Coletter.me: Not your average E-card + meet the creators

What do you get when a talented artist (Younes Abied) and a cool website designer (code name: Abel) work together? A really awesome artsy tool by the name of Coletter.

These guys mashed up the retro romance of sending cards, with unique handcrafted collage style artwork, and sleek, minimalist web design to create a one-of-a-kind, classy interactive tool that lets you send postcards by mail. The kind you don’t have to be ashamed of, unlike the kind your parents and overly affectionate relatives sent you when they just started to discover the Internet…

Because unlike those smiley-filled, sparkly, SPAM alert triggering – though well intended – eye sores of obnoxious E-vites and E-cards, these digital postcards are actually classy and use sophisticated, handmade illustrations.

The cards balance modern abstract composition with a retro postcard lay-out, infused with an oriental, Arabic flare. The artist tapped into Moroccan and Middle Eastern culture for illustration inspiration, color and design, which compliments the vintage feel and the romance and mystery of a wayward postcard that travelled around the world with a secret message. Certainly fit for a modern-day Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, who don’t necessarily have to be in Casablanca to keep the conversation going.

(All copyrights go to the Coletter.me founders)

How does it work?

The creators value the randomness of faith, so they left the automated match up of text and image up to chance. This way everyone gets to be pleasantly surprised by the (post) card they are dealt. The beauty behind these seemingly random combinations is the illusion that Coletter senses which visual will work best with your personal text.

In just a couple of steps (and in 350 characters), Coletter lets you create an exclusive card with limited edition artwork. Try it yourself and surprise someone who you don’t write nearly enough. Text messages don’t count.

The Reckless Animals Behind The Site

Enough about the site. Let’s meet the creators behind Coletter, because they were very willing to get into their Reckless Animals masks and participate in a photo shoot in the local recycling center. Yes, that means trash.

 

Younes Abied, illustrator + artist
aka owl & smoking polar bear

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What icons/artists do you look up to?
Basquiat, Mark Rothko, Michael Borremans, Raoul De Keyser, Cody Hudson, Christoper Nolan and Madlib.

Favourite artwork?
The swimming pool by Michael Borremans, but there’s so much great art…

What is your favourite city? And your favourite spot?
BERLIN if I ever get the opportunity to live there, that city breaths art. Favourite spot… I can’t really think of one right now, but I think it’s really chill to hang out in Coffeelabs in Antwerp and have a Latté.

Who or what is your soulspiration?
Actually that could be every person who is really passionate about something. It can vary from an independent bookstore owner to a painter. Everyone who invests time and energy in their passion and just commits to it.

Your favourite quote?
(Laughs) That has to be this one: “The only way to get smarter is by playing a smarter opponent.” —Fundamentals of Chess, 1883

Your favourite movie?
Inception,  Revolver, Basquiat, Seven, I saw the devil

Your greatest ambition?
My ambition leans towards the side of technology and neurology, being able to capture actual dreams. Or develop a machine that is able to recycle clothes and produce a new piece of clothing using your recycled fabrics.

What would be the ultimate recognition?
Yeah, that would be when my work is being featured in a gallery and the publication of my work in a book…

Who would you like to send your postcard to and what would you say?
Michael Borremans, your work is really inspiring and astonishingly beautiful. I hope there’s a lot more to come. Your work only keeps evolving. Sincerely, …

Best character trait? & Best character trait in each other?
Me: Determined, funny, creative & excited.
Abel: Creative, quiet, friendly, respectful.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A fox, because he’s fucking wily, sly and crafty and nobody would play chess against a fox in the forest… No, I joke, I would probably pick something that flies, like a raven.

You are an old man and you’re telling your story. Where are you telling the story from and how will that story go? 

I’ll be in my atelier, crafting something, and my grandchild will be there as well, puttering away at some project. I’ll be telling him proudly about the website I once made with uncle Abel, and I’ll tell him the website would translate text into images, and after that my grandchild will ask me: “What is a website?”. And then I’ll have to tell him there used to be something called ‘the Internet’ and that everyone was connected by it, but that it no longer exists, “so nevermind… go on with your crafts.”

