Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Second issue of Mot Målet for 2015

A few weeks ago, the second issue of Mot Målet for this year came in the mail. The big news is that YWAM Norway is starting up in another city, in Bergen.
The work there is going to focus mostly on the christian students in the city, in a similar way that YWAM Olso already is doing. They will be a community of christian students that share life and follow Jesus together.
The city of Bergen has a great history of sending missionaries, and we want to relive that heritage in our time. YWAM is well known in the city, and the big majority of the churches is very happy that we have com to town.

This is the last time I´m writing the editorial,
on the next issue, we will have a new editor.

It´s summer time, and many of us at Grimerud have left for summer-vacation. We won´t make another issue of Mot Målet until after the summer, so I´ve got to find a good and fun project to work on in those weeks.

The main building is still being painted white,
we had some trouble at the front and paint had to be taken off again.
But this side is looking really fine in the evening sun.

 The moment when nearly everyone who was in the office that day
decided to sit and work in our «Design and IT-office/cave».

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Grimerud is turning white

We´ve been painting the main building at Grimerud, white as snow.

The back-side is all done.

Still working on the font of the building.


While I have been away in the north of Norway, the others at Grimerud have started to paint our main building. It needed a new coat, and the decision has fallen on the colour white. I was a bit sceptic about the new colour at first, but now that I can see it and walk around it, I think it actually looks quite nice.


The work that I have been doing for YWAM Borgen is almost done. Up in the north I was able to do a lot of the preparation work, and now that I´m back in my studio, I was able to do a lot of Below are some of the results:

The invitation card for YWAM Borgen.

Some extra scribbly graphics for the Powerpoint-presentation.
This is a buss-full of 60 confirmants that come to have camps at Borgen.
At the moment there is only space for 25 people at a time,
the expansion of the building will give room for 90.

Staying pink

For some time ago, I made a painting with 66 elephants. But sadly, the colours had faded quite quickly. So, I got some new light-fast paint, and made a new painting that´s gonna stay pink.

Sixty-six pink elephants again.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Back at Borgen

Almost ten years ago, I came to YWAM Borgen in the north of Norway for a DTS. Taking this school , I was presented with multitudes of opportunities to be involved in missions around the world.
After the school, I took the opportunity to go back there and work from this place for one and half years. With our mobile tema, we travelled a big part of northern Scandinavia and visited churches and schools. This week I am back at Borgen, to help them with a communication-plan for the expansion of their buildings.

Borgen´s main-building, is getting more space (towards the right)
to facilitate camps, schools and seminars.

At the moment, the place has a convenient space to host a group of forty people. But youth-groups and confirmant-groups as big as seventy or eighty have spent a weekend here. So, high time to expand to the need. When the new building is done, more people will have opportunities to go to camps and seminars here. And more young people can be trained to be missionaries, either through DTS´es or other kinds of courses.

Visualising the new building: The pencil sketch of how the new classrooms that are going to be built.
This drawing are going to be use for the fundraising needed for this building project.

The «Lavvo».

The view from my room this week, at nine in the evening.

At quarter past midnight.

It´s super good to be back in the north, I have missed seeing the high mountians rise up on all around.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Grafitti-workshop at Stoppestad Verden

This is what it looks like when kids
try to handle spray cans that are too big for them.
They hold the can with both hands
and push the button with both thumbs.

On Saturday and Sunday of last weekend I was helping out with a graffiti-workshop at a local festival called Stoppested Verden. The festival is for children, and the idea behind it is to build bridges through cultural exchange. Like the Eurovision Song contest. At the festival, there were many  countries represented, and the children could see or try out different things that were specific to the cultures of that country. I was doing graffiti-workshops for the USA-area.

Two other canvasses of our graffiti-workshop,
It was only during my breaks that I had a little time to take pictures.

 Two other canvasses,
you can see the Breakdance-floor in the back.

Our workshop was swarming with kids from the moment we started. Even between he three of us, we had our hands full on trying to manage the spray-cans between the 25-30 kids at a time. We figured out pretty quickly that spray cans are not designed for the little hands of children.

A little way off from where we were doing the graffiti, the regional recycle-station had their five garbage-containers set out (the ones that I´ve painted for tem). They were really happy with the results.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Painting five containers

Hey, I want to show you a fun painting-project I did this weekend. These are five waste-containers that I painted for Stoppested Verden – an international festival that is going to be held in Hamar this weekend.
They are going to have a thing about recycling. The hundreds of kids that are going to come to the festival are (supposed) to bring toys and things to recycle. To show the kids what is going to happen with their toys, I´ve been asked to paint pictures of that:

The plastic we throw away gets turned into new plastic things.

