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Former convicted forger turns ballpoint pen artist

Written by
Howard Halle

It’s tough making a living as an artist. Just ask Guy Woodard: He started out as an illustrator, but when he couldn’t make a go of it, he turned to a more lucrative line of work as a forger of identification cards and other documents.

He had a knack for forging as far back as grade school, when he faked parental signatures for his classmates. As an adult however, his talent eventually landed him in jail. But it turns out his time behind bars afforded him ample opportunity to draw, which in turn renewed his ambition to become an artist. Today, he crafts intricately detailed, photorealistic portraits in ballpoint pen, some of which are currently on view at the Milton Street church in GreenpointBrooklyn

Why ballpoint pen? It was the only drawing material his was allowed in jail, but he learned to use it with impressive results by creating tonal effects through painstaking stippling. So after an unfortunate detour, he's back to doing what he's always wanted to do. Call it a case of all’s well that inks well.

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