On making Bad Art™, plus April digital downloads

I’ve been doing a lot of lettering practice lately so I thought it might be fun to share some of the stuff I’ve made that will probably never make it onto Instagram, for whatever reason: so behold, my recent “art fails” 🙌

I feel like for every one piece of portfolio quality art I complete, there’s at least 7-10 of these partially finished weird misfit pieces hanging out in the background. I have a whole library of stinkers in my Dropbox!

Sometimes the color scheme isn’t right (1, 5) or I was practicing a new technique that didn’t turn out the way I wanted (4, 5), or the idea is still pretty rough and needs more work (3, 6), or I just haven’t decided what I want to do with it yet (2).

I call them “art fails” but they’re not really failures, because even the ones that turn out shitty are still good practice. We learn something from every mistake, even if it’s “NOPE I do NOT like that and will not be doing it that way again.”

And that’s just the nature of creativity, I think. If you try to finish everything you start and make every idea perfectly perfect, you’re going to get discouraged and burned out, because “perfectly perfect” is neither realistic nor sustainable.

It’s OK that not everything you make is great. I’d even go so far to say that it’s normal for as much as 70 or 80% of your work to just sort of suck. And that contrast is what makes the remaining 20% of the good stuff really good. It’s like you have to clean all the trash out of your brain garden so there’s space for the flowers to grow.

You have to create and create and create and keep practicing and keep making stuff and keep going, and just let some of it suck because every once in a while you’ll surprise yourself and accidentally make something fucking awesome and then it’s all worth it!

So what do you think? Do “art fails” happen to you too? Is crappy bad art just part of the process? Or is it possible to get to the good stuff without wading through a pile of stinky art turds?

Comic from Lovenstein Friendship Club on Tumblr
Bonus art fail: a “wee-woo bus” I drew for my 2-year-old nephew (basically a school bus with ladders and sirens, in case it wasn’t clear).

Digital Wallpapers

I turned the “hello April” piece into digital calendar wallpapers for your mobile devices and desktop backgrounds!

There’s both portrait and landscape variations, plus calendars with both Sunday and Monday start dates.

Download the wallpapers here:

Vote for the May color scheme!

Last reminder to vote for the May color scheme for the “mind your own beeswax” design! The poll is in this blog post (you’ll need to log in to your CP&co account to access it) and it ends tonight at midnight EST!

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