Thursday, December 18, 2014

After forty years, we bought Grimerud.

Sorry for not posting last week, lots of things to do, and no time to draw a bit about it.
The magazine we finished a few weeks ago should be in the postman´s mail trucks by now and in people´s homes just before christmas. I´ll put a link to the online version on my blog before the year is over.

This drawing has nothing to do with the post. This is «Girl child» chasing «Kettlepig».
They are two characters from a children´s series that is running on the Norwegian TV right now.
The series is mixing all kinds of ideals and values, but mostly based on old Norwegian folklore.

You should be able to see all the episodes here.


Grimerud is the name of the farm where YWAM Norway has it´s main office. We have been renting the place since 1975, and in 1987 we bought a part of the property. But on Monday we signed the contract to purchase the remainder of the property that we have been renting for forty years now.
It is the part south of the driveway that we already own, and now we have come to an agreement with the owner to buy the part north of the driveway also. 45 acres of farmland are part of the property too.
You can check the map here.

For those who have read though the bible, you might know that the number forty is often connected with times of testing and transition. The people of Israel were in the desert for forty years, Moses was on the mountain for forty days when he got the law. We are looking forward to see what God has for us in the coming years on the farm. Now that we own the place, we have the freedom to use it the way we like to. We are expanding, and making space for more missions-work, more schools and more of God.

This is an exciting time to be with YWAM in Norway.

And there was a big cake, to celebrate the purchase.


On my basement-corner of Grimerud, there is a bit of fun news too. I´ve gotten a new computer to work with, a fancy new Macbook Pro with retina-display. It is very good to have something faster and stronger than the stationary Mac that I have been working on for four years now. We decided to get a laptop, so I could have the chance to be more mobile when I use it. Now we have the chance to move the production of the magazine to one of the other YWAM locations, and give others a chance to be involved in the production.
This laptop will travel with me to London in the spring of next year. This way I can still help out with some design-work when they really need me. The next two issues of our magazine are going to be produced while I am gone. This is going to be an challenge, but with new times we will find new solutions.

My new office-setup. You can see what my favourite animal is.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

No need to sharpen your pencil just yet

How to illustrate "the talk" with teenagers about not sleeping around before marriage?
Is this a good way to show what might happen if they try to sharpen-up sex-skills with friends,
before sharing sex with with their spouse.

Besides the work for YWAM Norway´s magazine, I´m sketching for ideas for a book for christian  teenagers about relationships, love and sex. Having a talk about such a private matter is no easy thing, but the right illustrations can make a big difference. That´s what I believe.
Still, no matter how good a book or a picture is in presenting an idea, we learn best from the life´s wisdom of real people. Our family, friends and people in church.
If you look over at my Pinterest-board: projects, you can see what kind of ideas I am working with for this book (and other projects).

Once (and probably before) the book is published, I´ll post some more pictures on my blog.

In the meantime, I´ve booked tickets for my time in London with YWAM there. I´ll be leaving Norway on the 29th of January and am flying back on the 24th of April. It´s going to be an exciting time there, with a totally different group of people than here at Grimerud. Besides visual artist, there are group has dancers, musicians and  fashion-designers. There will be Dutch and Scandinavians too on the course, and that already feels like a relief to me. To have someone of a familiar culture around.

At Grimerud, we´ve got a little snow on the ground already.

Another thing of notice: A friend gave me an haircut.
Gone are the long curly locks.
(I took this photo with the timer on my camera)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Studio to Street: Plans for London

We have gotten a grand piano at Café UNO,
it is more than a hundred year old.
It has stood though two world wars,
and now it gets to be with us in downtown Hamar.

London 2015

In the middle of all the business of finishing the last issue of Mot Målet for this year, I´ve got something exciting that I want to let you know. I´m going to take a three month break form my regular office-life  and hang out with other christian creative with YWAM in London next year.

I will be with YWAM in central London from the end of January til the end of April, for an internship that is called: «Arts Internship». In the last half of the internship we will do creative performances in large cities in Europe, for which we will prepare in the first half of the this time. There will be arts, music and dancing.

