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A couple of days ago I bought a set of India ink fineliners that I've been creeping around in the shop for about a year, but never bought because of my limited student budget. I tried them last night and it's like pencil heaven on earth, especially the one with the extra small tip. I doodled a tiny Big Ben, about the size of my thumbnail, and as I was marvelling at those fine, thin lines the tip left on the paper, I remembered something my old art teacher said many years ago about my drawing of a drill bit: "The genius thing about this one is how tiny the details are." I also recall how proud I was, because everybody spoke of him as a 'true' artist, but also he was fantastically critical; when, in his opinion, there was no hope for a students' drawing, he used to just tear up the sheet and tell them to try again. I found this drill bit in one of my folders for you, as well as my first attempt ever to draw something with ink. 
Drawing something and remembering compliments like these makes me feel better; it seems like, among all the doubts and insecurities, there is something I can count on, some sort of solid ground for success. I guess what makes the attraction of drawing is the fact that you can take a blank sheet and, with any pen that happens to be in your orbit, create something out of nothing- any kind of brush activity's attraction, actually, starting with primitive things such as painting your nails in a bright colour when you feel particularly bad; too bad to draw anything of whatever little value, but some kind of value at least. Colours, patterns or images where there were none. 
My old teacher has retired a couple of years ago so I've got no idea what he's doing now, but I'd really like to show him some of my recent stuff and ask him his own famous question: art or kitsch, Mr. Ahrens? If I compare what I do to the works of other 'common' people (as in people with no prestige art school education who start exhibiting and selling their work at the age of 20 because they have reliable connections) I often end up judging my work as kindergarten doodles which leaves me desperate and feeling useless, but for now I still have some courage left. The actual, more important flaw lies within the following- your drawing, be it good or bad, stays on paper; you're still yourself, you're still unimportant, you've not moved in life. The piles of uni work are still challenging the solidity of your desk, you're still detached from whoever you're actually curious about, your future career (or the lack of it) still gives you the heebie-jeebies whenever you think about it. The nail polish will be gone in three days at best, and also pink totally isn't your colour, never was. How do we deal with this issue?


  1. Hmmmm this text is really interessting....i often think that many people often feel bad about things they are actually doing in a great way because I know many people, who think so.
    But maybe this is important, because feeling bad often makes us want to get better.
    I, for example, am totally bad at doing sports, I'm very slow and clumsy - but I just don't care about it, so I'm not getting better at it.
    With making music it is different - people tell me that I am good at it, but I often just can't believe it, but I want to so badly - so I try to get better and better.
    Yeah and maybe that is how I deal with...feeling bad and unimportant. I mean, if I get better, maybe someday I am important to someone and if not, I still have learnt by it because music or other art expresses so many feelings and stuff....
    in some way making music or taking photos also helps me dealing with strange moods i'm in.
    And I really think that you are very very good at drawing and you inspire me a lot :)

    I hope my long comment doesn't disturb you :O

  2. Wonderful and very true words!
    And you´re an amazing painter ;-)

  3. you are really good in expressing your feelings and of course in painting.
    at the moment i am at a university for design, i am trying to become a graphic designer..well at least some day in the future and your words are so unbelievable true.
    sometimes it's so extremely hard to carry on when you're just not sure if what you make is complete bullshit or if someone out there loves what you're doing ; this is so hard and sometimes i am about to give up and I am about to start another career or just work somewhere and forget about all this pressure I put on myself.
    young blood

  4. Oh mir gefällt dein Big Ben sehr! Es ist sicher keine Kindergartenkritzelei. Weißt du, ich kenne das Gefühl, manchmal sieht man andere Bilder und denkt sich verdammt, so gut werde ich niemals. Man darf nicht vergessen, dass wir irgendwo alle auf unsere Art gut sind und unsere Art ist gut für uns, wir sollten nicht versuchen das zu ändern..verwirrend, ich hoffe es wird deutlich, was ich meine (;
    Vielen lieben Dank für deine Komplimente, darauf gebe ich viel, denn ich mag deine Arbeiten sehr!


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