Contrary to what the fear-mongering propagandists in modern medicine would have you believe, it truly does not matter how you sit while doing art as long as you get as close to your work (page, canvas, glowing screen, hunk of limestone, open flame, etc.) as you possibly can.

If chiropractors had their way, making art would be as stiff and passionless as a middle-school dance chaperoned by your mother. But as all the greatest artists in history knew, the act of creation should be a full sensory experience!


Da Vinci painted the “Mona Lisa” entirely while sprawled on the floor.


Michelangelo never saw the statue of David from afar until he was completely finished.


Vermeer had to repaint “Girl with the Pearl Earring” dozens of times because he kept smearing the paint with his feet.

To make a true work of art, you must get on its level. A handy trick for testing whether you’re sitting correctly is to stick your tongue out.


Are you licking your art? If so, your posture is flawless.

Don’t worry. If you absolutely must sit at a desk (e.g you’re at work or in a public place, the floor is made of lava, etc.) just try to let gravity do the work.


Slide your shoulders forward, stretch your neck, and allow your head to sink down towards your masterpiece.


Ideally your eyes will be no more than two or three inches from the page so as to follow the movements of your chosen tool with perfect synchronicity.


If you are bothered by the pain or serious health problems caused by sitting like this, you should probably ask yourself if you’re really cut out to be an artist. If you can’t handle a little pinched nerve or a curved spine, find another profession (since that’s clearly all this is to you). In fact, consider becoming a chiropractor if you care about spines so much.


While still maintaining super-close eye contact with your work, make efforts to bend, tangle, and tie up your limbs as much as possible. Once you’re tied up, stick with your chosen pose as long as possible.

By scrunching up your body like this you prevent the juices from flowing. Which is perfect, because if the juices start flowing it might get you thinking about something other than the anxiety and self-hatred that drives you.


What would happen if you didn’t make art motivated by those two things? I don’t want to find out. It would turn the art world on its head (in a bad way).


When you’re finished working, try to move as little as possible. Hobble straight to your bed or lounge chair for a much-needed rest after your long day of (let’s be honest) the greatest workout one can undertake: that of the soul.


After a lifetime of working like this, the artist’s own body will be his or her greatest masterpiece:


Complicated in form and structure.


Bizarre and thought provoking.


Shocking to its audience.

Hallie Bateman is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist based in Brooklyn. She is on Twitter and Instagram. She doesn't want your attention but needs it.

3 replies on “The Art of Posture”

  1. Very amusing,thank you. However, as a bifocular sculptor of wood, it does ignore some of our particular necessarily obsessive strivings for creative i.e.tactile/visual/auditor/olfactory intimacy.And I began reading with hopes for scientific documentation…

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