I spent the last six weeks making paintings that will be shown in a museum in Australia. Ten years ago, getting into that exhibition and that museum was the height of my ambition. I think about that when I look at these drawings on notebook paper, and puzzle over the gap between my professional artist life and the life that produces drawings like the one above. I remember that all the while I was making it, I hated my drawing – the lack of skill, the amateurism, the banality of what I’d chosen to draw… everything. For 20 minutes or so I walked the very edge of balling the paper up, tossing it into the trash and never drawing again.

That edge thrills and terrifies me. I want to go back there again and again, to trace it in time and space – my imperfect hand making those imperfect lines, not knowing where to go, not knowing how to finish, or why. Doing it anyway.


Antid Oto – italian for antidote – was one of Leon Trotsky‘s earliest pen names. I also love the Malay word for it: penawar. A few months ago, I started taking regular walks and making drawings afterwards as a way to deal with worry, procrastination, hopelessness, writer’s block, internet rage, and digital distraction. I’ll post a series of them here, one every other day, for as long as I keep making them.