022022: Books from Boxes

Drawing of me underneath a lot of moving boxes

I am sitting in between towers of moving boxes, filled with my clothes, my books, my stuff – just so much stuff that needs to change coordinates with me. I am moving! Well, I did—that’s what I spent the whole November and December with. Packing things up in boxes is a cathartic process. I wasn’t able to get rid of as many things as I wished, but eventually, I took this as a sign that I am already surrounded by the things I love, and I want to keep them. Ok, most of them.

Finding space for all this life within a new place is a long and exhausting (and sometimes also expensive) process, and every once in a while, I need to remind myself that this is all fun and I am doing it for me and I finally get to decorate and design everything exactly the way I want to. I cannot help but wonder: Is it more difficult to chose a wall color when you’re a visual thinker; an aesthete? Shouldn’t it be easier? Maybe I am just a slow decision maker, and that’s ok, too. I’ll get there.

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As 2022 comes to an end, let’s briefly look at the hard facts and feelings:

I moved into a new apartment, which was an unbelievable (the apartment is perfect!) and stressful (I have not done this in quite a while!) process. However, I am here now, lurking out of all those boxes that still need to be unpacked. Home makes me very happy and thankful.

I had several teaching jobs in 2022: Web design at Merz Academy, my annual Writing = Design workshop week with Sonja, and a whole semester’s course at UdK on writing about illustration. All these jobs were completely different, but I got the chance to find out that a) I want to do more of it, and b) I developed a better understanding for how my style of teaching and working with students could work. Now, let’s see where it fits in.

In July, we founded our cooperative: Village One. Since then, we’ve been talking to other coops, thought a lot about our company approach, and obviously did some work, too: For example, we helped Neue Narrative to rebrush their website, we teamed up with Cobot to do a big research project, and we work closely together with Publix, a new house for Journalism in Berlin; building their digital infrastructure. I definitely enjoy the variety, but I sometimes miss the office buzz you normally get with a company. Working remotely and alone at home as a freelancer is fine, but teaming up with others feels different when you meet at the kitchen table. Anyway, a lot is planned for 2023 with Village One; follow us if you’re curious. We’re also looking for a designer to join the team!

I continued writing my little column for the form design magazine: This year, I wrote about the cloud (295), desktop publishing (296), buttons (297) and phone sex (298). You can see some videos about the columns on my Instagram, and buy the magazine online.

Both writing and drawing exercises felt a little thin this year. I miss it, but other big projects occupied my desk. However, I did write my monthly diary recaps on the blog (find them here) and I was involved in two book projects: For Lorenz Meyer’s “Kreuzfahrt durch die Republik” I drew cover + portraits, and for Gabriel Yoran’s new Genussbuch »Wenn das Leben dir Zitronen gibt, mach Dressing draus« I drew the cover and some spots. Next year, I want to make something just for myself. More depth, less instagram.

What else? I travelled places! I am not a traveller, it makes me nervous and I find it so exhausting that I forget about the beauty and the new input I bring home with me. I went to Vienna (I love you!), I spent my time in pools and restaurants in Greece, I went to Rome and ate all the things. It was nice. Let’s say it like that: I am not into traveling, but I do enjoy a nice vacation. Find me at the pool.

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As December’s days rush by so quickly, another year is put to the archives. Boxes, archives, folders – how are these the symbols of my year?! Sorry that this letter turned into some work-focussed yada yada, with little wisdom and no new year’s predictions from within my crystal ball. Current times are so wonky, I decided to avoid outlooks and be more here, in this tower of boxes—in this slice of air and time.

I haven’t written this letter in a while, but it feels good to be back at it. How has your year been? What comes next? Send me a reply, if you like, or we’ll find each other in other ways in the next year; it’s almost there. Another year, another round, make it count.

(If you enjoy content like this: I send it out as an irregular newsletter called Christel’s CornerSign up for it here.)