I have a very good friend and fellow artist. His name is Emil Landgreen. He has unfortunately left our studio a while back to work in the gaming industry. I have been sniffing up that tree for the better part of a year now too. We got together a month ago and, as so many times before, the talk landed on what is it all for and where is this going to lead us. I am not talking money, more artistically.
“Are you still gonna do charging monsters when you are 70, Jesper”? Emil asked me with obvious doubt in his voice.
“Hmm, yeah I could”, I answered knowing it might be untrue.
Pushing the subject further Emil asked, “This day in 20 years from now. What is the illustration you are doing. Where do you envision yourself?
“Easy. I am sitting in the forest painting an old Oak tree in oil, perhaps sipping a red wine”
“Me too”, Emil said. After a long pause. “Why is it exactly, that we are waiting 20 years”?
This was the beginning of something fantastic. We started arranging small pools of painting time during Sundays, were we drag the paint out and start dotting down strokes. What is really beautiful about this is that as soon as we begin, I realised I haven’t been painting for no one in many many years.
Everything I do is for a product, a game a book or something. When I paint an old tree out there in the forest for a couple of hours there is no one I have to impress or satisfy. It is only a matter of spending time together having fun while painting. And it has made me realise how much I miss that part, the pure undiluted joy of painting. I am not even gonna post pictures of the actual paintings since what matters is the act of it and certainly not the outcome.
We paint for ourself and thus are not getting paid, so you might say it is for nothing. But the reward is so much more. It is for the passion and pleasure of creating for the craftsmanship and the feeling of being at one with a piece of art. Being present in the moment and living the brushstroke…
It is not for nothing; it is for everything. It makes me remember why I love doing art.