Feeling Blue looks like a great short story. Can you tell us a little about it?
First I would like to clarify that this is a Short ART Story. As a designer and artist, I naturally make use of visual language (multimedia, from canvas to video). Since this and also the following Short Art Stories are about topics of emotional intelligence and mental health, it is very important to me to reach people also on a level to which words have no access.
Both of the aforementioned topics have been very prominent in my life and in their understanding I have invested many of my resources over time in order to develop myself further. Therefore, I also know that a thick lettered book could not support affected people in acute distress at the right time. This led to a picture-text mixture in the execution.
The goal is to convey new ways of solving mental and emotional challenges through new perspectives and changed points of view. The #1 is about sadness, specifically the feeling of melancholy, whereby anyone who feels somewhat lost in sadness can find a helping hand in it.
How many books do you have planned for the series?
Currently I have eight more in the queue. However, since I am currently in exchange with some experts from various disciplines, I would like to keep the option open to make adjustments or expand the series to an unspecified number.
How long did it take you to create Feeling Blue?
Hard to say. The development was not a straight line. The visual parts developed over many years. Especially during the times of my own greatest challenges I produced a lot of visual material to express feelings for which I had no words or "got stuck in my throat." My artistic expressions were a form of survival for me. (In the meantime, I also completed a course as a Therapeutic Art Life Coach, which made me realize that I was intuitively therapizing myself). Over the years I have also acquired a very broad catalog of knowledge from a wide variety of disciplines, e.g. psychology and holistic medicine. While traveling also e.g. culture and spirituality. I now bring this knowledge in small, easily digestible bites.
The phase of intensive creation began a little more than four years ago. For about a year I actively note and sort my thoughts and what I have learned in written form.
When did you first realize you wanted to be publish books?
A year ago, I would have smiled at this idea. Let me expand a little: In my early puberty I wrote poems. But these were very dark and the reactions of my environment accordingly. Fearing that I would be committed to a psychiatric hospital, I burned them after a crisis and tried to find joy in a "normal" life. I set out on adventures and for a while it went quite well. My creative power broke through again, of course, then manifested itself in the language of pictures. Likewise, the darkness of my soul broke through again, which is why I kept many of my works hidden. Today I see this in a much more relaxed way, but this is probably also because it is easier to look back with a smile when you have come out the other side.
Over the years, I've simply been there for others with my knowledge. Interestingly, I seemed to radiate this kind of energy, so that even when I was traveling, strangers would open up to me if they were stuck in certain areas of their lives and thirsted for some wisdom and an open ear.
In recent years, however, this has gotten completely out of hand, due to known factors. People wanted more than I could give. One-on-ones were no longer bearable and to protect myself I mostly isolated myself since the beginning of 2021. The development I went through during this time was insanely intense. What remained was the desire to support people in their difficult times, however, I did not want to sacrifice myself.
From the beginning of 2022, I noticed when talking to the younger generations that they were very open about mental health topics. It was absolutely no longer taboo as I knew it. At the end of May 2022, I read "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. On the journey through the desert, when the young man observing life and the English book lover exchanged roles (pages 82-86), the young man realized that all the knowledge from the Englishman's books could be put into a few lines: "But, all above, I learned that these things are all so simple that they could be written on the surface of an emerald." Then the scales fell from