We've been obsessed with Léonard Combier's doodles ever since he first messaged us about his art and an image of an inked up passport blew our minds, so it's incredibly exciting to finally share these exclusive images with you!
Sometimes Doodle Addicts find themselves in a pinch where there's no paper in reach, and that's when those of us who are in too deep start reaching for anything nearby that could possibly work. Léonard Combier, a 24 year old French illustrator enjoying life in Berlin, was bored in class with no paper to doodle on. A friend of his had their passport in their pocket, so Combier asked them if he could draw something on it. Like a good friend, they were excited about the idea, passed their passport over to him, and let Combier run wild with it. Combier liked the result so much that he continued to reach for different people's passports.
Does doodling on your passport cause an issue at the airport? Apparently not. These are not expired passports, and the original owners went on to travel abroad with them even after they've been drawn on. Combier assured me that his friends have crossed many countries, including the US, with their inked-up passports. They say customs officers usually look closely at the drawings, thinking it's part of the printed design of the passport, before they realize it's hand drawn—and they really like it!
When I asked the artist if it feels strange drawing on someone's passport, Combier said, "In a way it's better than drawing on a normal sheet of paper. All the little patterns that are already on the passport give more relief to my drawings. It's very funny to play with all the visas, the stamps, to write little messages that will be read by the custom officers, sometimes even a bit provocative. It's also very nice to know that the owner of the passport will have my drawing within reach for ten years, on an official document. A bit like a tattoo."
If you're in Berlin, own a valid passport and want a drawing, don't hesitate to send a message (and a Like) on Léonard Combier's Facebook page.
It's interesting how we can immediately identify a person's face in drawings, even when, upon closer inspection, they barely contain any characteristics of real humans. Indonesian artist Popo Mangun's black and white drawings are an example of this mental habit. His tumblr is a gallery of strange portraits, whose geometric shapes are reminiscent of ancient tribal masks.
When I first discovered DIGIPOPS' sketchbook, I felt like I were looking at drawings of tribal characters powered by mechanical insides. I am not even sure if that makes sense, but it's about the only way I can try and describe them. See if you can do better in the comments below.