University of the Nations

YWAM, the organisation that I work with is big on trainging and equipping young people for the tasks that they feel God has called them to. All of this training is shaped around our international university that we have called University of the Nations. The degrees of this university are made up of modules that last somewhere between one week to six months. You can work towards an degree, one module at a time, at different places in the world, rather than spending years in the same location. The DTS is always the first module that starts a degree with this university. Other courses that many people take are in the areas of bible-study, family, leadership, philosophy, missions and christian ministry.

What I want to see happen

For a long time I´ve wanted to do something very different form what I do now, but I dislike having to be sit an a classroom, reading books, writing papers and listing to a speaker. I want to make stuff.
And, that´s why this internship appealed to me so much, because instead of sitting lined up in a classroom, I hope that we get to do our learning by collaboration.
There are a number of YWAM-locations that have a special focus on the arts, but their main focus is on developing the young creatives themselves.

The other thing that I am really looking forward to for this time is to use my God-given talent to show who He is in a very direct way. Here with YWAM at Grimerud, it is almost only the things that I make that show who God is, while I stay put here in my basement-studio. I believe that God calls me to be a witness of Him through all of my imperfect life, and not just though the beautiful things that I make with my hands.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

An Oslo visit, Sketching in the cathedral

In the last couple of weeks, I´ve been making pages and pages of sketches. I´m working a few dozen pencil drawings for a book about friendship, love and sex for christian teenagers.Writing a book for teenagers about this subject is kind of a delicate thing, finding the right way to illustrate it is even more so. The above images are meant to illustrate the the idea of craving.

 Art thieves

Today, I´ve been into Oslo, to visit the Dutch Embassy, I had to renew my passport. I took some extra hours in town to work on these sketches. One of those places was the Cathedral in the middle of the city, it´s really nice and quiet in there. No one disturbs you or wants to look in sketchbook.
I can´t say I got divine inspiration from being in the church-building, but being at a place like this does something with you mood and thoughts.

Oslo Cathedral,
a place you can go to day and night,
 just like Jesus.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

From my sketchbook: Oktober

This was a «collaborative project» with Ana (3).
We placed blocks on the page, and drew around the shape with pencil,
then they got faces and bodies.
Afterwards I went over the lines with a brush and coloured them.
It kinda looked like a computer-game, so I put a Super Mario on it.

I´m going to show you some of the pages of what my sketchbook this time. I use my sketchbook on only for working ideas visually. It´s also doodling and sketching, and sometimes I let one of the children at Grimerud make some draw on a page.
Because I think of the sketchbook as a picture-book, I don´t want it to have too much written notes in them. So, for a while I´ve tried to to keep a separate notebook for writing. But then I never take note book out of my bag, and end up writing in my sketchbook anyway.

I lose attention really easily at meetings and church services, but now that I can take my sketchbook with me, I kinda look forward to sit in on meetings. It´s nice to have something to do while listening to the speaker, and I can swap very easily between making drawings and writing things down. You also pay listen in a very different way while you´re sketching (or knitting?).

I´ve shown you before probably, but I really love this guy´s sketches that he does in church. His point is not that he´s in church when he makes the drawings, but that sketching is something you can do at any time.

Meanwhile in the office, I have finished some activity pages for children for the next issue of Mot Målet. This week, I am starting to do the layout for the rest of the magazine. This is going to be the christmas issue for this year.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Café UNO goes downtown

Last saturday we had Café UNO open for the first time in our new location at Hamars main street. The mayor came by to cut a ribbon and do a speech. The city council is very happy about having us in the city. And in the last few months, we have gotten a lot of support from other organisations as well.
Café UNO moved downtown, and we are there to stay.

Even though we´ve got our own little website for our café, it´s at our facebook-page where you bet can keep track of what´s going on.

Morten Aspeli, the mayor of the Hamar, and Linn, the manager of the café, at the reopening.
Photo credit: Tom Sigurdsen

On the day we had the café open from twelve to twelve, and I was at the café for the last part of the day. They managed to do the opening ceremony without me.

A new thing: A blackboard wall, right in front of the counter.

An old thing that is new: The «Jesus-picture» in white,
we´ve had the same mural image in the previous cafés,
but this time we gave it an light colour instead of a dark colour.

