Why I love drawing like a little kid, forgetting everything around and focussing on that piece of paper as if my dear life depended on it?

It reminds me of happy times. Of childhood. A childhood rediscovered, so to say. With its particular naivety, that gives me the permission to immerse my entire attention into what I like most.

There’s a simple equation: Wherever you put your attention’s focus is where your energy goes. It’s the Theory U lesson that marked me most. There’s so much distraction going on, an incredible amount of energy to be wasted. But there is always something more specific and worthwhile calling your permission to immerse yourself. So I’d rather put my focus and energy where my passion dwells, a path of personal growth. Have you given yourself permission to follow yours?

Most answers to our crucial questions dwell somewhere inside, we just need to harvest them.

Visual Harvesting Methods

Harvesting thoughts with a pen is rewarding in many ways, because it makes insights rise, shine and last with ease like no other method.

To the visual thinking crowd in Berlin: If you’re curious to try out visual harvesting methods that fit into a flip chart, today’s the opportunity to do so @ the Vizthink Meetup at Neukölln’s Kulturlabor Trial&Error.

For those of you who want to use visual tools in order to make your most desired change & impact happen, the next Visual Tribe’s workshop on May, 7th will help you to thrive doing that.

Remember that you are loved.

Today, everyday.

We already passed the mark of an urban planet: more people are living in cities than on the countryside. If change is to come, it must happen in cities. Yet the common tide is high, and inertia is strong.

Tokyo Mosaic urban manga directions
This episode concludes a chapter that saw Tokyo moving us, through an astonishing spiritual diversity, distinct neighborhoods, living traditions on the streets, unexpectedly rewarding sights and curious encounters. At this point, movement itself turns out to become difficult, though. Gaining perspective makes hungry for more, yet directions aren’t easy to figure out in a maze of contrasts, overflowing options and paths.

So I invite you to stay tuned for the following chapter leading you into the next level of urban discovery: patterns of a labyrinth commonly known as Tokyo. (tbc)

While some were right about Tokyo becoming a precious place to me, most were wrong about the specific reasons. The supposed heaven for manga freaks did nothing but make me go away. Ikebukuro was different.

Tokyo Mosaic urban manga Ikebukuro chameleon cat
It’s not one of the famed neighborhoods, and from what I’ve heard it’s not all too well seen, with its subcultures and rough atmosphere.

If the chameleon cat I met there needed a name, I’d probably call it Makoto. You don’t need to watch the related dorama to agree: feisty cat or delinquent fella, whoever deeply loves his hometown is truly entitled to shout out this feeling… Ikebukuro is the best, 池袋最高! (tbc)

*Ikebukuro West Gate Park is one of the best TV series I’ve ever seen, it unites everything I like: from urban Hip Hop subculture to a charming delinquent neighborhood with its stupid-handsome heroes. I’m seriously thinking about translating this kind of story to the setting of Berlin. Somehow, sometime.*

Have you ever seen a concrete ocean falling asleep?

Tokyo Mosaic urban manga true reward
To watch that happen on a warm summer night at the Sumida River, indulging in another cheap, super delicious street bento… is just priceless. (tbc)

With new impulses and ideas flowing in these days, my webcomic gets another dimension to me. It reminds me to take one step after another, not leaving things out.

Tokyo Mosaic urban manga timeless dance Otsuka
Yesterday, my Japanese tandem partner asked me what my favorite travel was. Right now the answer would be Japan, but that’s a moment in time, and time evolves.

The travel goes on. (tbc)

Here we go again: Leipzig invites to its famous book fair, and I have joined friends at its ever growing manga section for this weekend to present our new yonkoma anthology. Part of the small book are 10 episodes of my Tokyo Mosaic series, which I was happy to see came out nice in print.

manga yonkoma anthology Leipzig book fair 2015 Tokyo Mosaic
The drawing styles you’ll find in the compilation are as diverse as the members of our manga artists group. Since the anthology is in German, I translated my own episodes, which I’m originally writing in English. It’s great to hold a physical work result in your hands, even more so when you know what a motivation boost such a team project can be. Once Tokyo Mosaic is achieved on this blog, I’m positive about making a complete English print version too.

manga yonkoma anthology Leipzig book fair 2015 Tokyo Mosaic
If you happen to be at Leipziger Buchmesse on Sunday, maybe you want to stop by our stand. We’ll be happy to welcome you.

manga yonkoma anthology Leipzig Book Fair 2015 Baito Oh
*New episodes of my Tokyo Mosaic series will follow next week, when I’m back home to find my own infrastructure for comic production: a light table, a quality scanner, a printer for checking all lines and shades before publishing.*

From the places I’ve seen in Tokyo, this neighborhood made me think most of a “Kiez”, which in Berlin doesn’t only mean the area where you live, but the places and corners where you feel at home.

Tokyo Mosaic urban manga distant yet familiar shimokitazawa
Laid-back atmospheres are contagious. If the cozy dinner chitchat in episode 12 made me think I should come  back to Japan, Shimokita helped me to figure out where I’d first search for a place to stay. (tbc)

*For German-speaking readers: the SPIEGEL article that called my attention in 2010 points out some more parallels between Shimokitazawa and similar areas in Berlin.*

When the sheer density of built space becomes overwhelming, it’s time to remember.

Tokyo Mosaic urban manga religions
It’s this density that makes the city so diverse at every step, in Ochanomizu or elsewhere. (tbc)

*No matter how loud the noise around, focus on that piece of framed sky in the last, the Confucian temple. This is where it gets all silent. And no matter how fast everything moves, here is where you can make it come to a stop.*