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Permission Slip


A friend requested I make this, and so here it is, and I offer it to anyone who needs it, with all the authority vested in me by whoever vests these things. Print it out if you need to.

The best art advice ever given to me—ever, ever—was “Don’t be afraid to make bad art.”

You will make a whole lot of crap in your time. Some will be truly awful and some will be merely mediocre. And that is totally normal and totally fine and for the love of little green apples, just keep going, because that’s the only way I know to get to the good stuff eventually.

(99% of the time I feel horribly egotistical mentioning the Hugo, but I think this counts as using that power for good, if anything does.)

(Incidentally, I recently issued a certificate of permission to make comics at a con, to someone who said they needed one, and Kevin was all "You really need to make one of those people can print out," and I sort of back-burnered it and now I am realizing that apparently there is a demand there.)

I'm going to print this and put it in my office to justify all the bad art I draw on my classroom board. You rock!

Totally agree on the "don't be afraid" advise. If you are afraid it is going to be bad you will never make anything good.

That's part of why it took me so long to actually cut into fabric I had, for sewing projects. I had all this fabric, but was too afraid to cut is, for fear of doing it wrong/messing up/OMG THAT'S UGLY... And then I got a Hefty yard bag full of quilting fabric (most of which was fat quarters or half-yard lengths), and because it was free, I didn't feel bad about using it to figure out what I was doing. Now, because I gt that confidence, I cut into velvet, fearlessly.

That's why you make stuff out of cheap muslin first! Get the bugs out then cut with confidence!

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Is something we need to hear.

I wish I had had one of these before I gave up. [sobs]

You didn't give up - you've just taken a long break. Get back at it and make all the bad art you want!

I try to explain this to my primary students all the time. "But I dunno HOW to draw a house!" "Well we're gonna LEARN!"

Even my high schoolers sometimes have trouble grasping this!

I've heard it said that everyone has around a thousand bad pictures in the that they have to draw and get out before they can get to the good art.. I think that I'm still in the low two hundreds somewhere.. :D

I don't remember who said you had to write some obscenely large number of dreck words before you could get to the good stuff, but he was so right, too.

Thank you. I'm going to share this, if you don't mind.

Thank you so much. I have printed it out and stuck it on my wall. :-)

I work in the central office of the local school district. I am leaving this on the Fine Arts Coordinator's desk for her to find when she gets back from her birthday/vacation on Tuesday. :)

Oh, how I need this! I got criticized for making bad art as a child; as a result a new sketch pad- hell, even a new page- sends me into terror. Must not waste the paper with ugliness!

I never expected to own an iPad, but since I had to get one for some work stuff, I have discovered the sketch/drawing apps to be really liberating, exactly because of the fear of wasting paper being gone. (I have the biggest stack of pads of good paper I keep not using....)

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Thanks so much for this! I saw it pop up on Tumblr like, right after I made a post complaining about how much I was struggling to write the fic I was working on. It was a good splint for my morale, and I got quite a bit of work done today.

Fun work, too. Oh you poor character, you're sensitive to sounds normally and you just got a concussion? Excuse me while I slam all the doors and have two of the other characters shout at each other over your head. *Cackles*

Woo! I am really good at creating bad art. And I'm planning to do some experimenting with airbrish gradients, so there's some really terrible stuff in my near future. O'course, what I need right now is the ability to create any art at all, damned neverending monsoon season.

I'm also trying to teach myself this principle when it comes to writing, and I think it's finally sinking in. There's a small but glaring continuity error in the scene I just wrote, and guess what! It's staying there and I don't care. Because Editing Is A Thing That Happens Later.