Kurt Vonnegut's art reminds us that sometimes our passions inform our crafts.

Written by Cole Schafer

Kurt Vonnegut was well known as a writer.

Less so as an artist.

But, this didn’t change the fact that he loved art and spent a meaningful chunk of his life creating it.

Vonnegut’s art boasts the same strange, satirical flair that made his writing so widely loved and admired.

But, unlike his writing, nothing he drew, doodled nor painted would necessarily be described as “beautiful”.

One would sooner reach for words like…

Unique, abstract and noteworthy.

A quick Google search will bombard you with a wide-ranging number of pieces festooned with bright colors and strange shapes and oddly angled silhouettes…

A pair of big faces sporting thick, swollen lips, trapped inside geometric patterns.

A woman, drawn from the back, with a behind as large as a starship sitting in what appears to be a pooling pile of her own urine.

A mustached doodle of Vonnegut himself with a nose two sizes too big, smoking a stubby cigarette, brooding.

This was Vonnegut’s art, in all its glory.

It’s not a reach to say that Vonnegut took his art less seriously than his writing.

I imagine that, in a way, the freedom he felt with art was an escape from the pressures of his larger-than-life legacy as a writer.

His daughter, Nanette, told The Huffington Post in an earlier interview that her father used to say he would have much rather been a visual artist than a writer.

Naturally, they asked her to elaborate.

“People are so surprised to find out he wasn’t happy in his studio… One thing he said in Anne Lamott’s book was that he felt every time he sat down to write, that he had no arms. He had no idea where to begin, and it was a real labor… He worked so hard to get it right. It was tiring. Doing artwork was less tiring...”

Perhaps, Vonnegut’s passion for art allowed him to approach the page recharged, refreshed and with a new sense of vigor and knew this.

Or, perhaps he played in art simply because he enjoyed it and for him, that was enough.

Unfortunately, we can’t ask him.

By Cole Schafer.