Young Artist Feature: Reza Farazmand & Poorly Drawn Lines
Los Angeles, CA
When did you start thinking of yourself as an artist? Or, do you?
As a cartoonist, I think of myself as a writer first and an artist second. I use art to convey a joke or story or situation that I initially spend a lot of time putting down in words. The pictures help bring those words to life. Sometimes with sexy dinosaurs and butt jokes.
Why are you an artist? What is art to you/what does it do for you? How important is it to you?
I draw comics because I like making fun of things. It sounds simple, but that’s really all there is to it. Life is strange, people are weird, and it’s important to point out all the absurdities—and create new ones—to help take the edge off.
How did you get to where you are now, and do you want to take it further? In other words, what are your artistic goals?
I started doing Poorly Drawn Lines as a weekly comic strip in my college newspaper my freshman year. A few months later I found out about this thing called “webcomics” and decided to put PDL on the internet. The rest is history. By which I mean “things I remember in my head.”
I definitely want to take it further. PDL has started gaining an audience over the last year or so, and it’s really encouraging. If things keep going well, I’d love to make PDL my full time gig. In any case, my goal is to keep entertaining people and exploring what I can do creatively, whether that means drawing comics, writing a novel, or making tiny clay statues of Batman fighting Darth Vader and selling them on eBay. Don’t steal that idea.
Ever since I got kicked out of Astronaut Cowboy Indiana Jones school I’ve had to take a real hard look at what I want to do professionally. Like I said before, doing PDL full time would be amazing. Whatever happens, I want to continue to flex my creative muscles. Maybe I’ll open a gym for artists. Don’t steal that idea.
What are you working on now?
New comics. Always. I’m also going to be launching the PDL blog soon, where I’ll be writing short stories and essays of the humorous variety. Some of them might actually be good.
Any advice for aspiring artists?
Make stuff and put it on the internet. It’s unbelievable the kind of exposure you can get out there. Artists have a crazy level of access to people these days. Just people in general. Lots of them. Lots of people who might really enjoy what you do and support your efforts to do it.
If you could be anything else, what would it be?
Astronaut Cowboy Indiana Jones.
I’ve seen your comics on Reddit and Pinterest; how do you feel about that? (I think it’s pretty damn cool.)
I feel great about it. Reddit was actually a huge source of encouragement for me. There was a point after I graduated from college when I wasn’t sure I was going to keep drawing PDL. Then I did this comic about how I killed a spider and it got really popular on Reddit. That’s when I realized I could potentially reach a lot of people by drawing silly shit and presenting it to the masses. It goes back to that whole “put stuff on the internet” thing I mentioned earlier. The internet is a big artistic melting pot, and at the same time, a perfect democracy—good things get propelled to the surface because people share them and talk about them and lend them this amazing collective momentum. It is, for the most part, a beautiful thing.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Prevent internet censorship. And brush your teeth.