In the beginning there was a huge, mouse-grey building.
Sometimes it seems a bit unreal to me that I've been working for large, well-known companies since 1991. I still remember very clearly the moment I stood in front of the Feldmühle building (now Stora Enso) in Düsseldorf-Oberkassel when this story began. A building, huge, sandblasted grey, with unfashionable, tall windows. Dynamic mouse-grey, as I used to say.
I thought "Ufffzzz, and this is where I should work?" It struck me as very clumsy and not remotely inspiring.
Fortunately, the people and atmosphere inside were very positive! My office was later on the fourth floor, with a wonderful view over the roofs of Oberkassel towards the Rhine. That first "Ufffzzz..." actually turned into incredible almost 20 years.
A lot has happened since then. So much that I could write a book.
For about 8 years I was on the road selling starch for industrial applications; Starch from corn and wheat.
My creativity was always expressed in very attractive PowerPoints, even my Excel spreadsheets were sometimes given a polish with embedded images. When I was traveling for work, one utensil was always with me: my camera!
Of course, I've had both good and challenging times, which I think is pretty normal. From great superiors and colleagues to bullying (I wouldn't classify that as "normal") to unfair things, everything was there. All of this has shaped me, allowed me to grow, and I can say that my knowledge of human nature is rich.
Image: me 2010
The chance to change my life
Some time ago (2021) I got the chance to change my professional life and I decided to take this chance.
I said to myself, "If not now, then when? When I'm 80?". This reminds me that back in 2009/2010, when the almost 20 years ended (it was reorganized across Europe and I decided not to go with it), I coined the phrase:
"I don't know what yet, but I'm looking forward to it!"
Deciding to make a career change was a massive decision. Where do I come from, where am I, where do I want to go...
In 2019 I got to know Zhineng Qigong, not yet suspecting that Qigong will one day play an important role professionally.
Qigong, my sense for beautiful things, the existing but not exhausted talent for creativity and art together with almost 30 years in companies - an exciting mixture.
A key moment "Imagine, you are on your deathbed..."
Like many people, I have had my key moments. One of them is a speech by Mr. Les Brown, one of the most renowned speakers in the world. These words hit me right in the heart:
“Imagine you are lying on your deathbed.
And around your bed are the ghosts that represent your unfulfilled potential.
The ghosts of ideas you never acted on, talents you didn't use, and they stand around your bed angry, disappointed and upset.
They say, 'We came to you because you could have brought us to life, and now we must go to our graves together.
And they cry..."
I had tears in my eyes. Nobody can change the past, but the future is in our own hands.
Very inspired, I began to look forward to realizing my potential and realizing my ideas instead of worrying about missed opportunities.
If I imagine being 80, I wouldn't want to say, "What if...?".
The technical idea arose during a Qigong meditation about transformation
Also in 2021, while practicing a Qigong meditation, I had the idea to transform my photographs. I couldn't get this idea out of my head and I tested, tested and tested how I could implement this transformation in such a way that I received works of art that I love. The result is visible today.
"Listen to your gut feeling!" - this time I did it.
Sure, it's a challenge to follow an unknown, seemingly risky path. Skepticism, unspoken "Well, I don't know..." or "Do you really think..." etc. hit me.
But, what is actually not risky today?
In any case, Les Brown's words stuck with me. There was also another key moment in 2022, but more on that in another post.
I decided to follow my heart and combine my experience, knowledge, visionary and creative spirit with a positive attitude and develop a Concept of Health and Art.
The fascinating teachings of Zhineng Qigong and Hunyuan Qi have accompanied me since 2021 and are a pillar of my current work.
My artistic work
On the one hand, I use original photographs to design unique artworks for forward-thinking organizations to make an unforgettable first and lasting impression that not only connects their corporate brand and culture, but also underscores their commitment to sustainability.
The result is works and collections of stunning photographic art that inspire innovation, encourage communication and create a sense of connection between teams, while reflecting the energy and vision of the company.
On the other hand, I create collections from my own photographs. These works can be purchased in the shop; all very small, limited editions.
It is also possible to create commissions for private clients from your personal photos to capture your unforgettable moments in abstract art.
It is a unique and timeless work of art that will delight customers with its energy, beauty and personal touch.
I will write the connection to Qigong in another post!