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February 09, 2003
Like it's 1993

It was Autumn 1992 and Franz Aumüller, the incredibly creative Creative Director of Trust (the place was actually called Trust Corporate Culture in 1992) invited me to draw something that could be put together to become a book the agency would send to their clients and friends for Christmas. I thought to make a series of pieces that would somehow resemble the drawing by numbers puzzles I loved so much in Polish children?s magazines. I presented the idea to Aumüller and he gave me not only full support but also complete artistic freedom on the project.
With complete freedom and the energy of the 22 year old me, the project got out of hand pretty much with the first drawing. I originally wanted to make little wholesome Christmas pictures and then disguise them as painting by numbers fun, but once I managed to hide my first scene in a maze of, well, other drawings, it somehow became apparent that I could pretty much draw anything and then hide it in front of everybody to see or not see. Quite a tempting thought for the back then fearless me. I did not do anything that could in any way harm the agency, of course, but the drawings did not really end up being about Christmas. You will see.
The production of the book out of my hand drawn pieces was a bit of a challenge. The images were a bit too complex for easy processing with computers of 1992 (The fastest mac ran on a 40MHz 68030, remember?), yet we ended up with a very handsome little hard cover book containing the twenty drawings. Really, the linen cover had the drawing of a little embossed golden star on it. The book was entitled "It?s your time" and Thomas Feicht, the copy creative director wrote the introduction. His intro was very much a proposal to the readers to create their most individual Christmas book. The users were invited fill in the areas marked with dots and discover my hidden images on the odd pages, or they could draw over lines on the even pages and really turn their little books into very personalized pieces of collaboration. The book was an amazing little success. Most users copied pages out of it and then colorized the photocopies rather than working with the original piece. I got plenty of faxes from happy readers. (It was 1992, we were about to discover the CD-ROM... 1992... HTTP was a few months old...)
It was very odd to scan in the book today. It not quite translate into the online environment. Much of the detail of the illustrations is lost and things just look different at 72dpi on a screen.
I started by posting the entire book here, but it just was too much and more something for the catalogue area of the site. So below are the 20 drawings that were then used for all the secondary pages in the book as well. I will post the whole book in the catalogue later, just maybe not tonight.
I almost stopped drawing after the release of the book. There were other more seductive things that did not require me to draw and which seemed more lucrative at that time. (Temptation of the glamorous thing called design...) It took me almost 10 years to seriously start drawing again. I hope to some day soon regain the amount of courage I had when diving into "It?s your time." Here we go, now it is "yours", enjoy...


no, no fear, no fear! these are tremendous! it would be lovely to see the original book... : ) and to coloer it ! : )

Posted by: k on February 9, 2003 09:26 PM

My probably favorite page in the book is the little line Franz Aumüller added to the next to last page. (The secondary pages were all black with bright outlines.)
We are not alone...

Posted by: witold on February 9, 2003 09:40 PM

big smiles... yes big large, extra large smiles... : )

Posted by: k on February 9, 2003 09:54 PM

These drawings confuse my head. I look at them and I see something and then I look again and I see something else. Makes my head spin. I think I need sleep. Very cool. But very confusing.

Posted by: Ducky on February 9, 2003 10:29 PM

: )
I know... there are many layers...

Posted by: witold on February 9, 2003 10:33 PM

What made you start drawing again? And when?

Posted by: k on February 9, 2003 10:39 PM

I think in 1999... will need to think a little more...

Posted by: witold on February 9, 2003 11:05 PM

yes, i would like to know that too.

incredible stuff :)

Posted by: shauna on February 9, 2003 11:46 PM

wow. very manic. very high energy. i love it.

Posted by: Vikki on February 10, 2003 07:32 AM

Before I click, it looks like pages and pages of homemade paper, with rough uneven edges. I love your style.

Posted by: Suzanne on February 10, 2003 09:30 AM

I found a box with the original drawings at my parents' place a year ago. I think if the now me met the then me and looked at what was going on there, I would have given myself some pointers. "Try to keep them the same size..." "Do you know what space they will occupy on the page?", "Have you considered using black ink for this project, just to make it a bit easier on the production guys and gals?"
Hmm, but this might have spoiled something. I remember drawing these, with one of my cats on my lap, in the living room on what we then considered a table. It was a black painted wood panel, one side resting on the radiator, and the other one on those rusted metal supports we had stolen from some construction site.

Posted by: witold on February 10, 2003 10:26 AM

your anecdotes are as charming as your drawings. :)

Posted by: Suzanne on February 10, 2003 04:43 PM

thank you. : )

Posted by: Witold on February 10, 2003 05:30 PM

amazing... simply amazing... do you have a copy of the book?... does it still exist somewhere?... it must be a collector's item... haahaa... i wonder if i can find it on eBay?

i'm amazed at your talent, witold!

Posted by: - s - on February 10, 2003 10:23 PM

geez, i'm still marvelin' at these... all i can say is - dude, you didn't need drugs!

Posted by: - s - on February 10, 2003 10:28 PM

are there links to the types of books you had as a child that are also like thise? i love the drawings. would love to see the inspiration.

Posted by: emdot on February 12, 2003 06:15 PM
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