Writer and Blogger Chris Stedman’s Bad Giraffe Art

For as much as I enjoy hyping up the website I must say that this post marks a great turning point in the history of Pretty Awful Giraffes; it marks the first time we have ever actually been contacted by someone who should not be drawing a giraffe. So it was with great joy I was able to find this on the Twitter account a few days ago:


@AwfulGiraffes Bahaha! I love your website more than I can say. And you’re from Minnesota?! Too awesome for words. Keep it up!


@AwfulGiraffes P.S. I’d be honored to draw a giraffe! Hilariously enough, when I doodle I mostly draw giraffes. Not that they’re good…

Chris Stedman is the Interfaith and Community Service Fellow for the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University and the Managing Director of State of Formation, a new initiative at the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue. A fellow Minnesotan and graduate of Augsburg College, Stedman is also the founder and author of the blog NonProphet Status. In addition to this he writes for the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog and The Huffington Post. Lastly, as if all of this was not accomplishment enough, he works to foster positive and productive dialogue between faith communities and the nonreligious and is currently writing a memoir related to this work for Beacon Press.

Frankly, I could go on and on about all of the great things Chris is doing but it would probably just make you feel bad. In fact, you might reach the conclusion that you’re just a twenty-something on the prairie who spends his time on the internet anonymously harassing Gary Snyder and David Silverman because they are unwilling (read: mature) to draw pictures of African animals; being emotionally attached to this project, every criticism you write will only be punctuated with tears. (Hypothetically speaking, of course).

I’ve digressed.

Convening the editorial review board (we never rubber stamp here) there were major reservations about whether or not Chris fit the general requirements of someone who should not be drawing a giraffe (after all he did explicitly state that he frequently draws giraffe). This great mission statement/identity debate went on for almost all of three minutes before we reached a consensus: it only seemed right to give a fellow Minnesotan a chance. Chris Stedman would be the next name to enter the GDBPWSNBDG canon.

Alerting him of this immense honor and privilege (something I’m sure he will now include on his blog’s biography page *cough*), we inferred a tone in his reaction Tweet reminiscent of a child getting the Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Cannon for Christmas.

@AwfulGiraffes Wow, thanks! It’s a deal! What’s the best way for me to do this? DM me if you want my email.

In addition to this he was even kind enough to attach a little note.

I’m not sure if this is cheating but yes, I drew my giraffe in Paint. And yes, I downloaded Paint specifically for this purpose. I drew it on my laptop with the touchpad, which was much harder than I anticipated. 

In case it isn’t clear: this is an image of a baby giraffe hanging out on my lap, and we’re friends (the heart should be a major hint). Because when you spend as much time working in front of the computer as I do, having imaginary cartoon giraffe friends is what you’re reduced to. But as someone who is working to bridge diverse communities, I’m not going to let differences like “one of us doesn’t actually exist” get in the way of our friendship! 

Finally: your website is awesome. Thanks again for inviting me to contribute.

Chris Stedman and A Pretty Awful Giraffe (May 2, 2011)

I’m not going to make any inappropriate jokes about where the giraffe is coming from. None.

4 thoughts on “Writer and Blogger Chris Stedman’s Bad Giraffe Art

  1. Talia

    I really like it that he color coordinated the giraffe with his headphones. How thoughtful. 🙂

  2. Pingback: NonProphet Status » Blog Archive » May Speaking Gig + Recent Press + An Awful Giraffe

  3. Jill

    Well this is weird! I both know the creator of this blog and this poster. I thought to myself, “well that sort of looks like Chris Stedman!” And waddayaknow…..Keep it up Felts.


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