Visual art comes in all shapes and sizes. And while for many, a true work of art is something extremely detailed, colorful, that which speaks volumes with its expression, there are people who take a more minimal and straightforward approach to art.
And you know what? Both approaches are effective in conveying everything that art should convey.
David Shrigley is a UK-based visual artist who does the latter. Well, OK, saying his art is minimal and straightforward is pure understatement as it’s much more than that. It’s intricately simple and straight to the point with its mostly monochromatic, uncluttered, cartoony aesthetic and overall message literally written on the picture.
Bored Panda invites you take a deep dive into the visual art of David Shrigley. We’ve also got in touch with the artist for an interview, so be sure to read it while you scroll. And why not vote and leave a comment on the best ones with what you think about it!
David doesn’t shy away from sensitive topics and expresses himself in a crude, but honest way. Swear words are no stranger to his art... unlike visual subtlety. Don’t be surprised to see images like a devil fornicating on the floor or pure nudity in his art.
It’s somewhat random, for a lack of better words, but it’s a good kind of random—a perceptive and defamiliarizing approach, one that keeps people coming back to explore topics or concepts not many necessarily think about. Parts of it are funny, others are sarcastic, yet others are critical. And it's best experienced individually.
Drawing is an integral part of who David is as a person. “Drawing makes me happy. Every day that I draw is a good day. I think that I always wanted to be an artist even before I knew that such a profession might be a possibility,” he told Bored Panda.
He went into detail about his artistic process: “I find that the best way to work is to try to fill a specific number of sheets of paper in a day. 30 seems to be a good number for me. I seem to have more success with drawing if I try to convince myself that I’m doing something other than making art,” he said.
“If I just think of my task as being to fill 30 sheets of paper then this seems to be a lot easier somehow,” he added.
David told Bored Panda that he discards a lot of the drawings that he does. He estimates that around 70 percent of his art doesn’t see the light of day.
“I like to think that everything has the potential to be art or garbage and it doesn’t matter which it is as long as the drawing in question is finished. Ideally, I like to put all the drawings I make away for a few weeks before I decide what gets kept. That way I can look at them with fresh eyes.”
He continued: “Another method of working that I have is to write a list of things to draw before I start; a tree, an elephant, a lorry, an orgy, etc. This gives each drawing a starting point. Once I have started, the drawing usually manages to get somewhere. I think the starting point is important for an artist. Once you’ve started the battle is half-won.”
According to David, his artwork isn’t really about anything in particular. He said that certain themes might repeat themselves but it’s not something that he’s consciously aware of while he’s in the flow and drawing. “I guess, my work is mostly intuitive. You could say it was an elaborate form of doodling.”
The artist tends to use ink and brush or water-based marker pens for his elaborate doodles. “I try to work on a larger scale than the drawing might be reproduced at. Images reproduce better if they are scaled down from the original. I read that in a ‘How To Be A Cartoonist’ book. It was the only piece of information in there that was any use,” he quipped.
David also gave young artists a single piece of advice that he thinks will benefit them the most: “There are no rules. You can do whatever you want.”