Don’t Kill Off MS Paint | A Plea from an Artist

5 Reasons Why We Should Give MS Paint a Chance

While the rest of us were doodling around in Microsoft Paint after school in the 90s, one artist made a full-blown career out of it. Yes, you read that right.

 

MS Paint Miranda Lorikeet ArtistsNetwork

Poolside Views, drawn from MS Paint, by Miranda Lorikeet

 

“It feels like losing an old friend.” That’s how Australian artist Miranda Lorikeet took the news that Microsoft will stop updating the painting program as part of the Windows 10 update.

“This morning I received a barrage of messages from all around the world, people asking me, ‘Miranda, have you heard!? MS Paint is dead!’” she says.

Although Microsoft quickly made a follow-up announcement stating MS Paint will still be available for free in the Windows Store, the accessibility of it won’t be the same, notes Lorikeet. She shares with us five reasons why she loves this program and how it’s made her work unique.

 

MS Paint Miranda Lorikeet ArtistsNetwork

Sand Dunes/Full Moon, drawn with MS Paint, by Miranda Lorikeet

1. MS Paint is the most accessible program on the planet.

It’s available on almost every computer in the world. That means I can sit down at my local public library, at the airport computer lounge or at an internet cafe and just start drawing. With MS Paint being removed from the latest Windows update, this will no longer be the case (you will have to download it).

For other digital platforms, there is generally a “right” and “wrong” way of using the software. But there is no right or wrong way to use MS Paint. No one offers courses on how to correctly utilize it. With this program, you have total artistic freedom.

2. What you can’t do is what you CAN do in this program.

The limitations are what make it so special. Working with such limited tools and basic software makes you really push yourself creatively. It’s not so much what you can do with MS Paint, but what you can’t that makes it special.

 

MS Paint Miranda Lorikeet ArtistsNetwork

Dive/Survive, drawn on MS Paint, by Miranda Lorikeet

3. There are no expectations of what you should be able to create with it.

Children use it. adults use it. It’s a great place to start drawing or, in my case, a great place to build your artistic style. It’s a wonderfully basic yet deeply complex program.

4. MS Paint forces you to think outside the box.

This painting program has taught me to value simplicity. The tools in the program play a huge part in making my drawings look the way they do. It’s become a key part of my artistic style: the way the brush auto-blurs; the way the pixels stretch and skew; the crappy resolution. These factors shape what has now become my signature style.

 

MS Paint Miranda Lorikeet ArtistsNetwork

Jelly Fish Wish, drawn with MS Paint, by Miranda Lorikeet

5. The love for it is loud!

With in a few hours, there was a Kickstarter campaign to save MS Paint, and I tried to start  #saveMSpaint on Instagram this morning. It was heartwarming to see how many people all around the world care about this dinky, nostalgic program!

 

MS Paint Miranda Lorikeet ArtistsNetwork

Left Behind/In Your Mind, drawn with MS Paint, by Miranda Lorikeet

 

Check out more of Lorikeet’s work at her website, and read our original interview with her in this past issue of The Artist’s Magazine.

Oh, and don’t forget to use #saveMSpaint to keep this Microsoft staple alive for future kids to enjoy! (Hey, the 80s and 90s are back, right?)

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One thought on “Don’t Kill Off MS Paint | A Plea from an Artist

  1. Ruth Morrisson

    I don’t use Microsoft ANYTHING. But I have the same complaint with Apple about them no longer supporting Appleworks. I used to be able to “draw”, “paint”, write, make a spreadsheet, and even (though I never did) could have set up a database. Now? I have iPages for text (sort of) and iNumbers for spreadsheets and pie charts. NOTHING for doing art. And I can’t afford real graphics design programs like Quark or Adobe Illustrator. The formatting on iPages and iNumbers has been dumbed down (god FORBID I might want to use the Pantone Matching System — oh no, instead I get “crayon” colors). And both apps are buggy as all get out, in spite of patches and updates. I have no control over leading or kerning. Zero. Want to to have 1 point leading? Yeah, good luck with that…. I have to keep switching into different tabs for other sorts of formatting; and trying to repaginate long documents? That’s a nightmare — set up a new “section” and hope it actually works (sometimes you can get it to create a new section starting with the current page, but other times not), then delete all the “new” pages which are generated….

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