The electronic things we throw away get turned into new electronic things.

Paper that get´s recycled will become new paper, like books, magazines, newspapers and drawing pads.
Recycling paper also keeps the lumberjacks from working in the forest.

General waste will all get burned and the heat will be used for heating houses and the hot water.

The wood that we recycle is also going to burn, and used for heating.
It was a really fun project to work on, because I have never painted so big before. I was a bit unsure about how much paint I would need, and how long it would take me to do all the five containers. I´m most used to work with pencil, ink and watercolours. But in the end it worked out quite well. Also because I found a pack of really nice paint-markers (see pictures below).

Photo: Erik Wuesthoff

Photo: Erik Wuesthoff

I´ll be at the festival on both Saturday and Sunday to check the containers and to do graffiti. I hope I can show you some pictures of that in a later post.

Meanwhile, I´m working hard on another issue of Mot Målet, and I´m still making cool and surprising drawings for the 31 Day Drawing Challenge that we are doing with some people here at Grimerud. we have one more week to go.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Folkesang: A little grey man

This is the third of three episodes on youtube that I´ve illustrated for Åsne´s folksong-website. We´ve recorded two more episodes, but those have not been uploaded yet. The whole project itself in on a bit of a hiatus, but I thought I might just as well share this song, and tell a little bit about it.

The little grey man

In the summers of the Norway of over a century ago, many extra hands were needed to get the harvest in. People from the villages who did not have a stable job would then go from farm to farm to work as a farm-hand. This song is about such a person.
Even though it was not so unusual that stranger would come walking onto the big farm yards, this one was really special. So special even that they made a song about it.
In the time when most people could not read or write, both the important and the fun things that happened were shared and remembered through both songs and stories.

When illustrating for this song, I tried to recreate the event that made the song. In my first sketches, I created a fun contrast by letting the old little man walk past some big stout farmers. Later, in conversation with Åsne, we thought it would be a lot more fun if the the man would pass by a group of playing children instead. We chose to loosely base the motif on the cover-picture of Astrid Lindgren´s Vår i Bakkebygrenda. Real scandinavian nostalgia.
Now, in the picture, all the kids have stopped their wild games and are looking with amazement at the curious old man (and his little goat) who has just interrupted their reenactment of an historic battle.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Venner for altid (second post): Making the book

We are working on another issue of our magazine. And when I´m not working on the magazine, I´m making drawings for an 31 day drawing challenge we have started with a few friends here at Grimerud. Lots of fun, and a nice challenge.

In this post, I wanted to show you some of the sketches and drawings that I made for «Venner for alltid», the christian book about relationships, love and sex. In the whole process of making the book like this, a lot of ideas are started, developed and eventually discarded. Improving on ideas is as good as coming up with good ideas. The difficult part is to know how to decide which idea is better than the other, and the long and short communication-bits in-between those decisions.

These were the first sketches I did for the book. In the introduction, Gunnleik talks about how he wanted to jump off a roof, but his friend warned him that he would break his leg. Gunnleik does´t listen, jumps and breaks his leg. Moral of the story: listen to good advice before someone gets crippled for life. I thought it would be fun to draw both guys as pirates, and then the Gunnleik-pirate would end up with a peg-leg. I think, in the end, the whole funny pirate-idea diverted too much fromt he story.

These were sketches for the chapter that talks about the importance of being good to everyone around us, opposite to being selective, and just be good to the people that we like to be good to. I´ve tried to make a schoolyard version of story of the good samaritan, where the outsider is shown as the right example of charity. Interestingly, they answer Jesus gives to the question of: «who is my neighbour», is «you are the neighbour, you are everyone´s neighbour».
I forgot why this idea did´t make it in, but in the end we ended up with a picture of an old man tying the shoelaces of a random young boy int he street. That´s also a nice thing to do.

These are a few pages of sketches I made to figure out the right angle and composition, for the two drawings that show the bible-story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultry. As you can see in my previous post, one of the sketches made it into the book. Thecomposition I was looking for was one that would involve the reader in the story, so that they would not only see a picture, but feel that they were present in the same story themselves.

The initial idea was that there was going to be an full colour illustration on the cover of the book, of a young boy and girl who are doing fun stuff together, just being good friends. But then, when the cover-picture was done, they thought it made the book look like a children´s book or a novel, instead of a thematic book for teenagers about relationships and love and stuff. So, the drawings got dropped and a stock-photo got used instead.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Venner for alltid: A christian book about relationships (first post)

This winter I did illustrations for a christian book about relationships. Gunnleik, the author, is a friend of mine who I have worked together with at the youth café in the city. The book got published through YWAM Norway´s own publishing house Prokla Media.

