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Original content © The Ballpointer / Mahozawari Unlimited.

''I'm not good in English but I'll try to explain my drawing. My own idea. This drawing is all about the poverty in my country. The boy it's me, I represent all people in my country suffering a poverty situation. The tattoo in the body is no house, no education, and no food. The object inside the stomach is a popular fast food here in the Philippines. Not to all person, can't afford''


''kain tayo sa labas, kadalasang bukang bibig ng nakararami sa aming bayan, bayang busog sa kaunlaran ngunit gutom ang karamihan, katagang madalas lumabas sa bibig ng  mga may laman ang bulsa, ngunit marami parin ang naghihintay ng pagkaing tiratira, upang ang sigaw ng sikmura ay maibsan sa aming bayan na walang pakialam sa mga kagaya Kong uhaw at gutom sa sinasabi nilang kaunlaran ng aking bayan''     

Additional information

Artwork © Jonathan Madeja 

Guy Woodard   New York, New York

illustration by Susan May for The Ballpointer

Shane McAdams   Wisconsin / Brooklyn

Pepe Lozano   Cordoba, Spain

Lennie Mace   Tokyo, Japan

Gareth Edwards   Stourbridge, England

​​​​​​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

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

Dave Warshaw   San Diego, California

​​​​​    PICK PIECES   The Ballpointer staff choose the artwork and let the artist explain it in their own words   Vol 3 No 8  posted October 3, 2016


Jonathan Madeja

Quezon City, Philippines

The Dream Food   (Kain Tayo Sa Labas )  

2016 ・ 20 x 30'' (50 x 76.2cm)

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 
・・・

Matt Rota   Brooklyn, New York

Chen Zhen   Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Eric Seaholm   Tokyo, Japan

Lennie Mace, 1984   New York, New York

Peter Ross   Hong Kong

2015  PICKS  page archive MENU

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

Pepe Lozano   Cordoba, Spain

James Mylne, 1999   London, England

PICKS PAGE ARCHIVES 2015:

M.I. Shaikh   Mumbai, India

​​​​​​​Choy-Ping Clarke-Ng

Dublin, Ireland

​​Yellow Feral Bisexual 

July 29, 2016・59.4 x 84.1cm (24 x 34'')  

ballpoint pen, pencil, ink on paper


''I really like self-portraits. All of my favourite artists used them as a way to explore and represent themselves—Kahlo, Van Gogh, Dürer, to name a few. They are also a challenge. Apparently it'd be impossible to recognize yourself if you saw yourself on the street. This is because of the distorted image we have of ourselves—for better or worse.

I initially planned to have a dragon curled around me with her head at my feet—but this piece was for a competition and the rules stated "no pets." So, I decided to focus on my love for plants. Half are native to Ireland and half to Hong Kong—my two distant homes. I wanted there to be a strict divide between the varieties, but as (more) plans went askew, I started squeezing things in anywhere. Looking back it makes more sense: I myself am not two halves.

My parents are gemologists, so I've been lucky enough to grow up seeing a lot of fantastic gems—this might explain why they're jutting out of my skin. The final little touch is a halo. It's a dig at all that old Christian art that I find horrifically boring. I'm also definitely not a saint in the Irish Catholic sense—and it's fun to revel in that sometimes''

Contact:  website or email

Artwork © Choy-Ping Clarke-Ng 

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.

Shirish Deshpande   Belgaum, India