Our new downtown-place. We´ve got the whole second floor.
It´s almost twice as big as the places where we have been before.
This photo was taken when this was stil the bridal-shop.

Meanwhile, at Grimerud, we are preparing for the next issue of Mot Målet. Among other things. I´ve got asked to make children´s pages again. We have not had them in the last issues, and some families that subscribe to the magazine have been missing them.
This time it´s going to be a real brain-cracking-hard puzzle to solve, involving speech bubbles.

Here´s a bit of the puzzle that I´ve been working on this week.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

66 Deer

66 Deer.

I´ve been drawing these deer to practice for a tattoo-design that I am working on. It´s not for myself.
My birthday was nice, thanks everyone for the congratulations. There was a lot going on at Grimerud last thursday, so I spent the evening with friends in town.

Another happy thing that´s been happening i town this week is that we moved Café UNO into the new place. It´s at the main walking street of the city, and almost twice as big as the two places we have rented before. Last night I was there for a few hours to paint a bit of our signature «Jesus-portraint» on one of the walls.

Once this is done, it´s going to look like the face of Jesus.
hope we get it done by saturday though.

Next saturday is the first day we are going to have Café UNO open in the new place, hope everything goes well, and if I remember to bring my camera, I´ll take some pictures for the blog.

Back at Grimerud, we´ve got a lot of people visiting. Last week there was a retreat for teams that are pioneering new places with YWAM in Europe. This week, we´ve got some seventy extra students from other YWAM-places visiting for a week of teaching on «the fatherheart of God».
Down in my office I´ve been making puzzles again, for the next issue of Mot Målet. It´s gonna be good and really difficult.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Before I get much older

I know it´s not much, but it´s better than nothing at all.

Yeah, just quickly, I´ve been a bit busy this last week. I´ve been making some extra drawings in the evening time for this #inktober challenge, on Facebook and on Twitter. It´s been bringing back a lot of memories from when I did the illustrated diaries two years ago. Staying up late, and making drawings when I could be making friends. But the month is soon over.

Besides making pictures, I´ve been hanging out with the people here at Grimerud, that´s a lot of fun.
Meanwhile, I have not gotten to mention to you that Café UNO is moving into a new place, right at the main shopping street in the city. This week we are there to paint and prepare the place. We hope to have our first opening day there on the first november.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I´ll turn 33.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mot Målet 3 2014, Student or Disciple

Here is the third issue of Mot Målet for this year, and the first issue that we made after the editor is back from her one year off. As you can see, I´m on the cover of the magazine, and on the inside too. The costume we borrowed from someone who works with film and musicals on biblical themes.

Go here if you want to get a free subscription to our magazine (all in Norwegain)

Bible to All

We are now halfway int he bible-distribution effort in the north of Norway. Here is a videoblog from last week. All in english:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Taking bibles to far off places

A very nostalgic picture of people handing out bibles from wooden crates.
The reality of the «Bible to All», is even better.

The bible to all

While I´ve been down in my office working on design-projects, others from YWAM Norway have been traveling around the northernmost part of the country to knock on every door and offer a free bible. Every door.It sounds a lot like what you would think evangelism and missions would be like. Going from door to door, giving people bibles. And it is.

The reports that I have heard fro my friends out there up there have been very positive. People like to have a bible of their own if the get one offered. Here is one of the report video-blog that has an english bit in the middle:

My invisible visible support role

For about six years ago I worked in a team that was travelling around the north of Norway. We visited churches and schools in the small villages, and did spots or crafts combined with a bible story or an presentation of the gospel. When our work with he mobile team ended, and I moved to the south, I had a sense that I would continue the same work, in an supportive role instead, not knowing then that that would be through graphic design.

So, even though I´m not tromping around the north with many of the other YWAMers these weeks. I am regularly helping out with graphics: brochures, web-banners and newspaper-ads. And we pray for all the teams of course, and for the people that will get bibles.You can follow our bible-touring activities at the Website or the Facebook-page, or follow the hashtag #Bibelentilalle.

Newspaper ads for the «Bible to All»-tour.

Loren Cunningham, the founder of our missions movement, is also coming to Norway to speak in a number of churches, and call the rest of the country to organise a similar effort for their part of the country.