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.