Unlikely Art: Capturing Souls on a Book Page
He’s young. He sits on the side of the street under a single bulb, sweating in the unrelenting heat. Like artists all over the world, he hopes he can sell just one more sketch and continue fueling his dream.
We found Chanon Saengchompoo while roaming the back streets of Old Town’s Patpong Night Market. His abstract, bright sketches were laid out across the ground. What really stood out, was his choice of canvas…. each sketch was drawn on pages from a book. I was instantly intrigued.
He’d been sketching for years, but unable to afford enough drawing pads, he began tearing pages out of the books he’d finished reading. He now sells them on the street, in the hopes that he can raise enough money to attend art school.
His sketches are raw, and done only with thin tip colored pens; but something in his abstract characters speaks volume of emotion. As we chatted, he said, “I could sketch you.” I was elated; it’s not every day you get to sit on the street and be an artists’ muse.
He showed me where to sit, and for the next 10-15 minutes furiously scratched the page with the tips of his pens. When he was done, he handed me the book page. I was taken aback. Not only was it a beautiful sketch, but it looked like a young version of my Nana…someone I never thought I looked much like. Somehow, he hadn’t just captured the features of my face, he had captured something much deeper; a piece of who I was inside.