donderdag 10 oktober 2013

Rainy days

Waiting makes time go so slowly but time is also something that I don't seem to have enough of these days. There are not enough days in a week to do what I have to do and mostly what I want to do. The moment I can hopefully start my adventure seems so far away. While at the same time there will never be enough time left before that to spend with the people I love.

As fall is the season of the melancholic I find myself getting into the comfortable over-thinking state. It's something I don't mind, I love putting on quiet folk songs with the sound of rain in the background and a cup of coffee resting in my hands. It's during these moments that I find the contradictions in my mind. That I think about the concept of time and how it moves fast and slow at the same time. I turn up the music and let it all sink in.

(If you want the calming sound of the rain when it's not actually raining: Rainy Mood)

zaterdag 28 september 2013

Tumultuous Sea

It's the end of September; fall is finally upon us. I can't wait for the leafs to turn red, orange and yellow. To go for long walks in the park and smell the trees. The cool cloudless days are my favorite. Or the rainy days when you don't have to leave the house. Wearing multiple layers of clothing and knitwear, scarfs and boots. Eating pumpkin and putting cinnamon in everything. Listening to my favorite kind of music; the kind that sounds like it has been written and recorded in a winter cabin up in the mountains. I find it pretty funny that the guy behind Radical Face, who makes ultimate fall/winter music, lives in Florida where it is always summer.

A certain weight has been lifted off my shoulders since I finished studying. I'm only realizing it now that fall is here. A time I used to spend at the academy. Where I would have the hunting feeling that there is always something I should to be working on, that you're never finished. Like waves keep crashing in on you, overflowing your mind. Now, with two jobs and some assignments on the side, I'm busier then ever. There is just less pressure and more time to breathe and think once I get home. Sure, I'm pretty beat after working six days in a row. But I don't have to feel guilty when I'm spending my evening on the couch afterwards. Days off are also more precious now. Studying is something you take home with you, while at work you can just shut the door and leave at the end of the day. Besides, I know what I'm working for, the goal is clear and slowly coming closer.

The creative waves are rolling in again and now I'm ready to roll with them.

zaterdag 14 september 2013

For the sake of the song

To me, music is one of the most powerful art-forms. The emotional effect it can have, the way a song gets stuck in your head or how you associate an album or a song with certain events in your life. If I had the talent I would be a musician myself. Instead I decided to become a graphic designer. In a way I do treat my designs as if I'm writing a song. Songs often create a world on their own and that's what I like to do with my work as well.

My friend Matthijs van der Ven has this really great project Onder Invloed (dutch for under the influence). He records sessions with musicians covering their favorite songs. Not long ago he released a magazine with interviews and essays from some of the important people around this project. One of the essays (by Mathijs Leeuwis) has since then been stuck in my head. Especially these words: "Why do I never write about the places I live in? If I could I would keep on driving to Tecumseh. Only because someone [Townes van Zandt] wrote a song about it."

I can relate to this feeling Mathijs is talking about all too well. Because this is probably how the longing for Canada started; with music. Those who sing about the land of my dreams. The place that inspires them to create such beautiful sounds and striking words, must be a paradise. And there is just something about Canadian music; It sounds like everything that I have longed for, everything that is not here. With my love for the music grew my desire for that place.

At quite a young age I was already searching for my own sound. The music I heard around me wasn't really what I wanted to hear. Especially typical Dutch music has never had my interest. The Dutch musicians that I do like doesn't seem to be inspired by the places they live in. Maybe they also have this feeling of reversed homesickness?

donderdag 29 augustus 2013

What you wish for tomorrow you could have today

A diploma is a certificate to enter the next phase of your life. Everything is wide open, opportunities await around the corner, as long as you move forward. This is not a new chapter but a new book. Or, as I like to use tv-shows as a metaphor, this is not a new episode but a new season. The basic elements stay the same, but a new story-line develops. Main characters will stay, others move out of the picture and (hopefully) some new persons will be introduced. There is a blank script in front of me and I can now write this new season of my life. My head is overflowing with ideas and directions in which I would like to go. One direction in particular; Canada.

My plan is to go to Canada for about a year to travel, work, explore etc. To do so I need a working holiday visa and there is only a limited amount they give out each year. Applications are closed for 2013 so I'll be waiting for the gates to open again in 2014. Until then, all I can do is wait, dream, secretly plan ahead, think about my options regarding my apartment and what to do with my belongings while I'm gone, there is a lot that I need to figure out. But the real decision making will have to wait until I know for sure that I can get the working visa. Thankfully there is enough to do in the mean time, like working to save money.

"What you wish for tomorrow you could have today", wise words Sam Roberts told me in one of his songs. Maybe not literally true in this case, but very relevant to post-graduate life in general. This is the time to start building up your (new) life!

zondag 4 augustus 2013

Reversed Homesickness

This is it. Student life is over. I thought a lot about this moment during my final year at the art academy. It is a time of reflection. How did you get here, what have you learned, what has been your biggest influence, who did you become? But most of all you look forward. What will you do next, where will you go, what's your goal, what do you want to achieve? With these questions in mind I had to come up with my own graduation project. Forming your own assignment is a privilege and a curse at the same time. Anything is possible and that doesn't make it easier. Also, as a graphic designer you mostly work for a client, coming up with your own assignment isn't really how it works in "real-life". On the other hand, the chance to work on a personal project this intensely after graduation might not come around again, so you better take advantage of it. Advantage I took.

Finding my subject wasn't that hard. One thing I've learned; make sure your heart is in it. So that's where I looked. It has been there for more then twelve years now, the longing for a certain place. It started with a thought, it became a dream and now it's a part of me. For ten years I dreamed about a place I had never been to; Canada. This changed in the summer of 2011. I had a long summer holiday in front of me and decided that if I worked full-time for about five weeks I could afford to go to Canada for three weeks at the end of the summer. So that's what I did, I booked a flight and went to British Columbia. It was the first time traveling on my own, not knowing what to expect, not knowing anyone there. It was the best summer I ever had. When I came back I knew this wasn't something that I had to get out of my system, going there had become an even deeper embedded desire within me. The next summer, the one right before my graduation, I did the same routine, but this time I went to Ontario. A different but equally amazing experience. 

Being back home I noticed how much the longing for Canada influences me. I keep trying to find or create pieces of that place here. It's so strong that I knew I had to do something with it. Something where all my findings and creations could come together in a form that could go on endlessly. That's how my project, Reversed Homesickness, was born. I created an ongoing series of work about the longing for this certain place. For each issue in the serie I picked an aspect of this reversed homesickness to work with. The outcome differs in shape and size, it can be a booklet, a poster or a print, whatever fits best with each issue.

Even though I graduated, I can still continue with the serie (and I will). That's why I started this blog, to write and share the endless longing for a place that is not here.