I admit it. I squirrel away photos like other people now do toilet paper. Though not just since Corona, but since ever. Interestingly however, it is that this little asshole of a virus led me to check out the numerous yellow Windows folders on my computer. Where photos of night expeditions to the stars, sunrises in deserts, and snow-covered mountains were just languishing. Images for which I traveled far and wide, got up awfully early in the morning, scratched my knee, and shivered with fear so great that I sprouted three new gray hairs.
An American friend shakes his head about us Germans. “In the midst of the Corona virus, all sorts of artists and self-employed people are going online with their creations.” I can almost see his hotdog falling out of his bun as he vigorously shakes his head. “And what are you doing?” He continues. “You Germans are thinking: Oh no! I can’t do that! That is too blatant!”
As I picture him picking up the mustard and fries from the floor, I begin to think of all the photographs sitting rotting
in my Windows-hell. So I decide to take a quick look at what I have collected. I begin to think of an online shop and I say to myself, “Yes! I can do that.” So after almost three weeks of
ten-hour shifts, it is done. So now I can present my little shop of wonderful moments and places for you to take away.
Note: Right now my shop is only available in German and I am not yet able to offer regular shipping services outside of Germany. If you are from outside of Germany and badly want a print, send me a note and I will see what I can do!
First I will load my mini-bazooka and begin with a bang to tell you why I am doing this. I am a self-employed creative professional and none of the support from the government applies to my status. Luckily, I do still have a few clients who need work done and I still can afford a box of pasta (now that there is pasta back on the shelf! YAY!). But you are not exactly in high demand if you are working as a writer and photographer in the tourism and culture industries. Those industries are dead. Stone-dead. Apart from writing an epitaph, there is not much I can do. Spiritus Sanctus and Holy Cow.
So now I have plenty of time, because along with my job, my travel plans all died at the same time. But time for what? With the current time it is almost like with the current fuel: it is cheaper than it was since the birth of Christ, but you can’t use it to go anywhere. It is like I got a note from the Department of Destiny at The Daily Show: very funny, laughing later.
I definitely do not belong to some of the Corona-StayHome groups: I have no desire to learn Portuguese or to bake bread—and for almost 30 years, I’ve considered sports to be pretty shitty. Nor is simply lying around getting fat by eating chips and staring at Netflix on my list of things to do.
Motivated by my hotdog-eating American acquaintance, I decided to work on two huge projects. One I cannot tell you anything about just yet. But the other is now up and running: my own little online art studio where I am offering prints of some of the most beautiful photos that I have taken on my many trips in recent years. The collection includes places far from civilization, and some in the middle of civilization as well; there are glowing mountains, roaring geysers, moss-covered temples, glittering metropolises, and golden sunsets by the sea. I tried to make prints available for every budget, and to make it more fun, I wrote a little story for each photograph.
There are also some hipster postcards. You can put them next to your hipster plants and hipster coffee cups in your home office. And because I don’t have the nerve to deal with the legal crap of purchase buttons, foreign mailings, etc., the buying process is very un-hipster: If you want to order a print, send me an email, I will read it, email you a bill and send the prints out. If you live outside of Germany I can not guarantee to have a solution right away but I will work on it. Just let me know.
I worked on creating this little shop longer than a miner in Siberia hunts for a piece of coal. I have always wanted to do this but had never had the time – or courage. But even though the Corona virus has given me the time to create it, it is not a collection box or a pop-up store that will disappear after the crisis. I plan to make this a permanent part of the blog so I will always be able to offer to share a bit of wanderlust or adventure for your wall at home. There will always be something new. I will probably chat about that on Instagram and Facebook.
Corona is not the first thing that has tried to sprinkle salt on the chocolate cake of my life – and I think it has tried to do that to everyone. The bottom line is that we should never stop looking and trying new things. That we don’t just sit in a hole, close the shutters, and then wallpaper the room with toilet paper.
Is that fun? To quote a friend who has two small children, “I could just throw up every other day.” But because dealing with the whole Corona virus is so annoying, it is nice to complete a heartfelt project while waiting for it to end.