"I now do what other people only dream: I make art until someone dies. See? I'm the world's first fully functioning homicidal artist. "The Art Attacker is a character who uses art as a weapon. This could be paint, puppetry, music, video, etc. Unlike a Starving Artist (who is dying for their art), an Art Attacker has someone else dying from their art. The attacker can be, but is not necessarily, a Mad Artist or a Cultured Badass. Their Weapon of Choice might be an Instrument of Murder, The Pen Is Mightier, a Weaponized Camera or something else. And if they run a Wax Museum Morgue, then their victims are very, very screwed. Super Trope to Comedy as a Weapon, Dance Battler, Marionette Master, Musical Assassin, and Paper Master. Those examples should be listed on their own pages. Sub-Trope of Improbable Weapon User. See also Art Initiates Life, Imagination-Based Superpower and Rewriting Reality. This trope has nothing to do with the TV series, Art Attack.
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Anime And Manga
- One Piece has Mr. 3, who uses wax sculptures, and Miss Goldenweek, who uses color to paint on Standard Status Effects or other powers. They are paired together due to their art theme.
- Jora of the Doflamingo Family is an even more literal version of this, as her power lets her transform things (and people) into abstract art using thought clouds.
- The former Supernova rookie Scratchmen Apoo ate a devil fruit allowing him to turn his body parts into musical instruments. The catch is that some of the soundwaves he produces cause slashes and explosions.
- Evening Shower Kanjuro can make anything he draws come to life to help him. Though there's a hilarious subversion from other people in One Piece (and probably Manga in general) who use magical drawings; Kanjuro's drawings are awful, and most of his attacks are squiggly and pathetic, and turns what could easily be one of the strongest Devil Fruits in the world (an Imagination Based Power in a world where power increases are entirely determined by imaginative thinking instead of linear increases) into a complete and utter joke.
- Naruto has a sizable stable of art weapon users. Sasori, Kankuro and Chiyo are trained puppetmasters, Deidara uses explosive clay, and Sai can bring his paintings to life. Sasori and Deidara, like the One Piece example, were partnered, but constantly argued over whose definition of art was superior (Sasori argued that art should be eternal and sought to make indestructible puppets, while Deidara believed true art was ephemeral and thus explosions were the ultimate expression of art).
- The meeting of all of the above but Chiyo was the very first battle of the Fourth Ninja War arc. Chiyo got there later, after Sasori "left."
- There's also Konan and her origami.
- In YuYu Hakusho, Kurama goes up against a demon who uses make-up to power himself and de-power others.
- In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Kakyoin does this while he's Brainwashed and Crazy early in the story. He attacks Jotaro by making a painting of him, then slashing the leg with red paint, causing a gash to appear on Jotaro's leg; later on, he uses a marionette to control the school nurse's body. After he's freed from DIO's mind control, it's shown that this was all unnecessary (since he then fights directly along with his Stand Hierophant Green), suggesting that it was just theatrical flair.
- The stand Bohemian Rhapsody also gives Ungalo the ability to do it. The stand causes fictional characters over the entire earth to come to life if there's a picture of them. When a person runs into a character they like, they get the character's role and are doomed to share their fate. For example, if you really like Vincent van Gogh and run into one of his self portraits, you will cut off your own ear and kill yourself. How is the stand beaten? Weather Report has Vincent van Gogh draw a fictional character who's ability is to stop Bohemian Rhapsody.
- The Green Lantern foe the Tattooed Man and Batman villain Pyx from The DCU have the power to bring their tattoos (body art) to life.
- Rithmatists from The Rithmatist. They can use chalk to create barriers, wards against Rithmatic attacks, and animated drawings. With a special glyph, these drawings can be allowed to interact with the real world, often by ripping people into tiny pieces.
- Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series novel Greenwitch. A man working for the Dark paints a picture that acts as a spell to control the Greenwitch.
- The Sword of Truth has a court wizard who places spells on people by drawing them, using their likeness for Sympathetic Magic.
- In the final novel of The Dark Tower, this plays a major role in the defeat of The Crimson King.
- In Catching Fire Peeta uses his solo session with the game makers to paint an image of Rue covered in flowers to hold them responsible for her death.
- The titular character in the Oriental tale of The Boy Who Drew Cats.
- The boy Ma Liang who was blessed with the Magic Brush.
Live Action Television
- In Misfits, a tattoo artist turns out to be able to use his tattoos to control and attack people.
- The girl in the Doctor Who episode "Fear Her". had been drawing children out of the real world and on to her paper. Turns out she's been possessed by a lonely little alien, but before the Doctor can find the spaceship, the alien captures him and the TARDIS in her paper. She later abducts the Olympic Stadium in London, and almost does so to the entire planet.
- One Get Smart villain used "Dorian Gray" paint - he painted pictures of his victims who would then rapidly age and die.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Monster of the Week Artistmole
- A season 2 episode of Eagleheart has a variant of this when Monsanto becomes a hot new artist with blood spatters from the people he shoots as his pieces. At one point a woman in line for a club asks him to do her dress so he shoots the guy in front of her, covering her outfit in blood as she she shrieks with excitement over "wearing a MONSANTO!"
