five jobs: Started to draw (no pictures yet)

I have begun to draw. The beginning of my job as an illustrator, I hope. One of my five jobs.

This is a weird job. I can’t sit at the table at 9 in the morning, get my stuff and start working. Drawing for me is done in that minute between other things you want to do. I have to do my day and have a notebook handy and just when I’m about to get up and make some tea, I stop myself and instead draw for 45 seconds.

There has to be absolutely no pressure. Of course I started to dream up future publications and merchandize immediately which made the no-pressure-thing pretty obvious pretty quick. When the world emporium ambitions started, my scetchbook stayed empty or had just a few schematic drawings. “I’ll fill in the details later” is a red flag for me. That means I’m thinking, not drawing.

No dreaming of publications at any time because not only does it kill my drawing I’ll also alter my work to what I perceive to be the publics preferences. Right now I need to draw for fun. Draw something because the subject interests me. Because spacial relations interest me. Because lines interest me. They do, they do, they do.

I’ve been at it for a few days now and some old familiar feelings have sprouted. The feelings I know from back when I was an artist. Things like these:

  1. there’s a buzz. A restlessness. It lingers all day (and night). My mind is preoccupied with art, it is always in the back of my mind. I have to juggle this restlessness with the ones I experience from too much chocolate, too little hormones, too much Copper and the legal procedures about that darn manure factory they’re planning across the road.
  2. I see more. Everywhere I look I see lines and textures and subjects. And beauty. It’s a wonderful eye to have.
  3. The need to adjust the compass constantly. For example, I have to remind myself that not every art that is possible needs to become in existence. It’s ok to not draw something that would be beautiful and/or loved by others. Take a breath, take it easy. Another example: I tend to turn away from things that really fascinate me and go to safer things. These safer things I make into style exercises and I convince myself that that’s important. I need to stop this ratio-cackle and just draw for the fun of drawing. Last example: the inner critic. A well known voice for many people. It looks at what’s in my notebook and finds it appalling. Childish. It probably is. But that’s no reason to criticize it. I’ll need a lot of practice anyway, to find my own style. AND I need to accept my own hand of drawing, not try to draw like some of the artists I admire.

Really fascinating subjects: alternative stories to well known fairytales. Or something weird I saw in Dublin. But they are hard to render onto paper. Because it all has to come from the mind. There’s no model.

Easier and safer subjects and just as much fun: drawing the cat. In various styles. Or taking interesting artists and studying their work (with a pencil).

Well, this is what I’m doing. In between things.

Here’s an artist I’m looking at at the moment: Kay Nielsen

wonderful compositions.
'Then He Took her Home' - Kay Rasmus Nielsen (March 12, 1886 – June 21, 1957) was a Danish illustrator who was popular in the early 20th century, the "golden age of illustration" which lasted from when Daniel Vierge and other pioneers developed printing tIllustrator Kay Rasmus
pictures by Amber Case, caseorganic on flickr

ps that inner critic is a drag. It also gives me lip about how this blog is looking. With all the words. When pictures are so much easier to look at. Well….




On the Way.

The past ten days I started feeling better. I am now confident to say: this thing is working. The Copper shedding is getting less, the symptoms are getting less. I have more energy but less of the high-pitched maniacal sort.

pic by David Ritter

I am hoping the robust health I’ve already achieved underneath the CFS-like symtoms the Copper induces will start shining trough now.

I can have larger doses of the Zinc now, up to 15 mg per day. Essential is that I have some Methyl-B12 and folinic acid with every meal. And vit.D3 to get the day started. And Progesteron cream to aid the Methylation Cycle, not just to balance my hormones.

With the folinic acid I noticed my body has an active craving for it, as soon as I hold the pill in my hand. It took a while for me to decide if this is the legitimate feeling of “want that! need that!” or the more addictional craving like “want that! WANT that!“.
The last one should not be fed. Each and every food or substance that induces that feeling inside me is bad for the system: sugar, rancid oils in chips/crisps, E261, fast food, food additives, drugs and nicotine (I presume)

pic by Alison Taylor

It is a wonderous feeling, to have your body actively indicating it wants something badly. I had it with the food supplement Lithium, years ago. I have it with Demeter products such as full cream butter versus commercial foods. I have it with unpasteurized cheese (“Boerenkaas”) versus most cheeses available at the shops. I have it with the one sunsoaked blackberry in the hedge versus the little waterballoons sold at the shops. But that last one is probably dictated by my mind, with me being in the field with the bees and the dragon flies and all that.
The other ones can be checked with a double blind experiment. And they have.

pic by Enrica Bressan

Other substances that my body needs do not give that reaction. The progesteron cream for example. As soon as I apply it my body relaxed. But up front, without touching it, there’s no indication it benefits from it. Weird.

Anyway. The Folinic acid.
I checked online what other people take as doses. I checked only with people who have the same DNA mutations as I do.
They vary from 800 mcg to 3,2 mg to temporarily doses of 7,5 mcg.
Up untill now I was careful not to exceed 1,2 mg but now I will up the doses to (not more than) 3,2 mg. In small nibbles through the day, whenever my body needs it to process food. It’s half time is six hours so that’s breakfast, brunch, late lunch and (small) supper at 16 hour. Brunch being the main meal and meals getting smaller after that. No meal bigger in volume than one fist. To stop insuline from happening.

A volume bigger than this will trigger insuline, even if it’s just a sugarfree salade.

My research was on the forums of and on the forums of ME site of
Here are the people who find their way through the same wild lands of pioneering medicine as I am.

As I felt a bit better I did two things: I took a week long holiday in Ireland and I drove 500 km in my own car on a Summersday.

pic by Alan Witikoski awitikoski

The holiday was nice but an attack on the system. My bile stopped flowing (I have no idea why) so I had minimal uptake of nutriënts and minimal shedding of toxins for ten days. Only four days after returning to the cabin my bowelmovements started to look nice and dark again and my body felt better.
During the holiday, my hydrocortison kept me going. Which is a risky means to an end.

There were lovely moments in Ireland, staying with my aunt in a cabin of her own. Us having meals together at the table, with real crockery, the lovely chatting,  us laughing at her chickens. It was great!

pic by Michael & Christa Richert

Once home I was on my own again at my cabin, still on a high from the travelling. It is evigorating, don’t you find? Being part of the global community. Looking at other parts of the world, renewing your eyes for your own part.

That’s in part why I grabbed my car and made a big tour through the Netherlands. I went to all the provinces in the North. I had my car equipped with supplies: salted water; gingerbuttercake; a few grapes; lavendel oil; a lazy chair and crochet projects and a book and a sketch book to have rests whenever I felt like it.
It felt great! Being on the road, going wherever I wanted to go, seeing landscapes change, see other people driving and being free. Wasting petrol because sometimes you can just go and waste petrol because you LIVE.

I saw a stork on a lamp post. I felt such freedom and independence. I still do.



Now I am back home again, in the cabin. And, with my somewhat clearer mind, I have started working again, on one of my five jobs: designer. Or illustrator, to be more precise. I’ll show you if I got some actual things. Right now it’s in that precious state of nursing and not talking too much about it lest it withers before it came alive.

pic by Jean-Paul Brouard