But I’m A Real Artist

wargirlIn case you haven’t met an artist, you should know that we are horribly, terribly insecure creatures who are, in general, never quite satisfied with our own work and always think, “man, if only I were like [other person], I would be so much better.”

One of the first bits of advice I ever got was that as an artist I had to establish a style, which I resisted for a good long time. I knew what I was good at and had always received the best feedback on – cute stuff – but in my heart of hearts I wanted to be good at the serious stuff that everyone passes around and goes “whoa” over. I don’t think I’ll ever be over wanting to be a “whoa” artist instead of an “aww” artist.

It’s the same with writing. I’ve learned to never mention that I’m a writer, because then people assume I’m a novelist, or have the next great American Novel sitting on my hard drive, or can construct original characters, all of which I decidedly cannot. I’m a blogger. I write about silly pop culture things and I hopefully make people laugh sometimes. I am not a serious writer.

The piece above represents the pinnacle of what I can achieve doing “serious” artwork. That’s it. That’s as good as I am, and I think the eyes are crooked, so that’s not very good at all. Originally this was going to be a whole big propaganda poster with the words “War Is No Place For Little Boys” but all the red lines and reference pictures in the world couldn’t make a body I was satisfied with or a layout I liked.

Sometimes, I consider going to art school. I go online and scroll through course catalogs, and I slowly feel increasingly nauseous and exit immediately. I think I know in my heart of hearts, that I’m never going to be happy doing “serious” art. I like my quick doodles and making people go “aw”. I like printing cards and not dealing with galleries. I want to illustrate for children. I want to do little, cute things that make people happy and make them laugh, and I’m good at that. I’ll get there, some day.

In the meantime, I need to remember – I am not a serious artist.

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