We all have our talents and we should be proud of them. But when you’re a rat who paints, you should be… famous. And this little guy sure was. Darius the rat went viral on social media for his artistic abilities numerous times, and, even though he has passed away, his works still bring joy to people all over the world.

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“I had him in a weird time of my life where I was trying to figure out who I was as a person, and also where I should be going in life. He was my light in the darkness”

Image credits: nebulami

Image credits: nebulami

Amalie Markota Andersen, his owner, is an animation and digital arts student. After training her buddy to paint with his feet, she said it took Darius about 10 minutes to complete one piece and that she ultimately sold three or four of his works.

“I’ve had rats all my life, since I was around 14-15 years old,” she told Bored Panda. “I’ve discovered how great they are as pets on the internet. Rats were just beginning to become popular as pets, I think. After I had my first rat, I just kept on getting them. Rats don’t live very long, usually 2-3 years, so I’ve had 9 so far. Darius was one of them.”

Image credits: Amalie Markota Andersen

Image credits: Amalie Markota Andersen

When Amalie had Darius, she got a non-toxic watercolor set, dipped his feet in it and just let him walk back and forth on the paper until it started to look like something.

“I got him in 2017, he was one of many rats in the litter. All the rats seemed amazing, but Darius was just too precious not to choose. He looked so kind and gentle, I instantly fell in love with him the moment I saw him.”

Image credits: Amalie Markota Andersen

Image credits: Amalie Markota Andersen

Photos of Darius resurfaced on Twitter on Saturday after they were shared by a now-private account. However, Andersen documented Darius’ creative process on Tumblr even before that. Andersen wrote on Tumblr that Darius made his first painting in January 2018.

Image credits: Amalie Markota Andersen

Image credits: Amalie Markota Andersen

“Darius going viral was very exciting, I was so happy people liked him,” Andersen added. “It is what he deserved!”

She said, in a way, Darius was a weird rat. Unlike all the others she has had. “He was very timid and shy. He didn’t like exploring much like rats usually do. He was just fine cuddling in my lap or sleeping in my bed. He wasn’t very independent, always clinging to me like a little baby. He was very attached to me and obviously I got very attached to him as well, which made it very hard for me to let him go when the time came.”

Image credits: Amalie Markota Andersen

“He wasn’t nervous or aggressive, but he simply had no interest in other people. It was really weird seeing that in a rat. Rats usually love strangers, new places, just unexplored territory in general. But Darius didn’t care, he would just come back to me and demand some cuddles.”

Image credits: Amalie Markota Andersen

As Darius’ internet fame grew, Andersen kinda became his manager. But in a totally good way. After selling his works, Andersen used the money to buy Darius a harness so that she could take him outdoors and the two of them could explore the outdoors safely.

Image credits: Amalie Markota Andersen

“I do regret selling the original a little bit,” Andersen added. “But it also makes me very happy thinking that his works are out there somewhere, hopefully still intact and well!”

“It’s been crazy seeing all of it blow up like this. I never expected it would make people so happy. But I’m glad it did. Unfortunately, Darius didn’t make more than 4 paintings when he was still alive, but I am thinking about doing the same thing with my current rats, Gucci and Mango.

Image credits: nebulami

People were really impressed by Darius’ skills