Online Drawing Parties and Other Free Resources

Danny Gregory spoke at beyond tellerrand Berlin in 2016 and gave a wonderful talk about why every day matters. It was wonderful to have him being part of beyond tellerrand. Now he and Koosje Koene, who founded Sketchbook Skool together, invite people to free online drawing parties to get through these tough and strange times together. And this with drawing together.

Danny and Koosje state, that everybody can be an artist. They don’t believe in talent, but they believe that everyone is able to become an artist though teaching their way seeing. They always state that drawing and making art is powerful and yet, in these times, they might be even more right with this.

On this page they invite you to be part of their drawing parties and offer other free resources, stating that they want to ​relieve stress, connect and get creative.

Check the schedule and join in!

Gary Hustwit Films for Free


Gary Hustwit decided to stream one of his films for free each week. For the last week and until tomorrow his film Helvetica is available for free.

Watch Helvetica now

Affinity Products for 50% Off


Many companies think of ways to support freelancers, sole workers and the creative community in general. Affinity now decided to reduce the price for their products by 50%.

Next to this they offer a new 90-day trial period for the whole product range for Mac or Windows.

They state:

  • A new 90-day free trial of the Mac and Windows versions of the whole Affinity suite
  • A 50% discount for those who would rather buy and keep the apps on Mac, Windows PC and iPad
  • A pledge to engage more than 100 freelance creatives for work, spending the equivalent of our annual commissioning budget in the next three months (more details of this will be announced soon).

Furthermore as reason for this they say:

The introduction of the 90-day free trial and deeply discounted pricing is done in the hope that this will make life a little easier for people who rely on creative software to make a living, but may be stuck at home without their usual tools, or for students who might not have access to their Affinity apps on their personal devices.

Read the full announcement on their site.

Thanks for All the Positive Vibes


Not much. Only wanted to state that – once more – people are overwhelmingly nice these days. I still need to get in touch with a couple of partner for the postponed beyond tellerrand event in Düsseldorf, but up to now people just bare with my and hope that I will be able to run it later this year.

Thank you so much!

Online Events These Days


As we all need to stay at home right now, you might have more time than usual (I don’t right now, it is more the opposite and I need to make plans for a possible future).

Why not using this time next to taking care of you and your family to meet online, learn, get inspired or look into new fields of business?

Yesterday I was watching a live stream of Gavin Strange and James White, as they are not able to give their talk at Offf in Barcelona, as expected. Right now, I can’t find it online, but it was a nice journey to their careers as speakers, where/how it started and simply nice to meet a few people.

Erika and Mike started something called Quarantine Book Club. The idea is to bring people together with authors. Ticket price for each session is $5. They state:

Join your favorite authors on Zoom where you can have spirited discussions from the privacy of our own quarantined space!

Next to this, there are a lot of talks from past events online, which you can watch. Like in our channels on YouTube or Vimeo. And there are plenty of more “events” online these days. For me it really is no alternative to what I do with beyond tellerrand, but maybe something in addition and a way to keep the spirit alive and stay connected without being able to meet in real life. I recently read in one of the Slacks for event organisers I am in, that one organiser was missing the live reactions to the first online meetup they ran. She said:

[…] today we did our first zoom webinar. Overall, ok (Q&A, focused video on facilitators) but huge design flaw at the end: there’s no way to create feedback from the audience. Meaning: no clapping or props. Such a huge disappointing end IMO. […]

I totally understand this. Also the interaction between people in between the talks during the breaks at live events is missing. Well, let’s hope things are better soon!

What are you doing these days?

If You Email to Speak at beyond tellerrand at Least Change the Events Name in Your Template

I get a lot of emails from people who want to speak or who suggest people to invite or people from a company who say I need to invite their CEO, Creative Director, XYZ. All fine and I am happy to actually receive those emails. But sometimes I wish people would at least re-read the email made from their template to correct at least the name of the event (or the organiser, me).

A screenshot from an email of someone suggesting their CEO as a speaker for beyond tellerrand.

Simply looks cheap and in this case, won’t even get a reply. And I really do reply to every email.

I Have Been Guest of Presentable Podcast #82 by Jeff Veen

Last Thursday I had the honour of being the guest in episode number 82 of the Presentable podcast by Jeff Veen. It was great fun to chat with him (as usual when meeting him in person). We spoke about how events and the reason to be at events might have changed over the last 20 years. In my opinion it is less about learning and getting to know how to do things, but more to broader topics, motivation and inspiration nowadays. At least when it comes how I see me running events.

