A little time ago I was sitting in a cafe in Beijing in the Art District (The 798) and, after buying a replacement pen and a replacement book I, on a slight whim, decided to leave behind a little sketch for whoever could find it:
The hardest part was letting it go, understanding that I had no control over the piece, no right to put it in a nice frame, or restriction to stop staff throwing it in the bin. It was quite nerve-wracking just to walk away.
And that started the slow beginning of my Leave Behind project. From the first to the ninth I was still testing the water trying out this different pen to my normal and looking at the brown paper as though it was an alien surface. To aid my memory I took photos of each of them, giving me a timeline and a narrative of my trip, though focusing on my thoughts rather than an environment.
My first direct response, from a waitress at Mocha Bros, was compounded by my inadequate understanding of Chinese but her excitement at running it out the back into the kitchen gave the idea some merit.
From then on I've drawn many coming up to almost 300 leave behind sketches folded into tent shapes and deposited where I've had a chance to be seated.
From the literal consumption by a friends child:
And now to being recognized while in process of sketching I've had a good chance to leave them everywhere I go around Melbourne and other venues when I've visited.
I'm not stopping this project but all I can say is, if you want to try your own, don't hold back. Get out there and leave some art for the world. As the receiver on the piece once gave me the best compliment by saying that 'It had made their night.'
And if you do see me scribbling away at my A6 notepad there are only 2 rules if you want to take it.
1. If you haven't had one before just ask and you shall receive, first in of course.
2. If you already have received one, you can only take it when I'm not looking.
The gallery of uploads (constantly being increased) | or my Instagram account where I post a considerable number of them