Or: Into the Unknown
Unbelievable: 3 months of my Adobe Creative Residency year are already over.
It’ was a little bit like getting on a train very spontaneously. A train, which destination you don’t know. By now, the train is in full speed and the start station seems to be far away
The intimate feeling of home is blurring, an anticipation of the new and unknown is arising. You can lose yourself in reveries if you are dreaming of far and fantastic places. It’s nice to think of some blue sky and white sandy beaches… you dream of the amazing feeling of trying new foreign tastes and of getting used to the sound of a mysterious language.
But, after you already entered the train, after you took the step, after you hauled the heavy suitcase up into the train compartment, then finally found your seat and are watching the landscape passing by, then maybe some first small doubts are ascending from the stomach pit.
Shit! Why did I get on this train? How did I get into this? Will I like the destination? Will I have enough endurance to keep it up till the end? Am I equipped well enough, did I pack enough supplies, the right clothes? Did I buy the right ticket?
Questions and doubts, that usually come up in the second moment – in the second moment, when the brain wishes to speak and the intuition is outvoted.
My Creative Residency is a little bit like a train ride into the unknown, too. I jumped onto a train, of which I didn’t know where it will ride and which route it will take. Of which I didn’t know how fast it will rolling and in which class I will be seated.
Barely entered, the ride got speedy: A flight off to Berlin, a video shoot. Off to Paris, 3 days of streaming for Adobe Live. Next stop Berlin: A speech at one of the most important graphic design fairs. Then New York, the 99 U, some Live Streaming. Off to Berlin for a few dates, back to Munich. Now San Francisco. Out of the Nowhere, in the middle of a Jetlag Life. Why me? Can I do this? Do I have enough talent? Will I embarrass myself?
But the Creative Residency does not leave any time for doubting yourself – that’s where you can feel the American way of life. You want something? Then, do it! You have the abilities to do something? Then do it! And then go out and talk about it! A very pragmatic thinking approach, that confuses you if you are an European, especially when you are Bavarian. You would presumably prefer a cold glass of beer in a cozy „Wirtshaus“ (tavern) to that.
A little example of this totally different state of mind: our public speaking at the TYPO Berlin. A talk about a project, that is not finished, of which you can’t show anything yet, in a moment, where you don’t know yet, where the journey goes, how the project will develop and if it will be any good. In front of very important people. I was irritated and anxious, in panic – you only show a project, if it is not fully finished yed, if it is presentable!
But it was only after the speech when I was able to understand the intentions behind this – it can be also a big advantage to present only a sketch of an idea: you see, which parts are not thought through properly, what is working and what is not working, you can get inspired by new feedback, you can set a new course, motivate people to hop on your train and then pick up even more speed.
In addition, situations like these, situations of which you are afraid and in which you would maybe prefer to hide in a dark „Wirtshaus“, but that you are facing (in my case: need to face) anyway, are challenging but also the most precious, fantastic and exciting chances of your life.
Because only the trips into the unknown get you to the most amazing places. You need to try new stuff, and to face the unfamiliar and the unacquainted with positivity and happiness. How could you evolve if you always take the same train? There is no right time to make new steps.
So, the Adobe Creative Residency is like a spontaneous roadtrip into the unknown. And it is the best roadtrip that I ever did. Adobe has confidence in me and in my work. In my talent, of which I was not always convinced of. Absolute financial freedom and freedom to experiment and to mess around. At no point, my competence was put into question, all the way down I got encouraged and cheered up. Adobe gave me the train ticket. The conductors are first class and competent – very seldom I have met so many great people in one spot – and I have the most amazing travel buddies, the other 5 creative Residents, that are with me in the same train compartment.
This great, challenging but supporting company is fascinating and boosting me. And I am looking forward to the next 9 months of theCreative Residency. I jumped on the train, I am enjoying the ride and I am looking forward to the unknown place that will be awaiting at the end of my ride – but I am guessing, that this journey into the unknown will never ever stop – and that ins an amazing thought.