M.I. Shaikh   Mumbai, India

Dave Warshaw   San Diego, California

2015  PICKS  page archive MENU

FEB2015~NOV2015click the BALLPOINTER graphic (left) to access the full 2015 menu

illustration by Susan May for The Ballpointer

​​​    PICK PIECES   The Ballpointer staff choose the artwork and let the artist explain it in their own words   Vol 4 No 8  posted November 6, 2017

Chen ZhenKaohsiung, Taiwan

Individual 個體2017 ・ 26.5 x 19.5cm (11 x 8'') ・ ballpoint pen on paper

  EDITORIAL  by R. Bell  originally posted October 27, 2014

Missing the Ball Point

Dimes-to-donuts there's a ballpoint pen within reach of you right now. Reliable friends, always there when you need them; on standby to scratch a Hitler mustache onto The President or blacken the teeth of the covergirl dujour. Your grade-school composition books were probably filled with more stream-of-conscious creative filler than actual studies. But this proletarian tool is no longer just for signing checks, writing postcards or doodling sweet nothings.
   The origins of ballpoint artwork echo the humble origins of art itself. Caveman roots; the universal, instinctive urge to create. For some, an irresistible force; to express oneself, to leave one's mark, to teach, using whatever tools are available. All that's necessary is the will to do so, pressed by a bit of creative curiosity, aided by ingenuity. ''Let's see what happens when I do this.'' Galleries, museums and art critics enter the equation much later. 
   There you sit, a dozen-thousand years later, surfing through the daily barrage of viral news. A headline grabs you: Starving Artist Illustrates The Bible on his Bedroom Wall Using Ballpoint Pens. Well, ''starving artist '' doesn't mean much anymore; with the amount of aspiring artists art schools churn out every year its a miracle anyone goes onto a career. ''Illustrating the Bible ''? Hasn't that already been accomplished in any number of formats  any number of times in any number of languages ? ''On his bedroom wall ''? Children cover walls with masterpieces daily, to their parent's dismay, worldwide. And ''using ballpoint pen''? Now there's a story, right Well
   News outlets worldwide still report about artwork created using ballpoint pens as if, in the half-century since its invention, the pens have never been given any artistic consideration. Prior to the advent of the internet and social media, their ignorance could be forgiven. Nowadays ballpointers are everywhere, in every corner of the world, and the so-called ballpoint Wow Factor in and of itself carries less weight. The internet and social media are these days awash with ballpoint art blogs of every stripe, although with varying content. Ballpoint art classes may already be part of a curriculum somewhere. But the birth of the internet didn't mark the beginnings of ballpoint innovation; if anything, it merely serves as proof of how commonplace it has become, or how it has been  all along 

Peter Ross   Hong Kong

Eric Seaholm   Tokyo, Japan


last revised Jan. 23, 2018

Shane McAdams   Wisconsin / Brooklyn

Andrey Poletaev   Lugansk, Ukraine

PICKS PAGE ARCHIVES2016:  Read about these artworks in the artists' own words in The Ballpointer PICKPIECE archives. Click on the artwork to see their PICKPIECES.


''Appearance of the fetus here is a metaphor for all things before birth, in the parent. Even if the human species of same appearance gave birth to twins, although the same outward, the consciousness is their own and different. It will go through collision continuously in the evolution of individual life. Agitating each other with similar and different souls, swaying in this vast universe. It's will evolved sometimes in the individual's body as if to occupy a region but out of tune with the environment. 

      This picture is finished three months, only painted by ballpoint pen. Extensive use red and black to convey a strong contrast, highlight the tension of life and not yield, and color overlapping pull and drag the body of the heart. Most special is a rough feeling for each individual body in this picture, penwork more random and unrestrained. Then this heart of the eye used many colors overlap, each color at least stacked three or four layers and the line are so delicate and the images are also more meticulous''       Artwork & Chinese poem © Chen Zhen


Andrey Poletaev   Lugansk, Ukraine

Gareth Edwards   Stourbridge, England

James Mylne, 1999   London, England

Ler Huang   Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    Since 2014・Volume 4

News, Reviews & Coverage of the Artists using Ballpoint Pens, the Artwork They Create, the Tools They Employ & Other Equally Newsworthy but Overlooked Art & Cultural Topics, Worldwide.


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Hong Kong


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New York  

Original content © The Ballpointer / Mahozawari Unlimited.

Guy Woodard   New York, New York

Chen Zhen   Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Pepe Lozano   Cordoba, Spain

A Year in The Pen  The Ballpointer  Nov 2014 - Nov 2015   PICKS  of the Litter 2015

Matt Rota   Brooklyn, New York

Lennie Mace   Tokyo, Japan

MalOjo   Basque Country


No, the drawings presented here have NOT been ''defaced'' or altered in any way. The title of this new section, DE FACED, simply describes the fact that the artworks presented here have been pulled from social media posts such as  facebook and, as such, therefore  ''de''-faced, as it were. Some of the artists may be familiar to readers, but new faces will also be introduced here. These artists have not been notified of inclusion here, but every effort will be made to credit the artwork as they did in their original posts. 

The content of this slideshow presentation will be revised regularly & randomly.

Listed by date, from most recently posted.

All artwork ©

respective artists

Holly Cappello   Portland, Oregon

Lennie Mace, 1984   New York, New York

Pepe Lozano   Cordoba, Spain

​​​​​​RECAP   originally posted in installments throughout 2015

Andy Warhol @ Christie's  online auction series, 2015 

Read archived coverage of Warhol ballpoints put up for sale

Shirish Deshpande   Belgaum, India