Featured Creative Mind: David Sandum

“I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me.”


There’s a peculiar way of thinking behind every piece of art. It doesn’t matter if it’s a movie, a photograph, a book, or a canvas with paint, art will always be around us. It can be about imaginary lands that only our deepest subconscious visits, or it can be one’s mental image of the 2013 society. Whatever it may be, there’s always a story behind it. That’s why, while cruising through twitter, I took it upon myself to investigate further into the artwork of David Sandum.

David Sandum

Who is David Sandum? You may think he starts and ends with art, but don’t think too far ahead. “I am a 41 year-old artist, writer, and philanthropist living in Moss, Norway. I am Swedish by birth, born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden, and I have also lived eight years of my life in the US, where I got my education at the University of Utah, and Portland State University in Oregon,” he replied to my email, “…I do consider myself as a Norwegian artist, as I started to paint after I moved there thirteen years ago, and have only exhibited on the Norwegian art scene.” After reading this from my email, you can only imagine how intrigued I became. Obviously an ambitious man, I wanted to know more about how he came to be an artist. Surprisingly, Sandum hadn’t gone to school for a degree in art, but for one in business, having not yet realized his creative strength. Overtime, built up stress eventually persuaded him into a depression. Even though that may seem to be the end of the story, it happened to be the beginning, because within this depression he found art. A short paragraph from his up-and-coming book, “I’ll Run Till The Sun Goes Down: A Memoir About Depression And Discovering Art”, gives more insight on how depression became his ultimate answer:

“…painting was my impulsive reaction to inner turmoil. All people struck with immense anxiety and depression need some way of regulating their pain, and most often this

leads to self-destructive behavior, such as drug use, alcoholism, gambling, self-mutilation, or what have you. And I’ve had my fair share of battles and still do.

But I now realize that although painting certainly can be destructive if it becomes an obsession, painting has helped me to express emotion without directly hurting myself. That’s why I told a journalist before the opening of an exhibit, “I could have started on heroin, but instead I started to paint.” So in this way, I never chose to become a painter, but art fulfilled a

need. It was as though all the confusion around me was indefinable, yet it could be summed up for me in a Van Gogh portrait or the red and black of a Rothko. Good art is always a dialogue, and I tapped into this connection full force.”

It’s amazing how Sandum is able to transfer his hard times not only into art, but also into writing. Being a writing guru, I can’t help but point out that his life work is in fact life at work.

“The photo…was taken by my diving buddy from England with his underwater camera. You can see us descending out of the wreck.” -David Sandum

It’s not a hobby or objective, it’s part of his natural world of inner emotion and creative thinking. No doubt, he is a perfect match for my monthly “Featured Creative Mind”! After asking the first few questions about his art, I asked about the other things on his activity list. For example, what does David Sandum do in his spare time? Apparently, it’s diving! I, myself, am not familiar with the hobby, and so Sandum was sure to enlighten me with his experiences. “. Last year I went diving in the Red Sea in Egypt, and went down into a 130 meter long shipwreck called the SS Thistlegorm– A British war ship sunk by the Germans during World War 2. Swimming into the dark wreck on 32 m depth triggered the most adrenaline I’ve ever felt!” he explained. This in itself seems like something only the scuba divers on TV have done, but sure enough, Sandum has done it too. He mentions how he is fond of nature, and has a lot of fun with a sport by the name of “squash”.

Looking back at his twitter profile, I had noticed a tag that seemed to be associated with him, and so I asked, “What is #Twitterartexhibit?” He answered, “…I got the idea when my public library had their funding cut for children’s books. I thought about all the fantastic artists I had met on twitter, and thought, “What if we could exhibit in the library together and

David Sandum

Imaginary City: 73×92 cm (equivalent to about 28×36 inches) oil painting

raise funds for children’s books?” So I had a meeting with the library who were delighted. I then made a blog post about it and sent it around twitter, asking artists to send hand painted postcards to Moss, to be sold to raise money for new books.” David Sandum had an overwhelming response of 260 artists from 24 different countries! Because the turn out was so wonderful, he did it again in 2012, “I did it for the Moss Crisis Center, helping women and children at the local crisis center. The Mayor of Moss opened the exhibit. This time 360 artists from 32 countries participated, and we raised more than $4000 for the shelter. It was very special to hear from the director after the exhibit was over, that the women had gotten haircuts and manicures, and the children were given a trip to the zoo…with their mothers.” Again, much success, and so, why not do it another year? Sandum commented, “I first said no… afraid of feud, but one curator in Los Angeles, Nat George, made a huge impression, and thus the Global #Twitterartexhibit concept was born. In LA, more than 700 cards were received, and the cause was Art Division – helping unprivileged youth get art education.”

He was sure to add that the Twitter Art Exhibit of 2014 will be taking place in Orlando, Florida, organized and curated by Robin Pedrero, for dance education of special needs children. If you’re interested in more information on Twitter Art Exhibit, you can visit their website, which will be listed at the end of this article.


The Village: 9×12 inches; One of Sandum’s recent gouaches.

Finishing up with the interview, I asked if Sandum had anything to say to his fans, and sure enough, he did: “I am for real. I will never become a decorative slave!”

With his art, writing, and Twitter Art Exhibit, David Sandum is sure to become a big hit in the future. I was lucky enough to get this interview and document his natural talent and creativity. If you have desire, endurance, and a willingness to learn, it will take you places, just like it did for David Sandum. Want more information? Check out his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Website, which are all linked below! Also, if interested in Sandum’s book, be sure to email him at: d_sandum@hotmail.com. Make sure to come back next month for August’s Featured Creative Mind. But, until then, share this with your friends!


Jinapher J. Hoffman


Twitter Art Exhibit Website

David Sandum’s Facebook

David Sandum’s Twitter

David Sandum’s Instagram

David Sandum’s Website


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SS Thistlegorm

Squash (sport)

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