What to do if you love painting and drawing but have no talent.
Close your eyes and take your left hand for drawing (if you happen to be right-handed) and try to visualize the main aspect of what you are trying to draw or paint. It is important to have a picture in your mind that does full justice to this unaccustomed strategy. My two pictures that occurred to me were, on the one hand, a picture of a lynx sitting on a cactus, surrounded by ten hunting dogs and several hunters on horseback and holding guns. It is a book from my early childhood that shows lots of animals. The drawings illuminating these animals’ behaviour had such a formative impact on me, because they demonstrated how their behaviour influenced, or was influenced by, human behaviour. So most of the time, the animals were depicted as dangerous or harmful to humans, or, for example, the crow was represented as a thief of reflective materials, such as watches. And if you cast your mind back to how important watches are for children, crows really do become associated with stealing time. Or, in the case of the lynx, it became an allegorical symbol of sitting proud as a king at the top, equipped with special skills but lonely and surrounded by mediocrity that tries to assimilate its genius in trophy form.
The second picture that really affected my mind was just a picture within a story I read with my seven-year-old son. It is called ‘Kaspar, Opa und der Schneemensch’ and is written by Mikael Engström. In this story, Kaspar is so fascinated on really cold winter days by a metal railing outdoors that an inner voice keeps telling him to put his tongue on it. And that is exactly what he does, with the consequence of getting his tongue in a firm frozen grip every time, which his grandfather has to painfully loosen. But he keeps on doing it.
This literary picture so intensively evoked the aspect of following your own path even if it is totally irrational that it is still vividly present in my mind.
So these two pictures constituted the inner desire to work with them. In keeping with the psychological meaning of the two pictures, I decided to draw with my left hand, and closed my eyes in order to follow my inner voice and totally ignore the aspect of doing it the right way.
The results look like first steps into the world of sketches. By doing it my way, I accomplish drawings that resemble the work of small children, to whom the original pictures are addressed.
Later on, I began to vary the design. The first designs were coloured in using the right hand and with open eyes. Subsequently, I decided to do it blind and using my left hand as well.