The book has gotten it´s own little website, and you can see an excerpt of the book down here.

I only had very little time to make the illustrations, but still I wanted to do a god job. The initial idea of the author was to have an eighties style of cartoony illustrations in the book. But we dropped that style quite quickly. Luckily.

Fine lines

As we worked on the book, we saw that we had to draw fine lines on quite a few places. The biggest challenge was to visualise the whole subject of relationships, love and sex in a way that would not be too boring or watered-down on the one hand, while not trying to cross the line of christian-decency on the on the other hand.
We discovered that this line was at a bit of a different place with me than with the others, who were all fathers of teenagers themselves. So, they were thinking as fathers and teachers, while I was called in as an illustrator who wants to make good pictures that get the message across in a best way possible.

To illustrate that the devil trying to destroy society´s cornerstone, the family,
we got very graphic and drew an ugly little devil that is blowing up a house,
there is also a drawing of devils that are sawing the thumb off of someone´s hand.

I got to work some of the chapter-titles into the first big picture that comes with every chapter.
This chapter-title reads: What is love

After I sent all the drawings to the designer, he put them with every chapter,
I am really happy with how this ended out over two pages.

My favourite picture is this one of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery,
I really like the look of mercy in Jesus face.

In the meantime, me and a number of others at Grimerud are on a 31 day drawing challenge. Every day for a month, we all draw the same topics, and share them with each other on our pinterest-board.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Studio to Street: What I have learned

The most important and most obvious thing I´ve learned (again) is that the most important thing is to keeping in close step with Jesus every day of the year, no matter what. That´s really what it always comes down to.

Smells of Europe

To travel europe in four weeks and a weekend has been a very special experience for two reasons. Firstly, we changed country and culture very quickly. One week is enough to get an idea of what the city-culture smells like, but nothing more than that. So, with only one week in each country, we easily compare the one place with the other, but also got a bit of an general experience of western Europe.
Secondly, because we shifted through the western continent so quickly, we had to learn to stay on our toes and keep adapting some of our work methods to the different cultures. Starting over again every week can be a frustration, but it was a good lesson in innovation and being dependant on God.

I was often thinking of how the apostle Paul changed his methods when he was on his mission-travels. While visiting remains of the Berlin wall, I had to think of the story in the bible where king David is unable first to break into the city of Jerusalem, until found out he could sneaks in through the city-well.
When we´re desperate enough to reach a city or cross a wall, we will find the most creative ways to do so.

Still not happy until …

One of my biggest motivations for joining the internship, was to get out my office and use my creative skills to share about Jesus. Working from the office, I felt I was limited in how much I could share of my life as a christian. I would definitively say that I got what I came for, even though I had to reach for it myself many times. Traveling Europe with the Arts Internship has gotten me into a lot of situations where I would share Jesus with people that I met that day. Mostly I have learned from others how to do this, and some times I have found my own way.
Looking back, the internship has not been the first «attempt» of mine to break out of my own creative comfort-zone. I have been wanting to make the same break with my drawing diaries of 2012 and 2013. I don´t feel I´ve gotten to make the break that I wanted to have made. And that´s probably because it´s something continual, rather than a one-time thing.

I am still not happy with how broken the image is that I show of who God is, both in my drawings, ans in my life. I am still depending on God´s grace, and that is perhaps the best picture that my life can show.

The next little project I´m on is going to be a 30 day drawing challenge that I´m going to do with a few friends here at Grimerud.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mot Målet #1 2015

In the time leading up to the Arts Internship I had been working hard on this year´s first issue of our Norwegian YWAM-magazine Mot Målet. Most of it I got done before I left, and some of it I finished while in London.

By request of the missions-department of YWAM Norway, we dedicated this issue on the Middle-East. We wanted to put a light on the hopefull things that are happening in the middle of the refugee-crisis and the extreme violence of fundamental muslims. While only very very few muslims (less than 0,01%) actually support the wars we see in the news, all of the muslim need Jesus. 

This is an article that shows historical roots of today´s extreme violence in Islam,
it spans over five pages, and is the longest article we have made for our magazine.
We are hoping to have the time to make a nicer illustrated info graph of this timeline.

We expected to get a lot of response on the whole section about the Middle-East. Strangely enough, it´s the backside that we got the most critical comments most on. Here we had a picture of Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth with A Mission, together with the pope. Loren had met with the heads of three churches (the catholic, the anglican and the coptic church) to encourage them for a global effort to get a bible in every home in the world.
Even though we stand in very different church-traditions, we all agree that the Bible is Gods word and that it should have a living part of our lives as followers of Christ.

Loren Cunningham and the pope are sharing our back-cover.