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Making “Bad Art

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6 Wall Art Pieces
October 19, 2020

A couple weeks ago, my roommates and I started having “bad art” nights at the end of bad days.

A couple weeks ago, my roommates and I started having “bad art” nights at the end of bad days. We call them bad art nights not because we’re making art that’s bad in the sense that we don’t like it, but because making this art is “an invitation to stray from the expectation of perfection” (@nRJ). This started because one of my roommates was inspired by Rachel Burke’s instagram, imakestagram, where she’s posted pictures from her own bad art night workshops. During these bad art nights we gather art supplies from around the apartment and sit in a circle and just go for it. Sometimes we have a theme, or get inspired by each other and accidentally end up with a theme, but we’re all free to make whatever we want. The only rule of bad art night is that you can’t erase anything. Whatever happens, happens and you have to go with it. 

When I was younger, I would get frustrated really quickly if something didn’t turn out exactly how I pictured it in my head. I stopped doing art for years because it just stressed me out. We’re never taught what to do with failure, and I got stuck in the rut of thinking that if something wasn’t perfect it was a failure. Making bad art has allowed me to find joy in art again. I’m making art for myself (and to decorate the apartment). I don’t have to worry about perspective, or getting a good grade, or making sure I don’t accidentally smudge something and have to start all over again. All I have to worry about is getting some fun colors on the paper. Whatever I make doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s called bad art night for a reason. As long as I have fun making it, that’s good enough for me.

Next time you have a bad day, or need to take a break from homework, or are just bored, make some bad art. Hang it on your wall, or send it to a friend. Just remember: you can’t erase anything.


Rosey Ireson

Bystander Intern

Environmental Studies & Geosciences