Friday, March 1, 2013

My Drawing Diary in Mot Målet-magazine

A few days into the new year, my friend Ragnhild interviewed about last year´s Drawing Diary-project. The interview was for "Mot Målet", the magazine of YWAM Norway. Since I work as a graphic designer/AD for that same magazine and issue, I also did the layout on my own interview.

Here is the digital version of our magazine, you can read the original norwegian interview. Then, when you flip one page to the right, you can see the children´s page which is also my handiwork.

The headline reads: "One more year with crayons".

In the interview, I tell that I had gotten a drawing-diary with a blank page for every day of the year. A friend gave it to me early December. When the new year started in 2012, I had some different idea what I could do if I decided to use the book. I choose to do a sort of "public-diary", and to tell about my work and daily life at Grimerud and at the Café I work on tuesdays. I could have kept the book to myself, but I decided to post all the entries here on this blog.

I speak for myself
The one rule I had with the book, was that I was not going to put my thoughts and philosophies on paper. For every day, it had to be something I had done or experienced, or a conversation I had. I had gotten tired of people talking about ideas without making them happen. Talking about making a difference, without actually making a difference. I was mostly upset with myself, I guess, about exactly this.
I want the church, and my own life to really make a difference where it is. So, I started with myself, and with something I knew I could do.
At the end of the year, I know that I have inspired a good number of people, but how this book "made a real difference" for the people around me, I don´t know.

Artistic development
Drawing one picture per day was a monster-practice for coming up with something to write and something to draw. In the first months the drawings were done with pen and ink only, but from easter-time on I started to color the pictures with watercolor-paint. Later on I have used crayons too. Because I was drawing all the time, I could take the "risk" to experiment with a different style and a different medium on some of the times. The most fun and rewarding thing is when I can combine two days into one picture.
Something I had not expected or thought about when I stared the book, was that I would develop and recognize somewhat of my own writing-style.

The vice of habitual drawing
To make pictures and stories every day was an exciting experience in the beginning, I was discovering new things about the book. I remember looking up into the night as I walked back home from my office and thinking: "I don´t know what I am going to write and draw for the day of tomorrow, but I know that God is going to there". By the end of february, the newness was gone, and I had lost the energy to come up with significant things to write and draw, day after day. It felt like I was slowly and consistently rewiring neurological patterns in my brain. And it hurted.
It wasn´t working, I was not getting enough sleep, and I was spending less time with friends.
The project had forced me into a reverse situation. At times, it felt that my life was about the book, more than the book was about my life. And that´s when I was sure that I was an addict. I have used about two hours for each day, that is a whole month if you add up all the hours. I have to say that I have absolutely enjoyed the majority of the time that wnet into making the book.
When spring came, the picture- and story-making had gotten easier, and there was even a period in the summer that I don´t remember working with the book. It had become a integrated part of my life. Very often it was a drag, and I was looking forward to be done with it.

Indifference is the heart-weed
Many entries in the book, have become dear to me. Even days that had sad or difficult experiences can be "good", because I have lived through them. And I get to relive them again when I read them. The pages in the book that I like the least are the boring ones, and when I had been too busy or tired to live my life and tell about it. The worst is when I didn´t care about the whole thing and "faked the day".

A social barrier
One of the entries I remember the most is the 20th of January, already then I saw that life was to be share with real people, and not with a book. Sure, everyone has been able to look at my life right here at this blog. But blogs and social media have their limitations, they don´t put you into real contact with people. This is a big contrast from what the bible writes about every christians being part of "the body of christ".
Have I with my generation made myself a digital mediator besides Jesus?

This project has perhaps not drawn me closer to God,
but I have gotten to know myself a lot better,
and I see more of how much I need him for every day.

The interviewer Ragnhild works with YWAM in Skien and has her own blog over at:
For this year, she has an exciting "Live Simply"-resolution that I follow with interest.
It´s cool to see how she has taken one idea, and with her practical creativity, discovered a good number of uses for it.