Friedrichshain, January 9th 2016

Ballpoint pen/watercolour piggies

I’ll write more about the festival soon, but the most important things first! To pass the time at the Leipzig book fair, I sketched a bunch of piggies:

White piggy of the woods

At first I only happened to have blue and green colours with me, so the palette was limited. I actually just wanted to bring the grey colour since I imagined that maybe I could work on The Slow and the Relentless while I was there. But of course it wasn’t really possible to alternate between drawing in concentration and interacting with people, so I just painted piggies instead.

Sunbathing piggy

Territorial piggy

East German piggy dreaming of Sweden (inspired by someone I met there)

Piggy living a life of privilege (piggilege)

Vegetable gardener piggy

An old friend as a piggy


Kind of self-portrait

Inspired by Beatrix Potter’s Pig-Wig, who I know best from the ballet (which makes me cry)

Later somebody asked me to draw this same piggy picture in her sketchbook. It’s apparently a thing that people pay artists to draw stuff in their sketchbooks at “manga” conventions in Germany. I was extremely confused when the first person who asked me to draw something actually offered money for it. I didn’t know what to ask, but he gave me 5€, so that’s what I charged everybody else who asked.

Private eye piggy

Piggy receiving a love letter

Piggies in Varna, Bulgaria, enjoying the view from the foot of the Soviet-Bulgarian friendship monument

I drew a tiny sketchier version of this on a calling card and it made me cry, so I had to draw a bigger version for myself, so I could cry even more.


Kitmir (or Qatmir) is one of the two doggies mentioned in the Quran (the other time a doggie is mentioned it’s not a specific doggie).

Kitmir was with the youths hiding from religious persecution in Sura 18, the story about The People of the Cave (“The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus” in Christian tradition), and they all slept inside the cave for maybe 300 or 309 years.

[18:18] You would think that they were awake, when they were in fact asleep. We turned them to the right side and the left side, while their dog stretched his legs in their midst.

A more detailed version of the story was told by Ali, where he mentions that Kitmir belonged to a shepherd who joined the youths, and that “the dog was black and white though black was prevailing”.

My hands, August 10th 2013

The result of sawing down and cutting up that huge bush, and putting up a bamboo screen and making a few smaller sections of bamboo screen with my own bamboo poles to fill out some gaps.

I didn’t notice any of the injuries when they actually happened, because I have a notoriously high pain threshold, especially in my hands and arms. It was just, “oh, where’s all this blood coming from again?” One of the band aids was partly pre-emptive (tying string very tightly a few hundred times when making the screens gave me blisters, apparently, as I realised after the first two had broken and started bleeding). I have no idea how/why I got three scratches from my saw on the back of my right hand. Oh well.
Anyway, most of it has healed by now …

Up yours, Günther. My neighbour (Günther) has spent all morning pretending to do something right in his kitchen window, staring at me while I put up this bamboo screen. Better than TV I guess ...

So much nicer with the screen, even if it’s not totally opaque. Can’t wait for the vegetation to grow back a bit (next year …?). Maybe the small bush in the center, that was quite sad the first years I had this garden, but picked itself up a bit this year, will make a big comeback now that it gets more light?

The only truth there is

The other day somebody tried to make me feel better (or so I hope) by telling me that “time places things in place”. It didn’t really work, because this is the only interpretation I could think of.


I’m going to move in a couple of months, and I’m sorting out what to keep and what to get rid of. My goal is to get rid of as much as possible, so I’m doing it in several waves. I’ve already purged two thirds of my books to be donated to the social bookstore in my neighbourhood as well as the comic book library Renate.

I obviously have a lot of old drawings from my childhood and youth that I’ve been carrying around with me. A lot of the stuff from my teenage years is really terrible and traumatic, and I’m happy that I can BURN it to ASHES in my wood stove. Good riddance.

Here are some pieces that I’ll keep, though:

I think this is the best drawing I made in 1995, at the age of 13 or 14. :o)
(Continue reading …)

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