Hi, my name is Kilian, I am a storyteller, publisher, photographer, editorial designer, print addict, traveller, yogi, cook, salsa dancer and runner.
My name is Kilian and I am an editorial designer & (film) photographer from the Netherlands. As a magazine and book designer, I more often than not work with clients & advertisers who have very specific wishes concerning the content that is being published and the way it is presented. This provides me with an interesting set of rules and boundaries, which makes my line of work challenging and interesting at the same time.
Let’s Explore Magazine is a passion project that I launched in 2015 alongside my full-time job. I wanted to create a publication that is completely detached from these outside influences, where the quality of the content and production-value come first and in which anybody could see themselves being published.
I believe in power and value of the story and am convinced everyone has one to tell. For every story told, there is at least one person who can benefit from it. And one is more than none, so your story matters.
Over the years I have seen the magazine landscape change in what it is today and saw storytelling reclaim its position in how we connect with each other, share knowledge and inspiration. Telling stories has played a crucial role in how we survived as a species. Before we were able to write stories down or even draw them on the faces of cliffs, we were already sharing our experiences orally. It is how we survived, how we learned about our culture & history, how we learned about dangers, how we made sense of the unknown, but also how we would entertain each other. A story is a lot easier to remember than mere facts and unconsciously we’ve always known this.
I am a firm believer in that everybody has a meaningful story to share. It does not matter how insignificant something might seem, because I am certain that for every story told, there is at least one person out there that can benefit from that experience. And one is more than none, so your story matters! And that is why I want to help share those stories in LEM.
Time has become an extremely precious principle in my life. I have an insatiable hunger for creating and learning, but I struggle to find the time to do it all. I am slowly learning that taking my time, embracing the process is a lot more satisfying.
It’s a turtle race
Sharing stories – or information in general – has changed a lot since internet access became widely available. The pace in which we see, consume and regurgitate information has sped up exponentially and we expect immediacy with everything. The delivery of online orders, how we make a career, how we learn a new skill, the creation and publishing of content…are all expected to be pretty much instantaneously. I sometimes feel that we have lost a sense of how important it is to take the time to make a meaningful connection, to slowly work towards a (common) goal or to get down to the nitty-gritty of something.
Slowly but surely I am finding my own way of dealing with the constant pressure of creating, sharing, absorbing and doing – instead of being. Often, I am my own worst enemy and it is something I am learning to deal with. Initially, I almost perceived my endless curiosity as a curse. I struggled with the fact that there were so many exciting things to do, to learn or to at least try, that it frustrated me immensely that I could not find the time to do it all. The downside was, that the energy that arose from these frustrations was mainly negative. So much so, that I could actually lose interest in something because not being able to do something else irritated me.
I am writing this soon after publishing the third volume of LEM, themed Perseverance. In the 9 months process of making this issue, I already started to experience what negative consequences the perception of not having enough time had on my creative energy. Hiccups in the creative process that were out of my control hit me in my core more than it would have if I were to be in a more stable state of mind. I had to keep reminding myself that LEM is a when-ready project and I am the only person that determines the rules.
What is helping me, is creating my publication in a mindful manner, focusing on the quality of the collaborative and meaningful stories. For me, sharing the final publication only when I think the magazine is ready, is the way to go.
Why I do what I do
Let’s Explore Magazine is the closest that comes to a proof of concept of how I would describe an ultimate way of creating a publication without too many constraints. My magazine evolves with every single issue, alongside my own growth as a storyteller, publisher, designer and human being. I am learning from the entire process and taking those lessons to heart, so I can apply them with the following issues. But I will never lose sight of my intention: “Creating a meaningful publication, in a mindful manner, focusing on the quality of the stories, in collaboration with storytellers from across the globe and sharing the end result when I think the magazine is ready”.
The publication is as much about the process as it is about the final product. The process and lessons I learn during the making of the magazine elevate the issue I am working on at that particular moment as well as influence the issues that follow. Approaching storytelling projects in a mindful manner, taking the time to create and not letting outside influences dictate the speed by which I create is where I found strength and I feel that I end up with a better product. There is only one moment where I can tell a story for the first time and there is only one instance in which people come in contact with a project for the first time. There is no second chance for a first impression.
You receive what you give. I want to collaborate with people and organizations who work towards a common, long-term goal, not a quick win. This will only happen if I approach my projects with an open mind and heart.
I love working in this manner but I also found that I can only do so because I try to approach it with an open heart and state of mind. I’m very honest with myself about what works and what does not work. Only then, will the final product be a true reflection of the people who contributed their story and of myself as being the person who is putting everything together into a coherent, high-quality publication.
This approach resonates with people who want to create together, who want to work towards a common goal, which most of the time is a high-quality end product that can stand the test of time and presents a meaningful story. As a result of publishing the magazine, I have been asked to work on several design and consultancy projects. It turns out that the organizations who ask me, work with a long-term vision in mind and strive to have a meaningful impact in their field, which is right up my alley.
I am curious, will keep exploring, am learning and will keep sharing.
The insights I am having while making the issues of Let’s Explore Magazine and working on projects with others are helping me to discover who I am and who I would like to become. My intention from here on is to share my endeavours and take it from there…with an open mind and open heart. There is no end goal in this. It’s a process and I am trying to embrace that to the fullest by staying curious and keep exploring.