clouds wrong!!!

  2. Allen says:

    A great interview and I love the house drawing…!!!

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