Drawn live on iPad supporting Mariam The Believer At Kägelbanan, Södra Teatern.

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Ellen MacArthur and The Circular Economy


Gosh, it has been a while since I posted here huh?! Not to say I’ve been idle! Simply a case of ‘too many online platforms and not enough time to update them all’. I’m looking into Social Media Management to solve this. Meanwhile, you can always go to my Facebook page to find out what I’m up to as that’s a pretty regular post for me. You get to see/join all the intriguing/inspirational events I’m either drawing at or know about. Unfortunately there still is only one of me, and lots of things happening in Stockholm, Scotland and everywhere else!

One of the most inspiring projects I’ve been involved with recently was for a presentation by the celebrated world record holder Ellen MacArthur who is renowned for being the fastest person to sail round the globe on her B&Q Trimaran. She retired from competitive sailing back in 2009 to focus on her new challenge – to facilitate society at large to cross-over from a linear economy to a circular economy, in a more responsible and inclusive approach to living on this beautiful planet.

She talked about how her experiences in the challenges of round the world sailing, she learned to exist efficiently, valuing all her resources, and learning that when rations ran out, there was no replacing them. She has applied this knowledge in setting up the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in a bid to educate, facilitate and support the turnaround of companies, education and general ways of thinking to a more global friendly practice.

I was involved in the conference by pre-illustrating concept posters for the organisers, drawing on the blackboard behind Ellen moments before she started her talk, and also drawing throughout her talk, along with the panel afterwards. I feel very privileged to have had this opportunity, not to mention excited and inspired at what I learned. I do feel I witnessed something life-changing.

I learned that no goal is too big, and that achieving your ambition can simply be a combination of tiny steps. I learned that there are more and more companies turning to this circular economy, making them more valuable and investable since they will be able to survive the companies that cling to a linear model. So too, I discovered that this isn’t just a hair-brained habit-change – it’s fundamentally going to save on everything – finance, raw materials, energy, jobs, not to mention community engagement.

There are companies that have revolutionised packaging material including plastic bags that melt in warm water, and alternatives to polystyrene moulds.  Ricoh Printers are designing their machines to be recoverable and re-manufacturable, making it cheaper to buy machines that have the same warranty and quality as the initial ones, but have used less energy.

What’s becoming more common is that business are leasing their products so that all you need to be concerned about is the service they provide – lighting companies who pay for the electricity and product, making sure that your work is well lit using energy efficient light-bulbs. Another concept is leasing washing machines so that basically you pay for the washes, not the machine, and the production company will renew your machine when it needs it. See a pretty neat animation on this concept here.

You can see all the docu-drawings and notes I took during those fascinating two hours on my Facebook page ‘ Jenny Soep Drawing The Experience‘, plus please do look at The Ellen MacArthur Foundation for more entertaining animations, visuals and information.

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Glasgow Visit!

So, my big idea to do a comic strip a day didn’t get very far – I’m exactly a week behind. So more work needed tomorrow(today). However, I’m still hovering between ‘should I post these or not’ since some of it’s autobiographical, some of it’s rude, and it’s all out of my comfort zone. Do I want my audience to see this stuff? Do I want them to see this other side of me? This ‘trying it out’ side of me? I guess in the long run I do, so we’ll see. I arrived in Glasgow yesterday and have been catching up with the lovely friends who’ve been putting me up. Everyone’s interested in how I’m getting on in Sweden. Well, I’m loving it to be honest. But workwise, I’m getting more interesting work here, but that is because I haven’t started building my name up in Sweden yet really, apart from the excellent Polar Music Prize, the Mother Gigs, and my newly started ‘music postcard print’ experiment in four select music stores. Not as bad as doing nothing, but still…

So today I started a project working with Gartnavel hospital where I will be in the role of ‘graphic facilitator/visual practitioner’ and illustrating the information that is collated and presented as a result of some meetings and investigations. It will culminate with a workshop where I will be adding drawings and text live to a wall of drawings I’ve prepared.

There’s also a few other projects in the pipeline that all seem to have come about in the last month and last couple of days which is unexpected but welcome. I’m discovering that ‘to keep on keeping on’ really does work. At least three of the projects have come about from actions I have taken between 3 and 13 years ago. Two meetings tomorrow to see about next steps.

