The book – page 29

This is the first in a series of paintings that I’ve made on book paper. The book is one that I bought second hand in Germany, and it’s about plants and natural remedies (well, as far as I can understand).

This painting is “ein Herz”, a heart, with small flowers growing out of it and the word “ein” in the middle, for wholeheartedness.


~ Get a page for you or someone else, carry with you a part of the bigger story ~

(On etsy!)

Places to sit

My two favourite places to sit and work in the city:

1. The library in Nürnberg consists of two buildings, linked by a super confusing system of corridors and stairs. The new part is a tall building, extremely ugly from the outside, but modern and bright on the inside. The old part however, is some kind of old monestary I think? The floor is covered in old carpet and the ceilings are lower, it smells kinda weird sometimes, but it has a courtyard where the trees are still bright yellow and orange, and a café on the lowest floor with dark wooden furniture that makes you feel like you’re a professor at a british university. I like it. Last time I was there I dragged a chair to one of the windows overlooking the courtyard and I used the broad windowsill as my desk. It’s a good place to sit.


2. I know Starbucks has long ago reached that point where it’s too annoyingly popular to be cool. But I appreciate their culture. If I go to a cozy german café they will expect me to actually appreciate it, and be aware of my surroundings, and not stay for like three hours just sitting in front of my computer. Starbucks though, they don’t care, they expect that, and there’s not even any staff on the second floor most of the time. I just sit there being oblivious of where I am for a while, but I have coffee or hot chocolate and the buzz of movement around me. It calms me down when I’m too unfocused to work from home.



There’s no rush Except for the urgency and necessity to sink into the present moment

I have a decision page in my notebook. It’s so that when the contradicting emotions come rolling I will remember that I already decided something and that it’s what I’ll do regardless of what doubts I have. Otherwise decisions aren’t worth anything.


Also, reminder:
You place such high demands on your choices. What you choose now will not necessarily fix all your insecurities, your self control or procrastination. But it can help with something. You can choose something that is good for your art. Or brings you closer to nature. Or happier in only some sense. Choose one criteria and don’t close your eyes to everything else, but you don’t have to worry about it either. Let yourself make a choice that solves one of your problems.

Book review on “The Art of Asking”

This is another book in the long list of “I had a succesful ted talk and subsequently got a book deal because this can be milked for more money“. I haven’t read a lot of books on that list, even though I bet many of them are good. But I saw this on some “recommend” list and it fit with things I’ve been thinking about lately, how we make money in an unconventional career path and how that making of money both comes from and creates our platform.

Although my main conclusion after reading this is that Amanda Palmer is a really cool person. Just, honestly, a really cool person. It’s not neccessarily the highest form of literature, it didn’t blow my mind with its language or structure, but it is what it’s supposed to be: her honestly sharing her story.

She starts by talking about the days when she worked as a living statue, how she bought a second hand wedding dress, painted her face white and with weird doll-like moves gave flowers to people who gave her a dollar. She talks about those brief exhanges when she got to look someone in the eye and give something to them, and how people cried, or laughed at her, or proposed.

It becomes the skeleton of the whole story. Those honest meetings, and the exhange that happened. And the flowers. When she started touring with her band she taped flowers to her piano stand to hide how ugly it was, and then she threw those flowers out at the audience towards the end, and they gave them back to her, or bought her big bouquets.

My favourite story is about when she finally got signed. Her label wanted to market her band, but there was conflict that happened when her fan base grew too fast. It was an echo system, she felt, that would be ruined if too many people were added all at once. It had grown organically, someone bringing a friend, someone hearing or reading about them, and then people one at a time being added into their culture.

She was inspired by some Irish band she like in her youth, where their whole fanbase was like a family. They didn’t have tons of fans everywhere, but they always had someone. When they visited her home town in America she let them stay in her house. And she started growing those relationships herself. Signings were not guarded by security waving people through as fast as possible. Instead people brought her food and medicine when she was sick. People met and fell in love while waiting in line. Their relationship with fans meant couchsurfing instead of hotels when they were touring.

And with the lable, there was suddenly a marketing team with a different approach. They always wanted to reach out to new people. Especially when she had a new album or tour. Instead of letting the music be a gift to the community she had, they focused on the people who didn’t yet know her.

It’s fascinating, because I think we do that a lot. Share things online to grow an audience, subconsciously addressing it to the followers we don’t have instead of serving our already existing community. But that’s not how you build a wave. You bring whatever you have to the audience you have and you bring people into that. Then you watch it grow and cascade, out to the rest.

And that led Amanda to crowdfunding, to twitter, to using and developing her connection to her audience, and paying attention to the people that care instead of screaming for attention from the people that don’t, anyway.



Amanda Palmer, with her weird eyebrows, that she says makes people look into her eyes.


So, I moved to Germany to volounteer work at The White Rabbit Arts. It’s pretty nice here. Very german. Like really, I think I’ve only ever lived in really international communities, even when I’ve been abroad. So just being in a new country, in an apartment full of people who mainly speak german, is different. It’s like actually moving.

And so far I think that Germany is:

1. Warmer than Sweden. Not by much, but a little warmer.

2. Bigger. Obviously. Nürnberg is a pretty big city, and there’s just more people here in general, which means that you can walk down the street and find a random four story book store with a little café hidden inside. In Sweden that would go into bankruptcy within a week if it wasn’t in Stockholm or something.

3. More social. Slightly, at least? Once again, I quite like it.

So, here’s a collection of pictures, from the train station (interesting), my apartment and writing out my letters to the people who support my volounteer work.




Hugs in german to you✽

Some notes the internalized belief that we are not worthy.

My doubts about what I’m doing with my life are unhealthily dealt with by me creating a persona that I feel is allowed to do what it is that I want.

Because here’s the thing, maybe I would myself only support someone in my situation if they were far enough removed from me. If they were a fun artsy character that I could be amused by and get inspiration from. If they were “normal”, maybe from my village, a completely ordinary person, I would instead be slightly annoyed and feel that they shouldn’t be allowed to do that. My own internalized fear that I’m not allowed, fundamentally: jealousy. If they’re a character however, someone far enough removed from us, we don’t have to feel guilty about us not doing what we want with our lives.

We turn ourselves into the charicature of a role in order to gain some heavenly allowance to walk a certain path. Or other people’s allowance. Or our own allowance, since it’s our own belief about our insufficiency that we subconsciously push onto other people. And maybe I went the crazy artist route instead of the normal missionary one because it’s easier. Because my charicature of the slightly crazy, flighty artist is simple compared to my idolized charicature of missionary, a holy mix of some old school mother Theresa and present day social ball of sunshine, spotless and unattainable.

But the truth is: you’re allowed to remain an ordinary person while pursuing an extraordinary life. In fact, I think it’s absolutely essential.