I love running my events. It is just great to see all those different people with so many different interests and backgrounds coming together for two days to exchange, enlighten and inspire each other. I could have gone on forever to chat about all this, but I guess, you have to meet me at one of the events in 2020 to chat face to face ;)

But this way, please, to have a listen yourself. If you like, join the beyond tellerrand Slack and let me know about your opinion and reason, why you attend events/conferences?

Impressions From A Morning Run

Collage of two images - on the left the map of the run I made, one the right a photo of the sun rising above a frosty field

I'm usually not a tomorrow person, especially not when it comes to running. But today I have been out with the dog at about 6am and thought, I go for a run, when I walked my youngest daughter to school. Also as I want to celebrate five years of Creative Mornings in Düsseldorf this evening and can’t go for my usual Friday run with my friend Andy.

Well, I took the wrong exit somewhere on the field and had to go a bit further 🙄 … 😂 also the field roads were covered with ice still and I had to be very careful where to run. ❄️

Where else:

Letter & Co. – Intensive Ten Day Workshop About Display Type

This image is an animation showing ABCDEFONT in various letters animated

If I’d have more time around those dates, this would be the absolute great workshop for me to attend. Not, because I am particularly good in or with type and type design, but I am curious to learn more and the ten instructors are already promising by their names and what they do and known for. So, this is a ten day workshop with:

How does this sound? And then this is not only a workshop, but a ten day course with days from 9.30am to 6.00pm every day.


The whole course is split in roughly 30% theoretical and 70% practical hands-on time. Everyone who attends is going to work on their project, mixed with group conversations and discussions encouraged. You can read more about the program on their website and the planned content listing looks like:

Analog techniques

  • Letter Design Basics
  • Sketching techniques
  • Lettering Design insights
  • Creation of an alphabet
  • Optical adjustments

Digital techniques

  • Drawing letter shapes in vectors
  • Styles and layered type
  • Introduction to fontself software
  • Introduction to Glyphs App
  • Font editing
  • Spacing and Kerning
  • Programing and open type features
  • Fine tuning of your font
  • Publishing your font

Font Publishing

  • Marketing your font
  • Font naming
  • Designing your specimen
  • Presenting your font

When, Where and How To Apply?

This ten day workshop is taking place from July 24th to August 2nd. If you want to attend, you need to apply until April 26th. The fee for the ten days is €1980 (plus 19% VAT), which is €198 for each of the workshop days.

More information on how to apply and what information is needed in order to apply can be found on their website.

If you want to stay up to date and get updated information for the course, you can subscribe to their newsletter.

Events I Attend In 2020

I have been at New Adventures in January already and this is a simple list of events I am attending in 2020. More events might be added, but those are the ones to the day, I already arranged travel and/or know 100% I am going and which are not single day meetups or alike (which come on top of the ones below):

Next week FITC Amsterdam is taking place and I’d love to go to meet a few of the people that are going to be there. Sadly this year’s edition coincides with Karneval over here in my area. My kids will be all out on the streets and even though – no – because they are 14 and 16 now (next to the 7 year old one), I don’t want to leave them alone during that time ;)

I’d furthermore love to go to the 20th OFFF in Barcelona, as well as to Smashing Conference in San Francisco, but both are in the week before my tenth beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf and there is no chance I can do this.

An event I have planned to go, but need to sort my stuff out for is Material in Iceland, March 20th. 99,9% sure that I am going, but need to arrange travel and a few other bits.

This on the other hand means, I can’t be at the very first Kirby Konf, taking place at around the same time as Material sadly.

UX London is taking place during the 18th birthday of my nephew and right before I leave for Berlin to attend Berlin Letters. Otherwise I’d love to go as I plan this for many years now.

Pictoplasma and Web Rebels are two events I always wanted to go as well, but they overlap with the 25th anniversary of finishing school, where I do not want to miss meeting all those people from back in the days ;)

Next to those above I have penciled in the following events, where I nee to look into time and family stuff:

Again, those are the ones I know of by February. And only the ones I am sure to go or where I penciled in dates.

If you want to get a more general overview of events and not only the ones I have in my closer choice right now: there are plenty of places to have a look at, depending on what you are looking for. Here are a few resources:

Of course there are more lists to visit as well, but those are the ones, that jumped into my eye repeatedly, when I searched for events.

As you can see, I attend a couple of events and whenever there is the chance to meet and chat with people, especially at other events than the ones I organise, I am totally happy to do so. So, let me know which events I gonna meet you at. Happy to meet you ;)