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Lucky Hans

Lucky Hans

Lucky Hans, or Hans Im Glück as the Germans say, is an archetype that relates to the Fool in the Tarot card.

Lucky Hans strides out with a bundle on his stick, to find his fortune, make his luck, free from all worry, fear and responsibility, enjoying life to the full.

I was looking for the very iconic image of Lucky Hans this morning and couldn't find anything I liked so I decided to make my own Hans im Glück picture instead.

There is a heirloom story related to Hans im Glück which I wrote up in German (if you speak German, you can read it here) which is about my Grandmother who had a tile with a painting of Lucky Hans on it in her possession, as a lucky charm, and to give her hope and make her think of other things and better things amidst the pure drudgery of her life.

Here's the story in English on request:

After the Second World War, all was in ruins in a way that we probaby don't quite understand today. All the houses had been turned to rubble, of course there were no shops or water and it was incredibly difficult to not starve to death.

Here is my Grandmother, just a mother then of four children, a crippled husband and an unmarried maiden aunt and she has two goose eggs to trade. A single goose egg is worth a whole carton of cigarettes or an entire sack of potatoes, guaranteeing survival for the whole family for a week or more, so they are very precious indeed.

As she walks through the rubble of her town, she finds a one armed soldier who is painting little pictures with the remnants of a can of black varnish onto plain white tiles he's found amidst the broken buildings.

She sees a picture of Lucky Hans, or Hans Im Glueck, and she can't help herself - she trades one of the precious goose eggs for the tile. She will tell her husband that an egg got broken by accident to avoid a beating ...

Until the day she dies of cancer in a hospital room many years later, the tile with the painting was always by her side, an affimation of hope and energy being more precious than a sack of potoatoes, even if you're starving, an offering to the belief in a future that will be better than what is here today.

She died before I was born but I guess there's a genetic streak to this, to be able to see and feel the energy in a work of art, and to use it to make your life better, more colorful, more exciting, and to LIFT YOU UP AND OUT OF the daily drudgery and muppet mash in which we find ourselves, no matter where we go, no matter what we do.

I'm really pleased to have had the opportunity this morning to interact and engage with the spirit that is Lucky Hans; a wonderful spirit if ever there was who brings in bright fresh morning air of the open roads, and Lady Luck awaiting those who would go and seek to make their destiny ...


Lucky Hans - Hans im Glück

Lucky Hans - Hans im Glück

Vector Drawing, Silvia Hartmann 2010





  • German Lucky Hans - Hans im Glück metaphor story/heirloom story (in German)
  • Fantasy Fiction story excerpt, scene based on the original Lucky Hans Story, from The Magician
  • The background image is related through the colours and mountains to the book cover of the Project Sanctuary series. That's deliberate!
  • The original need for a Lucky Hans picture was that I wanted to write an article about leaving your country if you don't like it there (!).

Comment 2015:

I love this true story on so many different levels. My grandmother, a young woman under extreme stress, choosing art over potatoes. A simple woman, from all I've heard, still following her heart and acquiring an energy object to help give her strength.

Then there is the soldier, the one armed soldier, using the most rudimentary things - a can of black tar paint, a chewed stick for a brush and tiles found in the rubble to make his art. To make *a living.*

In a time and place where one might have thought there was no room for art, no call for art, no need for art.

There is the importance of that piece of art that went on for decades for the woman who traded the precious goose egg. She paid an *enormous* amount for it, that she could ill afford. And it was the only thing she wanted to have on her bedside table to look at as she lay dying.

I think we artists underestimate massively what we actually do for people, what we could do if we had more faith in ourselves as the creators of "soul things" that are immensely precious, immensely valuable.

If we understood that there *are* people out there who are waiting for our art, who are looking for it even if they have no idea until that moment when they see it for the first time.

Most of all I think I learned from this that art doesn't have to be complicated to be magical.

It doesn't have to be clever, or smart. Or even big. It just needs to be ... ART.

Comment 2017:

I have just realised that this story about the "tile" started me off on making The Cupcakes - deliberate Energy Art Spells 10 cm x 10 cm square, magic charms to help, support, inspire a person and their environment.

I've been making cupcakes since 2014 I believe and never knew that's what they are all about!

Also, the whole deal with "real art but affordable to even poor people" comes straight out of the story of Lucky Hans. Wow! It's all connected!

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