Professor Wu's Rulebook

10 things nobody tells you about becoming an artist

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Think you know what it takes to become the next Picasso or Monet? Think again!


  1. There are 5000 shades of white – and they all have specific names that are usually unheard of. The most common shades are codswallop and bumdergard.
What even is ‘white’, anyway?
  1. Wild easels make the best artistic companions, but they must be caught first. You can do this by tying a piece of camembert to a painter’s apron and leaving it out in the sun for an hour, the easels will eat the cheese and become dopey, making them easier to catch in the apron.
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A wild easel in its natural habitat 
  1. When you go to a modern art exhibit at a fellow artist’s gallery, there will always be a picture of a giant penis somewhere on the walls. The best thing you can do in this situation is to ignore the penis, and use the stock-phrases artists use in such instances. These phrases include “This art really smells like the decay of our modern civilisation” and “What a lovely shade of bumbdegard the artist is using”.



  1. Never make eye contact with an artist you haven’t been introduced to, especially if there is a full moon due.

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  1. There is a hierarchy within the art world that must be strictly acknowledged. It runs thusly: Illustrator; Naked Illustrator; Impressionist; Naked Impressionist; Faux-renaissance post-modern lumberjack painter; sculptor; mole-rat enthusiast; naked contemporary artist; contemporary artist.


  1. All art can be described as either ‘cliché’ or ‘erotic’.


  1. If you ever see a photographer trying to sneak into your art studio, you have permission to beat him with your sharpest paintbrush – but only if you are painting with lilac or mauve at the time of his arrival.


  1. The best background music to pipe into your gallery when exhibiting your own work is Enya – also known as ‘loud silence’
  1. The finest pieces of portrait art are those that evoke real, true emotions in the viewer. But beware! These are also the most likely pieces to come to life. If they do, you must burn them before they can take up jobs as inner-city accountants.

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  1. You will frequently get calls from an unknown number that hangs up as soon as you answer it. Ignore these, it’s just Banksy trying to get your attention, and street art can only lead to a life of debauchery and poverty.

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