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Art’s Birthday Party 2013

My third year at this, and it’s always brilliant.

The bugger only being that you want to be in at least three different places at the same time (there are four stages with some staggering of times). Tråd(SE) who I wanted to catch on the ‘Mother’ stage after JG Thirlwell was impossible to get into due to the great hulk of folk packed into the venue, spilling into the bar and the hallway. You needed to crowdsurf to get anywhere. But I was very glad to catch Invader Ace, who I thought were indeed the most jumping gig that night. JG Thirlwell was beautiful, calming and eerie. Nice mix of working through computers and an array of clanking, jangling, tinging and sighing instruments. ‘Flossing’ a piano on stage produced an unsettling but constant metallic whine that complemented the soundscape he was building up to that point.

I really loved the visuals he had playing behind him which was basically a continuous road trip at night time, car tail-lights, glowing green highway signs, streetlights etc. I hope you get the impression of it. The sound piece itself seemed to be a collection of field recordings made on the road-trip that warped into his beautiful and eerie sound scape. In the picture I’ve drawn him twice, once at his gadget/instrument desk facing forward, and then the back of him ‘flossing’ his piano along with a guest who came on stage and who I’ve drawn on the left. I wondered if the mystery piano ‘flosser’ might have been Mats Persson who I’ve drawn doing weird things to a piano for a John Cage performance.

I liked the sound of Exotikdot(SE), but I’ll just need to catch them some other time. I’ve heard good things about Byetone(DE) too and certainly Hype Williams(UK) who had played a Mother gig earlier last year was  on my list but clashing with Thirlwell. Och stuff it. I wanted to see everything. I can’t deny it. Festivals will always mess with my noodle.

Anyway, here’s three drawings from the night – hope you like them.

INVADER ACE, Art's Birthday Party

These guys are brilliant. Experience them for yourself.

JG THIRLWELL, Art's Birthday Party

Dark, Beautiful, Transportative and a little bit scary.


Sound Art Experiments. Interesting but I felt they fell slightly short in their efforts to be devoid of emotion (the girls), or not quite expressive enough (the guy in the last part). Good concepts though. This is a drawing summing up the whole performance, but in particular the first part where they burn a microphone and continue recording the resulting sounds throughout.


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#Strip1 – A Strip A Day for 365 Days – Day 1 – Zzzzzs and spelling anthropomorphisised

I get confused with spellings sometimes as to whether it’s an Americanisation to put a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s’ at the end of words ending in -ed.  Regardless, in the following strip I’m sure you’ll notice a bag load of errors. I decided to keep them in. I also decided not to edit the layout either just so you can see what an instant brain fart can do on the page. The next one I’ll post later today was created in pencil first and then inked up so I’ll show you a before and after picture. I don’t know if I’ll manage that for all my posts, as simply posting one sequential narrative a day is going to be hard enough. There’s a surprising amount of thought that goes into the editing and illustration of an idea or observation that one hopes will appeal to an audience, and when it comes to illustration, I can think too much.

010113 NEW YEARS DAY m


The main points I need to adhere to though, is that I create at least two panels about a thought, experience or information I’ve read about that very day or planned for that day. It can be in any style, colour, format, on any subject, with as many panels, in any technology, but by the end of this year, there needs to be 365 different strips. They also don’t need to have text, they can be wordless narratives. As long as they tell a story.

It’s a way of self educating, which as it states in this strip, I learn kinaesthetically. I’m also an impatient perfectionist, the devil being in the detail. I’m already 2 days without a strip so tomorrow I’ll need to catch up. I might even treat myself by going into a cafe and busting them out there with a steaming cup of peppermint and a chokladboll. (I’m thinking of Louie Louie in particular. A great little haunt, introduced to me by the esteemed dude Gavin Maycroft, one man promoter/DJ/music officianado/band and artist manager/PR/entrepreneur/creative behind, mainly, the experimental music scene in Stockholm and beyond – ‘Mother’. Add him on Facebook if you want to come to one of the brilliant, mind bending, experimental or simply legendary DIY music happenings in an equally befitting venue.)

