A New Car

Photo showing an old abandoned car in the backyard of our house on Crete

Found in the backgarden of the house we live in on Crete.

Evita Bay, Crete, Greece

Photo showing the sea at Evita Bay, a place in Bali on Crete

A day at Evita Bay on Crete. Feels surreal after the crazy times. Well, I say after… we are still in the middle of it and for some reason the holiday we booked last year did happen. And we actually enjoy it – with all the safety precautions it needs.

Support and Community are Important

I have not written a thing on my website for over a month. Not because I have been sick, or anything. I – my family and I actually – are alright. It was just the depressing knowledge of the fact that I won’t be able to run beyond tellerrand events for a while.

Already before beyond tellerrand many of those attendees who have been at the event a couple of times, but also those, who were there only in 2019, have written so man encouraging, nice and heart warming messages via email, text or on social media. I wanted to hug them all and say thanks, but, well, also this won’t happen for a while.

Today I received a parcel by Bianca, one of the people being in the beyond tellerrand family for a long time already. I took this as the kick in the butt to get active again. First of all to be there for what has grown over the last 10 years since starting beyond tellerrand and the people who shape this event and this … community. Is it really a community? I don’t know really, but I think there is something, which is special about those who support beyond tellerrand and me and the way they do this.

I guess you want to know what I got today. Well, it is known, that I do like gin. So, I got a lovely packed bottle of gin, that comes in a wooden box, accompanied by a bottle of tonic and some wonderful words about how this little show titled beyond tellerrand became something that feels like “home” for Bianca. If I only would be able to express how much those things mean to me.

A collage of photos showing the lovely packaging of “Heimat”, a local gin from Schweigern

Thanks so much, Bianca and to the many other wonderful people who are so supportive these days (you know who you are! 😘).

Well … I also know what I am drinking later in the sun. And you?

RIP Jeff Grosso

A photo of an old skateboard of mine by Jeff Grosso
So sad to hear that Jeff Grosso died. I still have a couple of decks of him in my basement still. RIP. 😢

Zoom – My Concerns


Since I had to postpone my tenth edition of beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf (date TBA) and it is unsure, if Berlin or Munich editions are taking place in this strange year, I was trying to work on an online setup for beyond tellerrand. Not to replace the live events – I don’t think this will ever be the same, especially for what I do with beyond tellerrand – but to create a platform, where we can exchange, meet and inspire each other in a time, when it is simply not possible to meet live and in real.

Now, I was testing a couple of platforms to host online meetings, webinars and events of all kinds. During the last two weeks those services had a huge boost and run on their services.

Lists with tools, services and tips for online events are popping up, like these:

Next to this, a lot of Slack channels pop up for event organisers and existing ones have more or less one topic only right now: Online Events.

So far I tested about 10 different platforms to host events on and somehow Zoom is the one that I always return to. For some reason it feels closest to what I want to do with being able to access your camera, to see each other, to speak to each other and not only write in a chat. As I don’t want to the many cool opportunities that pop up now, where people host workshops, webinars or try to port their live conferences into the web, I always came back to Zoom for the mentioned reasons above.

I wish that the people from Hopin would reply to any of my emails. I have written a couple of times, used the “Get Early Access” button, but within the last three weeks no one ever got back to me sadly. What I read on their website sounds nice, but I can’t sadly test it and tinker with it.

But back to why I have not started, what I have in mind right now: I am simply not sure, if I want to identify my event, even if only online, with what Zoom as a company is representing. Last year they were in the news, that, without telling the user, they’d secretly install a web server on your Mac, while installing the Zoom app. This was so bad, that I thought I never gonna use Zoom again. It was so hard to remove this server from your Mac again, that Apple even published a silent Mac update to remove it. (Here is a more detailed blog post by John Gruber about this whole issue and also about many more details, like the way Zoom runs the installer etc.)

Now another issue popped up: Zoom sent data to Facebook – even if you don’t have a facebook account – WTF?!

Well, the code now is said to be removed and they also have a web version (see here on how to use it, which is not as feature rich, but which does not need to install anything and which you can run in a private window, but it still leaves a bitter taste to it. What’s coming next?

And therefore: Do I really want to use a service for my events, where a company knowingly does this kind of stuff? What do you think?

O’Reilly Cancelled All Their In-Person Events


O’Reilly Media cancelled all their future in-person events. But not only this: they also shut down that part of their business completely. I bet they won’t be the only ones in the end, as future is really not predictable at the moment.

Read the full announcement here.

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!