Who is it? Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist now in exile for his political art.

What is it? A tiny ink-on-card portrait, done while watching him on tv, last night. Also, the drawing is about 2″ X 4 ” in size, on an 2″ X 8″ ivory card, precut as a bookmark.

Why is it? A small & affordable gift item to add to my Holiday Arts Faire gig, coming up 12/3/17 in Los Altos, CA, USA.

He was remarkably calm and still during his interview with Amy Goodman on her PBS series, Democracy Now. So it was easier than I expected to get a steady view of his face. I began with a few outlines in soft pencil, then inked over most of my marks. Last I erased all the pencil marks with a kneaded eraser.

I hope to do some other art-related personalities that show up on my tv screen soon. This was so much fun! I did not find it hard to listen to his statements while I drew, which surprised me. He was quite articulate about his experience and commitments, so that helped.

In fact I would say, drawing him while he spoke may in fact–by associaton– make it easier for me to remember his main points.