February 2019 ♥︎ Arteles, Haukijärvi, Finland
The Random Collection of Silence
I spent February 2019 at Arteles Creative Center as an Artist in Residence. What a wonderful and very special experience ... I did a lot of walking through the forest and on the frozen lake and spent many hours just with myself, alone but not lonely.
Arteles was a real game-changer for me. Being back in the big city I feel like being stuck in a jumper which has become too small. I am very grateful for this momentum and how the experience at Arteles has effected me! Many thanks to the founders and the people who keep that place alive! I tried to capture the experience with the silent comic strip »A Random Collection of Silence«. Can you feel the silence?
Side note Arteles Creative Center in Hämeenkyrö, Finland, is the lively headquarters for an International residency program, welcoming artists and creative minds from all around the world, from all the defined and undefined forms of creativity. The center is located in the middle of the extraordinary nature of Hämeenkyrö, far from city life distractions. The current call for entries »Enter Text« is an international residency program for writers, researchers and artists working with text. ♥︎ February should be one of the coldest months of the year in Haukijärvi, but this year has been unexpectedly mild. The temperature was jumping up and down, like a yoyo ... on my last week there, the temperature was continuously above zero and the frozen lake started to melt. This unexpected short winter following the heat wave Northern Europe was facing last Summer made me wonder ... how long will there be a real winter ... climate change is real ...
January 29th 2019 ♥︎ Hamburg
I am off to some soul-searching!
No internet. No telephone. No buzzing. No fussing. In return: Silence. Awareness. The soft rustle of fresh snow.
Working on a book project about inner peace and gratitude I am very much looking forward to spend the next couple of weeks undergoing an experiment: For that I am going to explore various strategies people use to find inner peace. First stop: Solitude.
I am very curious what I am going to find if the inner voice doesn’t have to shout anymore to drown out the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Let’s get lost to discover new things by taking a look inside.
January 11th 2019 ♥︎ Tampere, Finland
A short travel note: Found a personal heroine!
Once you are travelling through Finland, it won’t be long before you are going to meet the Mumins. As soon as you are going to be invited into a Finnish home – for a cup of coffee for instance – you will meet the little kobolds – as decor of your coffee mug. These mugs are part of almost every Finnish household and very popular.
The Mumins have been created by Tove Jansson, a Finnish female writer, painter and illustrator. The only Museum in the world dedicated to the Mumins is in Tampere. Here I came across an old photograph of Tove Jansson which touched me instantly, made me stop, made me pause. It shows her as an adventurous, strong and curious woman on the island Klovharu which had been her summer home for many years. I’ve felt an urgent longing for a place like that, for a home of my own – with nature, with serenity.
The first Mumins book was published in 1945 but failed economicly. Tove Jansson has written over 20 Mumins books overall. | You can find more information about Tove Jansson here.
Finland is a country with a specific and very unique design culture. And you notice this often in the details of everyday living, for instance with dishes and dinnerware. The Mumins coffee mugs are manufactured in Helsinki by the Finnish porcelain manufactory Arabia. The second Finish world known porcelain brand is Iittala which today still produces Alvar Aalto designs as well as many others.
January 1st 2019 ♥︎ Tampere, Finland
Happy new Year! Greetings from Finland!
The lake Pyhäjärvi is thoroughly frozen in Finnish Winter time so it’s possible to walk on the ice. The first steps on the ice felt a little strange for me, somehow I immediately had to think about what my granny told me as a kid: »If you breake into the ice, you’ll die in an instant.« Didn’t happen ;-) The children here did a lot of ice skating, some people went for ice fishing, others made a hole into the ice and took a deep dive after sauna. Vive la vie!
October 25th 2018 ♥︎ Hamburg Germany
Can you draw? Workshop at Jung von Matt
Do you know that voice in your head that is telling you that you cannot draw? If so, you are not alone. Most people know that voice, most of us develope somehow – probably during school days – a believe that drawing is not for us, that we cannot draw.
