“You have Artline. I am Artline!” How a random encounter with a hyperactive salaryman made me fall in love with Japan all over again.
Last Sunday was sunny so I decided to take my sketchbook to Sensoji Temple in Asakusa to draw. At one point a small crowd gathered round me, mostly old folk taking pictures and giving me nice elderly compliments about my sketch of a little girl. People asked me where I was from and how long I’d been in Japan, the usual questions. Then, out of nowhere, a man in a suit ran up to me and pointed in my face: “Where did you get that pen?” he asked. He could hardly get the words out fast enough. “Um, I don’t know” I replied, “Ireland? I think it was a spare pen my dad had in his work or something.” By this stage he had called his mates over who were all enthusiastically talking amongst themselves and looking in my direction.
Your pen is Artline. I am Artline” he beamed. Now I was thoroughly confused. “You have Artline. I am Artline!” Turns out the guy was a salaryman who worked for the company that produced the pen I was using. He began taking pictures of me while other people in his group took a random assortment of pens out of their pockets, waving them in my face. The group then made me take a picture of my pen along with their Artline keyring. The whole scenario was truly bizarre.
After the commotion died down he stood there for a while watching me draw. Every time I looked up at him he gave me the thumbs up.
I love Japan.
Here’s some stuff I’ve drawn lately: