RED Hearts: How Matthew Draws


matthew-drawsRED Hearts are guest posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today.

Today, Carey Dunne, 25, in Brooklyn, entertains us with a little celebrity guess who?: 

Sometimes the worst drawings are the best drawings. At least this is the case in Matthew Draws ($10), a new book of 61 hilariously awkward celebrity line drawings by technically unskilled illustrator Matthew Swanson. His primitive portraits make Hollywood’s beautiful people look like deranged criminals, and he describes the book as “part guessing game, part artistic statement, and part sociological experiment.”

He’s made great entertainment out of this awful portraiture. (Just tell me you're not already trying to make sense of the celebrity you're looking at here.) Can you tell that that eye-bagged ghoul is supposed to be the illustrious Meryl Streep? (If this gives you a sense of how much room there is for interpretation, incorrect Meryl guesses include Glenn Close, RuPaul and Michael Jackson.)

They’ll also quickly humble you if you try to draw your own -- and give you new respect for Matthew's brave attempts. The guessing game has turned into a you-can-too-meme of sorts, with unschooled artists around the web trying their hand at celebrity portraiture and making their friends guess the identities of their famous subjects. See the most recent “Readers Draw” contest results here.

Swanson’s wife, Robbi Behr, is an actual talented and technically adept illustrator. The couple runs Idiots’ Books, a small independent press that publishes what they call “picture books for adults,” including the appealing series titled The Baby is Disappointing. Usually, Swanson sticks to writing words, and Behr does the drawing.

Inspired for RED Hearts, I attempted my own celebrity sketch -- in blue Bic ballpoint on an eco-friendly paper napkin at a coffee shop. The result was creepy. See if you can guess which actress this is supposed to be (hint: She may or may not be a shining example of the genre. Scroll all the way down for the answer!).












RED Hearts guest poster Carey Dunne is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which is out in paperback.

answer: It's... Shelley Duvall!