That’s unfortunate consindering that sketching and scribbling is one of the areas in life where you can’t go wrong. In drawing everything is possible, anything goes. And also sketching can be a highly effective problem-solving tool for you because sketching helps us to understand and think problems through, so we can find new, innovative solutions and ideas. I like to help people to overcome that believe system that drawings have to be pretty and technically well made to be effective. And that’s what we did together at Jung von Matt Hamburg. Many thanks to Kyra Braatz and Heike Lorentz for making it happen.
Interested in a workshop which enables you to translate your ideas on paper? Take a look here.
August 5th 2018 ♥︎ Spitzbergen Svalbard
Till the end of the world ...
After coming back from the Arctic I am filled with a longing for the wild. Svalbard is such a special place – beautiful and wild ... but sometimes life has its own sense of humor: I've met two shy and nosy polar bears. They were hanging out behind the hill and were snooping on the ship I was on ... bewildered by these strange and clumsy creatures on the boat who were frantically taking pictures of them ... #fuckingtourists
Spitzbergen is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. And it is beautiful – in its own way. Rough, sparse, without any trees or bushes but vast and at the end of the world, I’ve felt so free.
July 18th 2018 ♥︎ Travelling
A short travel note on my way to the South
As my train descends to the south and passes through vast fields of grain, swallows spread their wings and take to the sky – there ain’t nothing that can harm you! And yet as time flies I feel sad and happy at the same time ...
I am spending the Summer in Weimar, meet me there. I probably will be at Luka and Steffi’s house because they make the best Sunday pancakes ... even if the pancakes probably beg to differ ...
June 26th 2018 ♥︎ Hamburg Germany
As a kid I spent my summer vacations in the countryside, visiting my grand parents in Mecklenburg. Since my granny was working during the day I would spent these days with my gradpa who would be sitting in the garden swing – silently watching the sky (he was a very quiet man) – and I would be playing in a jungle garden made of raspberry bushes, red and black currants and dahlias – together with the chickens and numerous dogs my granny owned. I am grateful for that memory. Thanks, Grandpa! I think of you today!
I loved that my grand parents owned so many dogs. Sometimes they had up to 7, sometimes 9 dogs in the house since my granny was a professional dog breeder. Shetland Sheepdogs to be precise. They looked like Lassie only smaller. Here I am – with Olli (my favorite, the cutie on the ground) and Hella – waiting in the courtyard.
December 13th 2017 ♥︎ Shanghai China
With Goethe-Institut I’ve travelled through China from December 2nd till December 13th. Book reading and comic-workshop in Guangzhou, book reading and exhibit opening in Beijing, some traveling alone to Shanghai. It was a great adventure. Thanks to all the nice people I’ve had the pleasure to meet! On my last day in Shanghai I’ve met my old friend Rolf ... we worked together and were flat-mates in Shanghai 15 years ago.
At the age of 24 I’ve lived and worked for almost one year in Shanghai – designing buildings and cities at the architectural office Swissleman (today: Lemanarc) where Rolf and I were first only workmates and later good friends. | The drawing on the left did one of the fabulous Chinese Comic Artists who joined my workshop. Thanks again! And: Guess who I am in the drawing?
November 1st 2018 ♥︎ Hamburg Germany
See you in China!
For many years I’ve dreamt about being an author, touching the hearts of readers and changing the world through drawn and written stories. It may sound a little naive but I also imagined it as travelling the world and being invited to exotic and faraway places. In less than one week I am going leave Hamburg to start a reading tour in China. And to be honest – I imagined it differently: more fireworks! And above all I imagined that I would feel different: more grounded, wiser, happier, leading a different life … Change did come, but in other ways than I expected, life goes on, but the way I see and treat myself hasn’t changed much: For the last couple of weeks – to be truthful – I’ve worried a lot: Will I be good enough? What if I fail? What if I get lost? My worries took up a lot of space … so much that I almost forgot to realize that my dream actually came true. … Yup, expectation tends to kill the joy of the moment. Let’s choose experiences over expectations and joyful curiosity over effort. See you in China.
Meet me here: 5th of December 2017 Sharing session in Guangzhou | 6th of December 2017 Comic-Workshop in Guangzhou | 7th of December 2017 Book reading and vernissage in Beijing