KY man makes amazing art using ball-point pens

CNN/WAVE
Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 3:00pm

A Kentucky man is making a name for himself as an artist.

And he's using an unusual tool for his works, simple ball-point pens.

One look at the outside, and you might not think twice about this Highlands home. But, walk inside, and you'll quickly reconsider.

Welcome to the world of Tasiir Franz where you'll first be greeted by his dog Tootie, then captivated by art.

Turns out, he's only been painting for a short while..

“My very first painting and this took like two weeks for me because I didn't know nothing about painting. I started getting faster. I started painting in November of last year and that was in 2013," Franz explained.

But Franz's lust for art has been a love affair decades in the making.

His first artistic heart throb, slender and petite.

"Sometimes I'll use a Bic grip," Franz said.

Just several inches to be exact.

"There is no erasing. You know, there is no room for error," Franz explained.

These works of art, penned only in ball point ink.

"You're drawing, and then you wipe. You're drawing, and then you wipe. It really doesn't matter how expensive the pen is because the tool is really just the tool. It's the person behind the tool that actually makes that tool work," Franz told CNN affiliate WAVE.

Its a skill the once transient artist taught himself--

"One of my very first cartooning-aspect books was this, 'The Mood of America,'" Franz said.

A unique talent turned life-saving outlet.

"If you can fool the mirror, you can fool the naked eye. When you talk about art for me, it wasn't until I lost my son, I had to reevaluate myself," Franz explained.

Like his mirror, Franz has gained clarity through his work, overcoming his troubled youth.

"I was adopted. Been through a few little boys' homes," Franz said.

And the untimely death of his son to SIDS, by channeling life into his art.

"Art's been a saving grace for me," Franz said.

And profitable as well, but Franz says that matters to him least.

"It's not money that actually makes you a success. Your sanity is way more important than a paycheck. So, for me, I am rich," Franz explained.

A wealth of knowledge and talent Franz nurtures regularly, as he transforms adversity into art, one stroke at a time.

"I'll show you what the mirror fails to show you," Franz said.

While Tasiir will travel to Austria and Germany this year to study under renowned artists, he'll continue giving back locally, taking time out to speak with high school students interested in art.

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