What do we use the pen for – what a trivial question, isn’t it? Obviously to write, as it is his destination since 1938 when the Hungarian journalist Laszlo Biro invented the ballpoint pen. Naturally, we utilize it in art therapy or when we are waiting for someone or something; when we get bored at meetings, conferences, etc. So far, so good.
Which exceeds any limit of the traditional and makes our eyes as big as onions are pen drawings, and our admiration is greater when we understand that an amateur creates the pen arts, never trained in the field, so pure talent.
This luck caught the Training Center of the National Army from Bulboaca, having Maxim Perju as a conscript. He drew enough works for a military-themed exhibition, such as war scenes, armored cars, a reunion with mother on the battlefield, officers on duty etc. And all in blue! .. It’s the artist’s favorite color – maybe because it’s the color of peace, maybe because it’s a more accessible shade, just like the math paper he uses for his drawings … For sure, he doesn’t go to the unit services without pen and paper – it is the only time when he can dedicate to his passion, which has roots before the army: „I have been drawing with a pen since I was 12 years old. The first work was a cartoon character, then I moved on to drawings closer to reality, and all my works go to friends, relatives, respectively I don’t have a collection of my works”.
He is modest, shy and has always been content with a small audience: only those close to him. In the army, the support group expanded. Comrades and superiors encourage him to continue and let himself be known. The first step was this interview, initiated by the unit’s psychologist, Captain Dan Guidea. Thanks to this involvement, I found out that the young man did not have a painting school and did not study this art. However, he makes a challenge: each work has to be more difficult than the previous one. The degree of difficulty does not determine it depending on the topic: nature, people, objects …, it is important not to be sure that it will succeed. This state of the nebula feeds him with the stubbornness to complete the project. When he makes a mistake, he starts again: „… I make the line thicker, or I make some changes in the drawing. In time, it meant a maximum of 5 hours for a product.”
He is an unpretentious creator and devoted to the blue pen. However, he admits that he flirts with other colors and stationery, such as colored pencils and simple ones, which help him to outline the shadows of objects. The same happened with the paper: „Once I drew on pressed wood, since then only on sheet.”
A sheet of paper and a pen – that’s all the soldier Maxim Perju needs to be happy. It does not tempt him to make a trade or business out of this hobby, although the professionals claim that: „He feels the material he works on, he manages compositionally, he keeps the proportions of the figures, he successfully plays the game of shadows and light …”. The young man, for the time being, lives by the satisfaction of giving to those around him a part of his talent.