How to become an artist
All you have to do is draw a shark
So you want to be an artist, huh?
Are you sure? It’s not an easy life. Until they’re nationally recognized and adored, artists of all kinds walk a hard path. They’re devalued, disenfranchised, and mocked on a broad cultural level and if they do make it, their bullies and tormentors claim to have supported them from the beginning when they were freezing to death and eating sleep for dinner. These useless, cowardly yappers claim to have had an equal hand in the great artist’s success. And it’s never worth the time to correct them.
To be an artist is to advocate for yourself when the chips are down. Hell, it’s to advocate for yourself when the chips don’t even exist yet.
Still interested? Okay! Whether you want to be a painter, a filmmaker, a writer, or a photographer, here is my 100% foolproof method, by which to become a great artist.
Draw a shark.
This is kind of the only step. Get out a notebook, or some printer paper, or a sketchbook if you’re a tryhard, find a writing instrument, and draw a shark. You’re not allowed to trace but you can pull up a picture of one to look at while you do it.
Done? Okay. Look down at your shark. How do you feel about it? My first shark was a total fucking nightmare, and not in a cool way. It was disjointed, misaligned. There was no intelligent design at play. No heavenly purpose to the way my shark was put together. The nose was too short, the body too thin, the fins tacked on. It was some anemic looking mackerel in bloody dentures. I hated my first shark. I hated my own hand for its clumsiness.
Okay are you ready? Now it’s time to draw your second shark.
Huh? You might be thinking. Another shark? When do we get to the good stuff?
Patience, padawan. Wax on… Wax off… Crawl before you dance… Find comfort in my empty, appropriated, platitudes. Draw. Your. Second. Shark.
Okay let’s have a look at Shark Two. You are by no doubt wiser than before, you understand the dangerous pitfalls of Sharkistry. The nose is longer this time, the fins rooted deeper into the body, this is a markedly better shark. Surely, this was the lesson, no? That it takes two sharks to get to the core of an artform? No.
Now it is time.
Time for what? You wonder, knees shaking.
Time to draw 200 more sharks.