 

Abel, web design + programming
aka fox & awkward wolf 

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What icons/artists do you look up to? 
That always changes, at the moment its D*face & KAWS.

Favourite artwork?
So many, last time I was impressed by a Tunisian street artist “El seed”. He painted a whole town in Cairo into a massive artwork.

What is your favourite city/spot?
NYC, favourite spot… the times i’m in the ‘creative zone’.

Who or what is your soulspiration?
At the moment: Tumblr

Your favourite quote? 
“Poor are those who have eyes but cannot see.”

Your favourite movie?
Ghost dog

Your greatest ambition?
Having a good and healthy life.

Who would you like to send your postcard to and what would you say?
To my girlfriend telling her that I love her.

Best character trait? & Best character trait in each other?
Mine: I don’t know.
Us: true Bromance 🙂

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
House cat. Eat, sleep, destroy sofa, repeat.

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Go check out their portfolios and work on Coletter.me. Start writing and I hope to receive a Coletter from you guys!

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Footprint – The tracks of Shoes in Fashion @MoMuAntwerp

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As so many people do, I also love shoes, though I actually despise shoe shopping. If I go out to find shoes with friends, I’m lucky to have any friends left at the end of the trip. Not quite sure why I think it’s such a dreadful activity… Maybe it’s the usually dull displays, the fact that shoes never really look that good in a store where they are just piled en masse on the same shelves, or because I’m extremely picky and take too much time before falling in love with a damn shoe (and I’m impatient).

So when a friend invites you to go watch shoes in an exposition at MoMu, what are you supposed to do? On one hand YEAY, SHOES! and on the other “I hate going out to look at shoes, how dull can it be?”.

I decided to go, because MoMu never lets me down, I love shoes, and I had great company… But I was scared that the expo would be dull. I mean, it’s shoes. You can just look at them, you can’t even buy them or try them on.

So I went to “Footprint – The tracks of Shoes in Fashion” at the ModeMuseum in Antwerp. And guess what, I didn’t regret it or get bored for even one second. Who knew shoes could be so poetic, arty, punk and glamorous at the same time. It was fast paced and there was a lot of interaction and variation.

Shoes have played huge, legendary roles in movies, have had quite the cultural impact and are essential parts of an outfit (unless walking barefoot is your thing). If iconic dresses deserve attention then shoes deserve it too.

The exhibition takes you back into the glamorous – fashion – history of the shoe, but also takes a closer look at contemporary artists. The collections are diverse and fascinating.

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I fell in love with the Salvatore Ferragamo collection. He wasn’t the ‘shoemaker of dreams’ for nothing. MoMu illustrated his corner in the exhibition with a room filled with screens that played classic movies featuring the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner (The Postman Always Rings Twice). But the Ferragamo designs also decorated the feet of Nicole Kidman (Australia), Drew Barrymore (Ever After – A Cinderalla story) and Madonna (Evita).

The Ferragamo team knows very well how much their name is tied up with the movie world, so they have created some magical and romantic/completely weird movies themselves, like “A Ferragamo Fairy Tale: White Shoe” and “The Walking Stories“. To know more about the Ferragamo muses and the founder, you should visit the Ferragamo website.

But I get carried away…

There was of course much more to see than just the Ferragamo corner.

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The expo also features designer greats like Maison Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Tokio Kumagaï, Roger Vivier, Balenciaga, André Perugia, Vivienne Westwood, Patrick Cox, Raf Simons, Azzedine Alaîa and one of my personal favourites: AF Vandevorst, who combine class,edge and sexy. I brought a visit to another expo a couple of days ago, The Designers (in Bozar), where their gold boots were featured and I fell in love instantly. Too bad there’s no way to afford such shoes with my humble income.