- In de Blob, you can take over the occupying forces by coloring the world.
- Dynasty Warriors:
- Ma Dai fights with a giant brush that shoots off solid ink "pellets" as well as pictures of tigers and dragons.
- As does Narsus in Arslan: Warriors of Legend, a crossover-spinoff of Dynasty Warriors.
- In Epic Mickey, Mickey uses a brush and paint thinner to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. His opponent, par for the course, is the Phantom Blot.
- Amaterasu, the main character of Ōkami, uses her tail as a brush to cast spells. There is also her Evil Counterpart Ninetails, who in his first form can use similarly powerful spells whenever the player tries to sketch (his brush moves slowly, so sketching faster than him is important), and Shiranui, Amaterasu's ancestor who draws extremely fast and helps the player against the Wawku Shrine Dual Boss.
- In Comix Zone, the artist (named Sketch, natch) and Big Bad of a comic series switch places, where the hero is in the series, and the Big Bad is in the real world. To make the switch more permanent, the Big Bad draws enemies into the comic to kill off the hero.
- This is the player's modus operandi in the Scribblenauts games.
- Relm in Final Fantasy VI has the "Sketch" ability which lets her use the target monster's special abilities.
- Brauner from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. When you fight him, he paints on an easel with blood, making a pattern on the screen that damages you when you touch it. He also uses Art Initiates Life to summon monsters by painting them.
- The Kirby series features many bosses like this, mostly as Mook Makers. The most well-known is Paint Roller in Kirby's Adventure. Kirby's Dream Land 3 has Ado, and Kirby 64 features Adeleine, as a boss turned ally.
- The main protagonist of Graffiti Kingdom has a magic brush that turns himself into different creatures using cards. Some are hidden, some are dropped from enemies which turn you into that enemy and give you their powers. You can even acquire cards allowing you to turn into miniature versions of bosses.
- Sly Cooper series has the Panda King, a firework artist who uses fireworks in combat and to help his crimes.
- The various rudies from the Jet Set Radio series attack using graffiti.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the ability you get from the ruby star is literally called "Art Attack." The amount of damage it does depends on how many times you can draw circles around your opponent.
- Luigi's Mansion has Vincent Van Gore, whose paintings of ghostly Mooks come to life.
- Wario Land 4 has Hoggus in the Doodle Woods, who sketches pictures of enemies that subsequently come to life and attack Wario. Deburinas also emerge from pictures in the same level.
- Splatoon involves separate teams spraying their color of paint all over arenas. The team with the most paint spread wins. This also results in Geo Effects: players move faster on paint of their color.
- In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, Bowser Jr.'s Final Smash is him turning into Shadow Mario and obscuring most of the screen with an orange painted X, which damages opponents who make contact with it.
- Zeri of Dawngate is an Art Attacker. When she's not lobbing blobs of paint at enemies, she even has one technique where she "desaturates" the opponent, removing some of their colour temporarily and stopping their ability to cast spells.
- Trap Team gives us Short Cut (a tailor armed with traptanium shears whose needle work immobilizes enemies) and Wolfgang (a werewolf rock star whose guitar-in addition to being a literal axe-emits destructive notes).
- Superchargers gives us Splat (a satyr whose bo staff/double-ended paintbrush lays down damaging paint and summons paint constructs to aid her) and Fiesta (a ghostly mariachi player whose weapon is a trumpet and is backed up by his band).
- inFAMOUS: Second Son features two artistic superpowers. "Neon" has various attacks that are accompanied by vibrant colors and one character can use them to pain glowing art wherever they want. The "Video" power set summons videogame angels and demons as minions to do various things, like carry away enemies.
- One group of interest for the SCP Foundation is the art group "Are We Cool Yet?", who is specialized on producing artwork with anomalous properties - sometimes with deadly results.
- ChalkZone: While in Chalk Zone Rudy can create anything he needs by drawing it with his magic chalk. Outside of Chalk Zone anything anyone draws with any chalk and erases becomes real inside Chalk Zone.
- In one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, an artist's pencil fell into Bikini Bottom, which could bring to life a disgruntled duplicate of SpongeBob. The pencil and eraser were both used to attack and defend.
- Splatter Phoenix of Darkwing Duck is an artist who uses her reality-bending paintbrushes to commit various crimes, including various assaults on our hero.
- Miraculous Ladybug: Nathanaël's akumatized form in the episode "The Evillustrator" has art themed powers, with the ability to draw and erase objects into/ from existence via his tablet.
- Brushogun's ink is used to create minions for the Big Bad of Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo.
- The Music Meister from Batman: The Brave and the Bold uses his song and music occasionally as a form of attack, but more often as a form of Mind Control.
- Mad Artist Zachariah Easel from Skysurfer Strike Force who can attack the Skysurfers with his art.
- In Star Wars Rebels, Sabine is a consummate graffiti artist and the Ghost's Demolitions Expert. As such, one of her weapons is explosive, remote-detonated spray paint.
- Spiders. Their beautiful and intricately-woven webs are perfect for ensnaring prey into a trap.