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  • Louis Barnard

Drawing has always been an integral part of my daily life. From childhood, observational drawing, cartooning, and comics whenever I was bored.

I would stare for hours at detailed comic panels in Herge’s Tintin comics and try to replicate his intricate renditions of alleyways and city scapes. During art college at Stellenbosch University, I was mesmerised by the meticulous work of Daniel Clowes and Robert Crumb and poured over the nostalgic illustrations of Linda Barry.     

I came to Korea on a whim; I wanted to work overseas and experience life in Asia. However, when I arrived here, I felt incredibly intimidated. Not by the people of Korea, but by the environment I found myself in; the bric-a-brac alleyways filled with clutter, the endless wires, cables, and coils swaying across the streets, and the large, unfamiliar Hangul signs emblazoned across the quirky buildings were all very different to my home in South Africa. To overcome this intimidation, I reverted back to my go-to activity: drawing. I started a sketchbook to document my surroundings. And, I realised that by capturing the restaurants, alleyways, and buildings by breaking them down into their basic elements of line, shape, and form, I was able to familiarise myself with Korea, its people, language, and everyday life.

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