How to Fantasy

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Title: How to Fantasy
Creator: Donna Barr
Date(s): July 1993
Medium: print
External Links:
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How to Fantasy is a 1993 satirical essay by Donna Barr printed in Artistic Endeavors #12.

It poked fun at fans and their expectations of fantasy art.

Related Essays


Include: Tits. Lots of tits. BIG tits. Tits that obey no known natural laws, especially not those of gravity. Tits should always be seen from a nipple view, even if the subject is also presenting a full shot of her/his buttocks. Don't argue with me. You're selling to fans; they don't know anatomy. They want T & A. Make 'em happy. Make 'em drool. Make 'em go through their pockets.


Orange reflected light. It doesn't matter if there is an actual orange surface ANYPLACE in the painting. They want to see Orange Reflected Light. Especially on the Tits, the Buttocks and the Cheekbones. They don't know what it is, so it doesn't matter where you put it. Ignore the actual light-source. Your audience spends a lot of time indoors. Most of them have never seen a real sunset, and they don't pay any attention to shadows. Hey - you want a disconcerning audience, go fine a temporary downtown gallery in a Statement-Of-Use building and invite some art-critics wearing army-surplus coats! You buy the beer.


The Pouty Teenager look. The female Warrior always sports this expression. Lower lip stuck out, sullen eyes. It's what passes these days for'sultry'. Fans do NOT know the difference. TRUST ME. If you want a really good reference, get the International Male catalogue- - or go down to the Safeway parking lot and listen for skateboards.


Feathers. Make it fly. And don't worry about wing-joints; stick a couple of extras in. The more complicated the wing, the better. Left-over feathers you can hang on short women in rags, and call them 'Elves'.


Shiny places. You do NOT have to study anatomy, especially animal anatomy. You don't believe me? There are some big fantasy-art names out there, whose leg-joints and jaw-articulations are as clumsy as any amateur's. But the PROFESSIONAL knows about Shiny Places. Just figure out how to make the surface of the body glitter or sweat, and you don't have to know where the bones are! Why make it hard for yourself? Nobody else does. And look at the money they rake in.


Penes, or Penises. (Don't get smart and to spell it "Penii".) A recent development. Very in with the under-the-counter gang right now. Penises are like tits; fans think they are being very sophisticated if they buy paintings that are "unashamed" or — good sales term — " uninhibited'. Humor them. Don't EVEN let on that you know your work is titillating them. Be kind; this may be all the sex they ever get.

Comments by the Author

Two months later, a reply by the author was printed in the Artistic Endeavors:

Good heavens, my "How to Fantasy" got a better reception than I thought it might.


Would you like a modest article entitled "How to Editor?" or even, "How to Woman Cartoonist", "How to Collaborator", "How to Fan", "How to Victim", "How to Hurt Feelings", or even "How to Dead"?

Good Heavens again, I've gone and come up with a new grammatical form, whether legitimate or no: "How to Edit" means just that. "How to Editor" means to edit with the worst possible motives. It is not a pretty sight. Is this a useful form? As in - "Oh No, Not HIM: he's going to editor my book!"