24-year-old French illustrator Léonard Combier wants to doodle all over your passport.
Calling his ink drawings “tattoos”, he etches aliens, goofy ghouls and eyeballs, incorporating immigration officials’ stamps into the design.
Last month, he offered an open invitation for anyone around the world to send him a passport. He doesn’t charge for his drawings, but he does have one condition: The passports must be valid.
Combier uses a very thin ink pen and it normally takes him an entire day to finish each personalized drawing, inspired by his passion of outsider and tribal art.
Besides his passport work, Combier’s drawings and canvases sell for $200 to $5,670 each. However, his passport tattoos don’t hang in galleries and are only seen by the passport holder plus the officials who stamp it.
“I’ve received many requests asking me to draw on expired passports, but I’ve always declined,” Combier says. “For me, it’s very nice to know that the owner of the passport will have my drawing within reach for 10 years (while the passport is valid). It’s a bit like a tattoo.”
He also adds cheeky messages within his work. “Je suis trés fourbe!” (“I am very deceitful”) right below a visa photo, for example; or “Je n’ai pas le droit d’ecrire sur mon passeport, donc arretez moi et faites moi aller en prison tout suite” (“I do not have the right to write on my passport, so stop me and put me to prison right away”); or, “Arrest me please, I want to go to jail now.”
Be warned, though. Drawing on your passport may risk invalidating it.