Its Getting Worse - David Shrigley


Hugh also praises relentlessness showcasing the artist David Shrigley

  • “Glasgow artist, David Shrigley is one of my favorite cartoonists. And I have very few of those. Unlike a lot of my cartoonist heroes (Steinberg, Gorey etc) David can’t draw to save his life, at least, not in the conventional sense. His formal drafting skills (the ones he chooses to show the world, anyway) are just plain bad. I mean, REALLY bad. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. Actually, it may even be a good thing. You see, the whole point of Dave’s work is NOT about the drawing. It’s ALL about his ideas. And his VERY crude drawings work brilliantly for that. In fact, I’d wager that if his drafting skills were more formally developed, his cartoons wouldn’t be nearly as sharp, as interesting or wickedly subversive. His is a great example of what I like to call “circumventing one’s limitations”. Turning weaknesses into strength. Shrigley is a master of that, he really is. And yes, I think if you’re to achieve mastery in your craft, your job or your career, you have to learn how to do what David did: Circumvent. You also have to be determined and relentless. David is all that as well, as this interview nicely demonstrates. Even if you can’t draw to save your life. Even if you didn’t go to the right university. Even if you’re not that good at making money. Even if you have an average IQ. Even if you can’t get venture funding. Even if you weren’t born insanely talented at something. Even if you have to wait tables or bartend for a couple of years. Circumvent, relentlessly.”

Hugh’s commentary reminded me of my other favourite cartoon artist (aside from Hugh), Scott Adams. Scott also makes no qualms about the limitations of his drawing skills

  • “My little window of talent involves selecting the right words to make things sound either funny or compelling. I’ll get to that in a minute. My job also involves drawing, but that’s not so much a talent (obviously) as it is a simple skill that I developed through practice. If I have any talent in that area, it involves knowing how to make the drawings fit the way I write. I could draw in a lot of different styles, albeit just as poorly as the one I use now, but my current style might be the only one that fits my writing.”


Dilbert - side job