Bitstrip and Artistic Elitism


Most comics that come out of Bitstrip are awful, let’s not kid ourselves here. But that’s sort of the point, they’re a silly way for people to make awful in jokes and comment on the weird things their friends do by making poorly drawn (and super awkwardly posed) comics out of each other. It’s about as harmless as someone drawing stick figure doodles of their friends during a class. But there’s also a very harsh backlash against Bitstrip, not for being spammy and annoying on Facebook walls, but because ‘Professional Artists’ (whom shall remain nameless)think that it is undermining the artistic integrity of art in general, and specifically comic strips, that Bitstrips are made people who don’t care about doing comics with any skill, professional polish, or comedic/writing skills to which I say, well, yeah. Duh. That’s the whole point.

Look, Professional Artists, you don’t have a stranglehold on art or comic strips. Just like the best authors don’t have control over what should be written about, or musicians what should be sung about. People sometimes just want to draw or make a stupid little comic strip about their friends and that is okay. They aren’t trying to pass their Bitstrips off as the next great webcomic, they aren’t trying to make a living off of doing it, and they aren’t doing anything more than just having a good time making things. Yes, it doesn’t require a ton of skill but so what? People choose where to invest their time and skills, and making a choice to not invest in drawing doesn’t mean that now those people should be banned from doing anything drawing related ever again. It’s like saying only professional authors should be allowed to have blogs because, well, they’re the only ones who know how to write well or care enough about writing to do it right.

And that’s where the Professional Artist’s big problem with Bitstrip lay: they think there’s a right way to do art. I hate to break it to you, but there isn’t. Bitstrip is an artistic expression of people communicating comedy and shared experiences with each other. Yes, it is low quality, insular, narrow, myopic, and generally uninspired but that doesn’t mean it isn’t art and it sure as hell doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be able to do it. Being a Professional Artist does not give you the right or authority to dictate who should be allowed to participate in drawn art, or in what way. When you whine about the plebeian masses making things like Bitstrips and saying it’s not ‘real art’ and is ‘lazy and skilless’ what you’re really telling the world is that you’re so insecure in your artistic skills and talents that you think people making comics from fucking clipart are a legitimate challenge to your own comic skills.

If you think Bitstrip is a legitimate threat to your artistic career, you may need to reevaluate your position in life.


About kylock

Man, biographies are really hard to write because sometimes you just don't know what to write about and then you ramble on pointlessly for a while about your hobbies (video games, reading, programming) and end up boring your readers because they expect something witty and insightful (there are only two ways to save money, neither of which involves hookers) and then readership falls off and you cry yourself to sleep.
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