All of these designers show classic as well as innovative designs, how their shoes express rebellion, eighties and contemporary edge, timeless class and the Christian Louboutin – David Lynch collaboration walks the line between sexy and kinky to completely scary…

If you’re in the neighborhood, I advise you to go.

Tickets are for sale here, the book here, go enjoy yourself. It’s even open on Sundays.

Foxy Saxophone Lady @ MoMu & Dries Van Noten

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Profession?

Salesperson @ Veritas

What are you wearing & where from?

Pants and shirt from H&M, shoes vintage, accessories Zara.

Favourite designer & style inspiration?

Can’t choose! Dries Van Noten, Marni, A.F. Vandevorst, An Demeulemeester, Stella McCartney,…  I like ethnic and eclectic designs as well as minimalistic.

I like doing my own thing. Of course when I had the money my closet would be 50% Dries Van Noten…

What if you were an animal which one would you be?

I can’t choose between a cat and a fly.
I like cats because they don’t care what you think and they do what they like. I like the ‘in your face attitude’ of felines.
Living as a fly would be very interesting, you can sneak around and find out other people’s dirty little secrets. On the other hand, they don’t live very long. So, to answer this question, I’d like to be a cat.

What artist inspires you?

I respect artists such as Vincent van Gogh, choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, saxophone player Candy Dulfer,… Because they express feelings, thoughts, words,… through their art. And not only theirs, they represent our thoughts, our believes,… And of course they are SO incredibly talented!

What piece of clothing/accessory would you be?

An African inspired necklace. I like the colours and happiness that shines out of it.

What if you were a movie?

Into the wild.

What song would you be?

“Don’t worry, be happy…”

What if you were a city?

Paris! No doubt about that. Nice people, beautiful buildings (musée de louvre) and a perfect combo between interesting things to do and peace.

What’s your favorite quote?

A day not having fun is a day that you didn’t live.

What’s your favorite place to hide from the world?

I have two:  my room, with candles and yoga music and in a vintage store.

If you met an interesting stranger, what would you whisper in his/her ear?

Go to Paris with me…

Secret tips on where to get inspiration?

I see inspiration everywhere. When I see a happy kid on the street, but I also find inspiration in magazines, when I travel, listen to music. I believe that, when you open your eyes, you can see so many little things that other people can’t see and that makes me smile.

If you had a superpower what would it be?

I wish I could fly…

Who or what do you want to be when you grow up?

A happy person, not bittered. A good mother maybe. A person who is loved. And a better saxophone player! I think the process of becoming your best self is NEVER finished…

Secret ambitions?

To see the world. Learn from the people who are close to me, and, once again, to be a better and better saxophone player.

 

Exposition : Dries Van Noten – Inspirations

Last weekend I went to visit the Dries Van Noten exposition in the fashion musuem “ModeMuseum” (MoMu) in Antwerp.

Tip 1: Go visit it. Tip 2: Go visit it on a beautiful Sunday.

From the 13th of February until the 19th of July, MoMu Antwerp invites you into the mesmerizing mind of Dries Van Noten.

And apparently that mind is lined with flower covered walls, moss scented rooms and bejeweled fabrics…
The expo is like walking into Ali Baba’s cave. All kinds of treasures shine and seduce the audience from behind clear glass. Pulling you into the breathtaking universe of Dries Van Noten.

A visit to the exhibition offers you the possibility to take a stroll through the designer’s life, experiences, dreams, and maybe the occasional hallucinatory trip… Everything that inspired and inspires him to create and what made and makes him one of the biggest names in the fashion industry. Inspiration is all around.

I like it when you have something happening by coincidence. Just something in a book is enough. But I prefer a fragment of an image so you are far more free to bring in elements of your own.” ~ Dries Van Noten

In exchange for a small entrance fee you get to visit exotic countries and forgotten eras that worship decadence, elegance and exuberant beauty. You can go accessory picking with Iris Apfel, meet black-and-white movie stars, legendary rock stars, and take a look behind the scenes of the Dries Van Noten production team.

