With a group of second-year visual communication students illustration, we went to draw (with) the elderly at the nursing home Aldenhof in Born.

The invitation came from the nursing home itself, who are on a continuous search for new activities and nice things to do for the elderly. They asked the academy to portray some of the inhabitants, and of course we accepted the invitation. This was a wonderful chance to meet a different generation in a peaceful environment, to mean something to them and have weathered faces as modelsUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_9e9

Drawing someone is like a meeting. To draw, is to give attention. To be drawn is to receive. Watching this process is fascinating, for the ones who would rather look at the entire experience from behind a cup of coffee. This way, it was enriching for everyone.

For our students, it’s a great experience to draw in public, in a relatively short time and to do so in unknown circumstances: a great way to prove themselves on paper. Also valuable are the moments where the person that is being drawn shines because one recognises oneself.  Or doesn’t, but still smiles.


Drawing is something very personal, and therefor something that can be seen as vulnerable. We may not be professionals yet, but there is always a result. And most of the times, that result is a surprise.

All and all we had a great afternoon, that even got the visitors to draw: A visiting granddaughter beautifully portrayed her mother.


Lecturer Drawing at MAMDT