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Hello, my name is Erik Dries, I’m dutch and professional artist and I’m part of the steering committee of Stop Fuelling war. I like to draw and paint and so you’ll find cartoons and paintings I made on our website and during the demonstrations.
How does it work? How does a painting or drawing come alive?
Somebody asked me ‘do you see the picture in your mind when you start?’ Hmmm, I have never thought about that. I’d like to tell you something about this process of creating an illustration or a cartoon.

When people talk, when I’m in conversation with others, and we need an image, I seem to have a slightly different mindset. I talk, I listen and quite easily I get ideas for a picture. I do not see the picture in my mind, I get an idea for a picture and I have the knowledge I can draw it. It flows.

Then I’ll make a rough sketch, indicating the placement of figures and objects in space, some lines for perspective etc. If I like it I’ll draw the figures and the face in more detail.
If I still like it, I’ll get my laptop and drawing-tablet and start making it neater.
Often the spontaneous drawings are far more lively and accurate than the neat final version. That’s one of the most intriguing difficulties.
Getting the idea is usually no problem at all. Our language is full of metaphors! For example ‘the king is the head of the state’, ‘which direction do we have to go’, ‘what’s the next step’…
Do you see it?
For me the phrases are easily converted into a visual illustration: a barrel FULL, a KING coming out of it, a DIRECTION-traffic sign placed in the barrel, somebody taking a STEP out of the barrel….

Of course I take my responsibility. I read about metaphors and their use in language, their use and misuse by people. Metaphors only highlight ONE aspect of reality. I’ll explain what this means with the metaphor of the stage spotlight; that only shows one person singing, the musicians may be in the dark. But they are as important as the singer…
So, for example, ‘the war on drugs’ highlights only one aspect of a complex problem with its roots and solutions maybe on a very different level than getting the drug dealers in jail.
A drawing about ‘the war on drugs’ (with politicians and drug dealers behind barricades throwing things at each other) is of course easily made, but shows only one way of looking at it.
So the illustrator needs to know his or her subject from different angles. And choose, or at least, to be aware of the choice that is made. And the effect it might have…if any.

I love cartoons where two things that do not look connected are brought together. But that’s about my definition of creativity: ‘bring together what has never been together’. And that makes so called creativity a very easy thing to do. I do not like illustrations, books or films where the author bothers me with his or her sick mind, sick fantasy’s or nightmares. In between are creative people who look at the world on a very original or broadening or intriguing or completely new way.
So, there’s easy-peasy creativity and mindsick creativity and the in-between creativity. When used with intelligence and watched with intelligence it can open eyes, mouths and hearts and minds.
Do you see the drawing?

Erik, march 28th , 2018.

STOP FUELLING WAR
Siège social : Centre Quaker International
114 rue de Vaugirard
75006 Paris
Association loi de 1901 No. W751238358

stopfuellingwar@gmail.com

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