Various different people have inspired me throughout my career. From Francis Bacon to Vassareli, Coco Chanel to Christian Dior, Cecil Beaton, musicians, architects… the list is endless.” ~ Dries Van Noten

Les Arts Décoratifs de Paris combined different art forms to create an inspiring parallel universe. The Dries Van Noten galaxy also features stars the likes of Yves Klein, Thierry De Cordier, Victor Vasarely, Damien Hirst, Cecily Brown, Pol Bury, Christopher Wool, Hubert Duprat, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko en James Tissot.

You can still go visit the exhibition until 19-07-2015 @ MoMu (ModeMuseum) Antwerp.
Plan your visit here.

The Big Draw | Antwerp edition

The Big Draw will be hitting cities all over the world starting the 1st of October until the 2nd of November. In Belgium the international drawing festival is being hosted in Antwerp this year until the 26th of October.
Mission: transforming the city into one big drawing studio where people can experiment, inspire creativity and exchange ideas…
Something that seems to be working really well with their mosaic of inspiring workshops that all seem to distinguish themselves in originality and creativity. Hundreds of these pop-up drawing studios and workshops will take you through the many techniques that the art of drawing has to offer. You can design buildings like an architect, learn penpho (mixing drawings with photography), draw models, go freestyle on a classic work of art, or experiment with shape, colour, technique and tools…
But there are also other activities, like expositions and walking tours.

The Big Window Walk is one of those tours. A couple of artists get to splash their creative juices on local windows from houses and stores. They use the windows as their blank canvas and leave a signature art piece. Some left messages, some plastered their known artwork all over the glass, some free-styled, some merely doodled. In exchange for the uniquely decorated window, the window host will give a little gift to the artist.

Here you can see Imge Özbilge and Siné Özbilge in action, whilst they take on the Malene Birger windows.
Imge studied visual communication design at the ‘Istanbul Bilgi University’ and has a Master degree in Animation from the ‘AKV St. Joost Academy’ in the Netherlands. She was born to Turkish parents in Vienna, and traveled back and forth between Spain, Austria, Turkey and the Netherlands.
At the moment, she lives and works in Antwerp and Istanbul and gets her inspiration from traveling. Meanwhile she is also studying at the ‘KASK School of Arts’ in Belgium.
She describes her work as mainly history related, surreal and states that her multicultural background gives her a different point of view which she translates to beautiful illustrations. Her style is eclectic and detailed, she considers herself to be an Absurdist.
You can visit her work on her website or her Facebook page.

Another walk will take you on a comic mural tour. This tour will show you all the walls that have been turned into famous comic book fragments. Impressive and definitely worth a look.

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You can find more information on the comic murals here.
More information on The Big Draw Belgium and its activities you’ll find here, and if you wanna go more international, you can take a look here.

So go join in and start drawing!

#TPIA : Café d’Anvers Turning People Into Animals since 1989

Today I’m actually posting a pretty special post. A birthday post. Yes, mine, but also of Café d’Anvers. We are both turning 25 today. Being born in the night of 18 and 19 October, 12.00 precisely, I actually feel entitled to celebrate the entire weekend. Because who is to decide whether I’m an 18 October girl or a 19 October girl… Well, actually my mom was, and she decided 19 October would be the day, but I’m 25 now and I feel old enough to disagree.

Anywayz… I’m not the only one turning 25, Café d’Anvers, a nationally and internationally renowned club, opened its doors exactly 25 years ago. Their slogan: Turning People Into Animals!
And doesn’t that happen to be what I’m doing on this blog, right here, right now?

Café d’Anvers is not one to pass a good reason to party, turning a quarter of a century may be one of those times you want to make memorable. So they did and they will. I opted for a birthday weekend, they chose a birthday month… With an entire birthday campaign, filled with art and spectacular music.
They even hired Steven Lemmens to turn famous artists and celebrities into animals. With a stunning result. Sergio Herman, Amélie Lens, Tanguy Ottomer, Nick Bril and Johnny De Mol all got a make over and look absolutely ferocious.

