Only two months into 2020 and already my life has taken a significant turn. Ever since I published the Perseverance-issue and volunteered in refugee camps on Lesvos, I started re-evaluating what I’ve been doing in the past couple of years. This resulted in me procrastinating a fair bit when it came to starting new projects, like a new issue of Let’s Explore Magazine. More on that later. But it also gave me the time to seriously look at what I’ve managed to create so far and in which direction my journey is heading. It’s time to break the silence, these are my goals and plans for the near and distant future. Things are going to change, that’s for sure.

There is a destination out there, somewhere. The path towards that is just as important though and I’d like to keep sharing mine with you.

A new path, at a Crossroads yet again

One of the things that I’ve learned in recent years, is that my magazine is having an impact. It’s having an impact on me – because all the themes result from my own interests or struggles – and collaborating with others on those topics has taught me a lot. But it’s also having an impact on the contributors and the readers. The magazine became a catalyst for growth in many different ways. When I was preparing to go to Lesvos, I have also initiated a photography project with the residents of the refugee camps. This felt off at some point because I experienced it as me taking something from them, instead of giving. Until my girlfriend reminded me of the fact that I was giving them something: a voice! Granted, this project still sits on my hard drive, but as soon as I’ve sorted everything out with the translators, I will be publishing … something.

Life happens, wether you like it or not. The only thing you can do is to hang on and stay present as it unfolds.
One of my favourite images from the 100+ frames captured during the Non-Disposable Project.

“Where is this going?”, I hear you asking. Realizing that my magazine can have an impact, in combination with me actively making a difference by doing volunteer work, has sparked a flame inside of me. Even after months of contemplating, it still feels right! So, what if (famous last words right there), I were to take a sidestep from being “solely” a designer & art director and find a way to help NGO’s and/or B-Corporations in a more holistic way?

Back to School

This is how I will spend the upcoming 7 months of 2020: at 39 years old, I’m going back to school, besides my full-time job! I will be attending part of a masters program on Strategic Marketing Management and Corporate Communications. This might sound a bit dirty. But I believe that this will help me to understand better how to develop a strategy and use that strategy to evoke positive change. In combination with educating myself further in the fine art of storytelling, this feels like it’s the right path for me. Adding these studies to my almost 15 years of experience as an art director and editorial designer, I hope to be able to make a significant change in my career path to reach my personal goal for the not so distant future: helping NGO’s, B-Corporations, creators and similar organizations with storytelling-, communications- and content strategies. I want to facilitate them in finding their stories, to translate those in awareness campaigns for their vision & mission and to generate more engagement for their projects.

Beauty can be found in the details or hidden gems of a story.
Constantly asking questions has taught me that there’s often more to a story than one would expect at first glance. True gems are sometimes hidden.

It’s a turn of events that comes from following my heart and the belief that I can and want to do more than I’m currently doing to make this world just a little bit better. It will be a steep learning curve from this point on and I’m super excited about that!! And to make this even more exciting, I, of course, will be using what I’ll learn to improve Let’s Explore Magazine and its side projects.

Future of the Magazine

Talking about the magazine. A first draft of the next theme has been written. Revisiting this a few more time should get it ready for sharing, in order for contributors to propose their story ideas. The initial idea was to have a new issue ready by Summer. I hope you’ll understand that this is not going to happen now. BUT I’m playing with the idea of still sharing the theme soon so that there is plenty of time to work on the stories and make the next issue even better than the previous ones. The magazine has been a when-ready publication from the beginning but it doesn’t sit well with me that it has been so long time since I’ve published the Perseverance-issue. Something I have to come to grips with, I guess. First thing first though.

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