Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration: Lynda Barry

Over 10 years ago, cartoonist Lynda Barry realized she no longer took pleasure in cartooning. Rediscovering her love of making images was a long process beautifully explored in her book, One Hundred Demons. One of the key lessons she took away from the experience is how so many of us stop drawing or creating art at the moment we’re expected to show mastery of the craft. It’s not allowable as simply an activity performed for fun or relaxation; it has to produce something of merit. In the aftermath of that realization, Barry has begun to teach college classes focusing on introducing non-art majors to the pleasure of drawing. Lynda Barry’s Tumblr account is mostly dedicated to material related to her increasingly prominent role as a teacher and lecturer, but she does occasionally share her own work. This strip, originally posted in May but recently reposted, explores Barry’s fascination with that gulf between expectation and enjoyment:


There’s not much to add; Barry’s continued advocacy for the enjoyment of art of all types is self-evident. Creating fine art still functions under an obligation of profundity that walls off the experience for a lot of viewers. Fortunately, it’s a rapidly eroding mentality as illustration, video, and animation continue to cross-pollinate with older mediums and ways of thinking about what, exactly, art should be.

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