There’s a unique type of artwork that gets taken for granted all too often.
It’s the type of artwork that looks rough, poorly defined, and sometimes even downright terrible. But it’s catchy in that, over time, it becomes uniform with the artist and their story. For these artists, quality isn’t the determining factor of getting their ideas out and into the world.
I’m referring to the work of modern-day artists like Allie of Hyperbole and a Half, whose drawings are roughly drawn and simple you can imagine. The drawings are immensely effective at communicating the stories Allie tells (and some have even gone on to become well-known Internet memes). If you saw one of Allie’s drawings yesterday, then saw another today, you would immediately know it was hers.
Then there’s Hector Janse van Rensburg, also known as Shitty Watercolour. Hector was a terrible painter. But after experimenting by painting portraits of people on the Internet over the last two years, his work has become globally recognized. He has now been commissioned to produce work for the BBC, CNN, BuzzFeed, and countless others. Hector’s work is easy to recognize as well.
Lastly, a personal hero of mine, James Victoré, has taken his hand scribbling to the extreme: his words of inspiration are immensely powerful and undeniably unique in that they are clearly marking only James could make. Seeing a few words of James’ written on a book cover or poster (or even hanging in the MoMA), is undeniably like seeing James’ process in-action. Wherever he writes, you know the message he is trying to spread.
Which is the point.
These artists have perfected their craft in ways only they can. Many of the artworks they have produced look like they could be made by anyone with little artistic training (no offense to the artists). The point is that they have created, and they’ve let nothing stop them.
The execution of your ideas absolutely matters. But if you’re letting what you view as a perfect execution stand in your way of creating, you’ve already wasted your talents.
Instead, take a lesson from the brilliant artists of today: Use what you have, to do what you can.
Illustration by James Victoré for Holstee