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Ugly Dolls creator David Horvath: Math was my favorite art class

August 17, 2009 |  3:54 pm

We're going to let you in on a little secret: David Horvath, co-creator of the hyper-popular Ugly Dolls, almost flunked his drawing class. Here's how Horvath described squeaking through the Parsons School of Design in New York -- by doodling.

Like most art schools, Parsons had figure drawing classes where students would draw from nude models in various artistic poses. Horvath dutifully replicated the poses, but as cute monsters. His girlfriend, now wife, sat behind him and giggled, but his instructors were not humored.

"They'd tell me to get serious," said Horvath, whose company Pretty Ugly, is profiled in a Times article. "So I drew the monsters again, only with more shading. I really just got by in art class."

In fact, Horvath does not have a diploma from Parsons. He lacks the required credit for a single class -- math, a subject he dreads. Instead, he would doodle in those classes. "Math was my favorite art class in high school," the 38-year-old joked in a recent interview at the July Comic-Con convention in San Diego.

He's a Parson's star now that his work with his wife Sun-Min Kim has turned into a multi-million-dollar business with fans ranging from Snoop Dogg to Sasha Obama.

His advice to would-be artists and illustrators: "Don't listen to anybody. Just draw. And throw away the erasers. There are no such things as mistakes."

Some would say that offbeat approach is the secret to the Ugly Doll's charm.

"Sun-Min and I had this concept that ugly is beautiful because it meant you were unique and different," he said. "We should celebrate what makes us different, not surgically alter it to look the same as everyone else. You can try to fake beautiful. But you can't fake ugly. That's what these dolls are to us. They're all a little bit different."

To see what Horvath means, click on the video above.

-- Alex Pham

Follow my random thoughts on games, gear and technology on Twitter @AlexPham.