It’s been Christmas, and New Year, and I’ve used the opportunity to start and enjoy reading all the lovely books I’ve been storing up like a squirrel.  I must offer huge thanks to my sister for getting me my much coveted book of ‘How Music Works’ by David Byrne.  I’ve yet to prise the gleeming satin printed black and white hardbacked cover wiiiiide apart (give it time my preciousss) but in the past few days have managed to tear through other super slim volumes Herman the Vermin, Ghost World and now working through The Wild Things, the novelisation of Where The Wild Things Are as interpreted by Dave Eggers and on the request of the original author Maurice Sendak.  Since I’ve seen the recent(ish) and wonderful bat crazy film version, I kind of feel I’m replaying the film back in my head, which makes sense since Eggers wrote the screen play. I’m noticing lovely little details though that weren’t in the film, and as far as I remember, not in the original version of which I really must get a copy.

Right, I’m off to bed now, at 00.52. It’s my first day in the C+ class of SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) tomorrow from 8am to 12pm and I’m determined not to be late. For once.

ps I should also refer to my play on words in today’s title. So far, I have not actually stripped for my work. But you never know. I may add in some sex, drugs and rock’n’roll later on, although the upstairs neighbours are currently doing their best to add their own very vocal and boisterous bit of shagging noises.

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And So It Was Christmas…

This was my first Christmas and New Year in Sweden.  Somewhat more chilled and easygoing and quieter than a traditional Soep Christmas time. I did miss my family, my sister most of all as I haven’t seen her since the Christmas before. Need to rectify that soon.  It’s her birthday today – HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS! (Speak to you later luv:)

Tomorrow is the 7th of January and the real start of the year for me. It’s been a bit haphazard since December in lots of weird and wonderful ways and I’m pretty excited about what this year is going to bring. Tomorrow though, I will be starting C+ class at SFI – Swedish for Immigrants.  I was attending C class from last October but I’ve been ‘kicked out’ – Not because I was consistently late for every single lesson I attended – I had my reasons…most of them weak…but there was always at least someone else later than me and the teacher didn’t shout at THEM so I figured I was sort of okay…But anyway, it would appear that my Swedish has improved to the extent that I can go up a level. Inspiring. I promise to make more of an effort to turn up on time this year – that’s my new year’s resolution 🙂  I’m looking forward to it though. Perhaps one day, this whole blog will be in Swedish?  Nah, I love appealing to all those of you that speak English whether it’s your native language or not. The Swedes are so switched on and excellent at English that they love our dark sense of humour over in the UK. There’s a lot of comedy to be proud of, and it’s always great to hear folks quote directly from their favourite show or comedian. But maybe it’s just Mattias and his pal Jacob that I’m thinking of…

So here’s my first post, catching up from Christmas. More to come – my specific New Year’s Resolution is to draw a cartoon strip per day. Inspired by James Kochalka who recently ended his diary cartoon after 14 years ‘before his kids got to an age where they were embarrassed to be included’ as well as the lovely ’28 drawings later’ project courtesy of the artist Victoria Evans in Glasgow, as well as all the other inspiring folks I know who aim to consistently produce something creative every day for a year. I’m behind two days so far, but will use the rest of today to sort that out. After a walk in the dusk of a winter afternoon, which is already noticeably getting lighter. It’s uplifting y’know?

Jul/Christmas 2012

Christmas Wrapping Paper detail m

Jul 1 - TomteTack

Jul 2 - Anna and TomteJul 2 - Anna - closeupJul 3 - Mattias and KennetJul 4 - RoseJul 5 - Astrid window shopping on the computerJul 6 - Astrid and Morfar solve problemsJul 7 - Mormor at dessert

Jul 8 - Ivar on his computer

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James Yorkston, with The Late Call, Drawn Live

James Yorkston and his support band The Late Call, ‘As Drawn Live’ by Jenny Soep 2nd Dec 2012.

(The top picture is a crop of the main picture of James Yorkston, the bottom picture is The Late Call who were supporting.)

With James Yorkston’s permission I am selling a very limited edition of only 10 signed giclée prints for 1000 SEK(£100) each including postage and packaging ie – the print is rolled in a tube and sent anywhere in Europe.  The print is c. A3 (42cm x 29.7cm) in size and printed on fine art watercolour paper. You can contact me here or on my Facebook page (link below) for my Paypal details.

Check out my ‘Jenny Soep Drawing The Experience’ Facebook page where you can see more ‘live drawings’ of other prestigious, original and alternative arts folk that I’ve arranged to draw under the Photos section.


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