To the Hai

I’m about to leave the familiar and by-now slightly comfortable church of KesselsKramer, as well as the safety net of having colleagues way more experienced (and in many ways more talented) than me. ‘Why am I doing this to myself?’, I’m asking. Throughout my four years at art academy, I didn’t dare to dream to work at KesselsKramer, and now that I’m here, I’m leaving within two years. I love it in the chapel; my colleagues; the work we make; the fact I’ve came to grips and found my way; how I’m still learning every day. Yet inside of me is this cauldron of desire, begging for more; a new experience; a different challenge. When that opportunity arrived, I took it — and so in three weeks I’ll be flying to Shanghai — and in four weeks I’ll be starting as a strategist at Seventy Agency. I’m sad to leave KesselsKramer, but I’ve learned that you can only have half the things you desperately want from life.

I’m most looking forward to throw most of my existing conventions out of the window, and starting anew with a blank canvas. Change is hard, but I think we still choose it because having no change is even harder. Going to Shanghai is like my summer of 2001, when I left my hometown of Hattem to go to high school in the big city of Zwolle. The proportions of Amsterdam and Shanghai feel the same. Going to Zwolle was humbling, intimidating, alienating, but energising at the same time. This feels like doing that all over again.