The artwork will be travelling through Antwerp during the entire campaign, but will land in Café d’Anvers during the birthday weekend, 17 and 18 October. The closing event of the campaign.
Afterwards the artwork will be sold on eBay and will serve a worthy animal inspired cause. (If you haven’t gotten me a present yet, you might want to take this hint.)

But the party itself will probably be pretty amazing itself. Café d’Anvers will be fitted with a new and unique decor, just for the birthday weekend. Antwerp based artist, Charlotte De Cock will get an entire wall at her disposal to decorate as she pleases – but in the theme of the slogan, of course. De Cock’s artwork will then stay on the wall until the next birthday.

Tonight the club will host Chicago legend Lil Louis, aka The Godfather of House. A suitable choice because his hit “French kiss” is also a 1989 baby. Lil Louis will be assisted by Reboot, a contemporary Cadenza artist. And of course Café d’Anvers will also be scheduling some of their residents: Compuphonic and Bollen & Fichtner to finish up their line up.

Yesterday the line up consisted of the best and most notorious of the past residents. Café d’Anvers hosted a ‘Best Of’ filled with artists who played at the club during the past 25 years. Former resident artists the likes of Sven Van Hees (1991-1996), Steve Cop (1994-1998), Koenie (1989-1998), Prinz (2000-2014)and Smos (1991 -2014) took the opportunity and the stage to fire up the club for this special occasion.

Hope to see some of you there to join in on the festivities!
More info @ http://www.cafedanvers.com/

Birthday weekend

Spotted in Antwerp : Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov

Actually Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov spotted Antwerp.
Vitaly and Vadim who?
Well, Raskalov and Makhorov are two crazy daredevil Russians, who don’t have a fear of heights. They are known for climbing up and down stuff, like skyscrapers, spectacular bridges, monuments… Sounds superlegal right? Yeah, it’s not. But who cares? The pictures are breathtaking, and not only when you do suffer from vertigo.

And now ladies and gentlemen, they found Antwerp on their route. Finally!
Central station being chosen as one of the most beautiful train stations in the world, apparently sparked some inspiration. They also deemed the Boerentoren worthy of their time and took some amazing pictures standing on top of it.
Take a look and discover Antwerp from a new point of view…

But of course Antwerp is not the first city these guys lend some new perspectives too. Far from it!
Check out their dazzling work on their website On the roofs and don’t forget to subscribe!
Also, check out this video of them climbing the Shangai Tower (650 m up in the air):

And follow these raging Russian rebel rooftopclimbers on Instagram and Facebook.

A Shaded View on Fashion Film (ASVOFF6) is coming to Antwerp!

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Fashion critic, photographer, designer, filmmaker,journalist and part of the first generation of bloggers… let me present you Diane Pernet, an American based in Paris. While contributing to some of the most highly-acclaimed fashion magazines and pioneering online media, Pernet launched ASVOFF in 2008. It’s a festival of short films and videos from around the world exploring themes of fashion, beauty and style. ASVOFF starts in Paris but goes around the world.

It’s the first time that the event is coming to Antwerp. The sixth edition of ASVOFF will take place on 15th and 16th of october, after the première at the Centre Pompidou during Paris fashion week.
It will be showed in the AMUZ  situated in and around the 17th century baroque St. Augustine Church, located in the centre of Antwerp.

ASVOFF6 ANTWERP is organized in collaboration with MoMu – Fashion Museum

“We all wear clothes, we all go to movies. I want people outside of fashion to watch these films. You don’t have to be a fashion person to enjoy a good fashion film”

When?
Wednesday, October 16 from 19 – 23 pm (free entrance but reservation is required)
Tel: +32 3470 27 70 – asvoff@momu.be.

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