How to Be a Horrible Artist // a step-by-step guide

No one in the history of ever has wanted to be a horrible artist. Regardless, I’m still going to teach you.

(You can thank me later.)

In all honesty, my dear naive padawan, this is really just a prolonged and interminable sales pitch to try and connive you into buying my art, because yes, I’m just that arrogant. As the salsa salesman I met seven years ago told me, “The only acceptable way of marketing is to annoy people.”

(This, in fact, is a made up saying.)

(I made it up.)

(Because I never met a salesman seven years ago, let alone one who was selling salsa.)

(The alliteration was awesome, though.)

Step #1: Gauge how horrible you want your drawing to be.

As a general rule, the more you try to make your picture look nice, the worse it’ll turn out, so aim for the sky! Attempt the Mona Lisa! You’ll inevitably end up with a scarecrow.

Decide what you want to draw.

There are many ways to do this. Some people turn to sources like Pinterest or social media to gain inspiration, but I prefer the good ol’ “staring into the void for several hours” method.

Other options include “whining at your sister until she starts flinging bad ideas at you to make you go away,” or “fan art because originality eludes me (as if I ever had it in the first place)” or the simple but highly popular method of “plagiarize someone else’s art because I have zero talent of my own.”

All of these are tested and trustworthy methods.

Keep it secret, keep it safe.

Once you have an idea, do not — I repeat, DO NOT — speak of it to ANYONE.

That incredibly cool idea in your head, the one of a vagabond princess holding her tiara aloft against the galaxies, the dirt and tragedy spilling away in the silver glow of the moon?

Once that idea leaves your head via your mouth, you’re done for.

“So like, there’s a princess but she’s not a princess anymore—“

*friend interrupts with question*

“—like, I don’t know, something happened to her I guess, but anyway, so like, she’s standing there like THIS—“

*distorts body into unnatural position*

“—and she’s got her arm up like THIS—“

*more distortion*

“—and the coolest part is there’s SPARKLY THINGIES! IN HER HANDS!! I’m thinking of going for a mysterious vibe though, you know—“

*friend does not know*

“—so maybe it won’t be obvious that she’s holding a crown or whatever— also, did I mention there’s blood?!!!”

*friend eyes you with growing concern*

Open your sketchbook to a blank page.

Now stare at it.

That’s it.

That’s all you do.

s t a r e

Break time!!

Wow, you’ve really overworked yourself.

Consume food. Talk to sister. Lay in the middle of the floor and count the stains on your ceiling. Consume more food.

This is imperative. Procrastination is the vital element of all horrible drawings.

Return to your sketchbook, rested and rejuvenated.

Now stare some more.

Draw a line.

Wow! We’re really getting somewhere!

Erase the line.

…never mind.

S T A R E

Is… is all this staring going anywhere?

Pretend you know what you’re doing by drawing some random circles and connecting lines.

Rockin’ the Rolly Polly Olly vibes.

Realize you have no idea what you’re doing.

Panic ensues.

Try to figure out the pose as best you can.

This will end in angry tears and Shakespearean swearing.

Try to recreate the pose in the mirror.

Yes, I’ll admit, these pictures are only here to show off my new sword.

Guys.

I have a new sword.

Break out the computer so you can “look it up online.”

A likely story…

Let the internet consume you for five hours.

And when you return to the world of the living, you have seven new ideas for the project!!

(None of them include the original pose.)

Return to the self-made reference photos and sketch the outline.

Wow! I’m really getting somewhere! This is amazing! Look how perfect and marvelous and stunning and—

Add details to the face.

—horrible. My drawing is horrible.

We’re gonna go for the “sultry warrior mom-friend” look.

Draw the other eye…

Hmm. That works.

MORE HAIR!!!

No.

There are some serious videogame vibes going on here.

The Oops Moment occurs.

There is an apex in the drawing process, a peak moment where our sketch is at its ultimate best. Every second spent fiddling with it after it’s reached that apex is a second spent ruining it, until…

Oh no.

Panic.

Try to fix it.

And inevitably make things worse.

Watch your soul slip into the deep netherworld of despair and failure.

But somehow, my soul always manages to recover.

Now comes– *maniacal cackling* –the OUTFIT.

*screams*

*attempts something*

*screams louder*

*returns to Pinterest to figure out how wrinkles work*

Draw over that thing with a darker pencil, and behold, we’re done!

A few brain cells shorter than before, and with a lot more grey hairs, but, y’know. The price we pay for art, amiright? (Despite the fact that “the art” looks nothing like the original vision. That’s another price we pay. What you see is most certainly not what you’ll end up getting. )

And… behold. The finished project.

…sometimes I wonder if God regrets giving me the ability to draw.

If you hadn’t noticed by now, my menu bar has an extra little tab titled “Commissions.” Go click on it. You’ve been officially sales-pitched.

~Sarah

16 thoughts on “How to Be a Horrible Artist // a step-by-step guide

  1. DUUDDEEE

    YOU ARE SO COOL

    AND YOUR DRAWING IS SO COOL

    Dangit I knew I should’ve bought that sword I saw for sale the other day…. now I can never be a horrible artist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was hilarious! Also YOUR SWORD IS AWESOME!! Where do you get it from?? And off subject your skirt was really pretty too 😆
    …I also think I cracked up way too hard at the ‘finished project’ you displayed. The eyes are hilarious 😂 But the real thing is incredible!! 😱

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, so true! Especially the eye and trying to pose to figure out how your figure should look. (Are your art searches weird? Because mine usually turn out like “person half kneeling face in hands head down”) :/
    Nice sword! 🙂

    Like

  4. Girl, your art is so impossibly beautiful, it makes me emotional. 😀 And you’re growing better all the time.

    I’ve missed your blog, my dear!! You made me laugh and smile my way through your post.

    Like

    1. Oh, and I meant to say…. Was your perfect execution of a certain excellent internet post intentional? Either way, you captured the exact vibe, posture, and expression of that internet poster and her Uruk-hai sword! Bravo!

      Like

      1. Another thing I forgot…. Don’t kill me with the Obi-Wan feels. I don’t care about Clone Wars…or Anakin. But Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith breaks my heart.

        Like

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