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.

dancers

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.

Hallo, Mijn naam is Paul Smith | Hello, My name is Paul Smith #expo #MoMu #giveaway

Visited the Paul Smith exposition in Hasselt quite last-minute with Nele/Foxy Saxophone Lady and Melissa from mellowantsmore. Unfortunately this also means the exhibition is now closed… I’m sorry, I’m late… but trying to make it up to you at the end of the post. Intrigue? (Of course not, there’s a clue in the title.)

The Hello, My name is Paul Smith expo had been on my to-do list for quite some time. Peeping inside the mind of creative geniuses is one of my favourite pastimes. Luckily, Paul Smith’s world is one of colourful creativity, smudges of madness, pop-up inspiration and instant happiness.

The expo’s lay-out was very pleasant and gave me the feeling of being in a cotton candy cloud, spun from the designer’s pink and radiant mind threads. But it was also built like a maze, that let you visit every nook and cranny of Smith’s creative process. It made you feel slightly (or a lot) less guilty of your own messy desk, weird knickknack/trophy/souvenir collections, and chaotic room decorations…

Really liked how interactive the expo was. We were encouraged to take pictures, there was a carton Paul Smith to take a selfie or to pose with, and you could wander around a recreation of his atelier, his personal bureau, visit his favourite design pieces (not only clothes, also a car!) and personal photos of his muse/wife. There were video and audio installations, a button and inspiration wall, and personal anecdotes and quotes. It oozed charm and cool class, very much in the style of the designer himself.

Ohw yeah, to make up for being so late… There’s a giveaway attached! A DVD from Film & Fashion about Paul Smith (Paul Smith: Gentleman Designer). It’s narrated in English, but you can put Dutch subtitles. All you have to do is answer a simple question (bonus points if you like us on FB or follow us on Twitter).

RECKLESS ANIMAL’S PAUL SMITH DVD GIVEAWAY
*sorry, widget doesn’t always show…

Contest is closed. Yeay for our lucky winner: Lynn Claerhout.

Do you still see Yves Sans Logement, Christian Dehors & Jean Paul Galère? #Ayonslélégance

After the 31st of Mars most winter shelters decided winter was officially over and started closing their doors on the thousands of homeless people who were counting on a roof over their heads, sending them back to the streets.

In France alone 140,000 people are affected, of which 30,000 are children. A fact Aurore, an organisation that fights against exclusion and precariousness, didn’t want to go unnoticed. So they launched a campaign to bring this appalling situation to people’s attention. It’s not because the temperatures rise, that the problem melts away.

Aurore decided to raise awareness by raising visibility, using Paris’ glamorous reputation in their advantage, and showing the obvious gap between luxury brand rich and live-on-the-street poor. Aurore Association started hanging a thousand posters in the city center and the North and North-East of Paris, with the slogan: “Ayons l’élégance d’aider ceux qui n’ont rien” (“Be elegant enough to help those who have nothing”) printed on it.

Rémi Noël, the creative mind behind the concept and execution of the poster design, uses luxury brands to get attention for the people who go unnoticed on a daily basis and to confront people with the sad reality. Noël transformed Yves Saint Laurent to “Yves Sans Logement” for the occasion. Christian Dior became “Christian Dehors”. And Jean-Paul Gaultier couldn’t be forgotten either, so he was baptized “Jean-Paul Galère”. Small detail, the luxury brands weren’t asked for permission to cooperate. So in the beginning they might not even have been aware they were part of this project.

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The campaign is getting good coverage and reviews. People on Twitter are using the hashtag #Ayonslélégance to express their appreciation. Like “La vraie élégance n’est pas dans les vitrines mais en regardant ceux qui sont sur les trottoirs” (“True elegance is not in the shop windows, but in noticing those who are on the sidewalks”).

In the meantime, the Internet is also eagerly suggesting follow-up slogans like “Dans quel monde Vuitton”; “Hugo Bosse Pas”, transforming Nina Ricci into “Nina n’a rien”, and referring to an older parody that went viral a couple of years ago: “Je Dors Dehors”.

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If you feel like helping Aurore in their fight for better living circumstances and against poverty, homelessness and exclusion, visit their website (in French and English), or contact them on their Facebook page or via their Twitter account.

i feel ya: SCAD + André 3000 Benjamin

André 3000 has landed a new gig, or actually his jumpsuits have… The jumpsuits he wore on his Outkast tour are being featured in an Art Basel Miami Beach exhibition in conjunction with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

i feel ya

48 jumpsuits, 96 Converse sneakers, one man with a lot of things to say in under 140 characters,” writes Ashley Brozic, Racked.com

The conversation starting jumpsuits, all adorned with ready-to-tweet messages (some critically political, some philosophical, some just nonsensical, some friendly advice, others heartfelt declarations or blunt statements) are prominently featured in the exhibit and have been the talk of the town… and, uhm, tour.

As provoking, humorous and bold as the man who wore them (except for one which was designed for a toddler), these otherwise plain jumpsuits have been able to create a socially dynamic conversation about language, social media and the further context they may or may not refer to.

The infamous Benjamin was also never one to shy away from harsh truths or uncomfortable questions, made clear once again by placing them bold and blunt on the chest of his tour outfits in social media friendly messages. With successful results, especially for someone who never seemed so fond of Tweets, Facebook statuses and Instagram popularity…
Andre3000Benjamin never had facebook
As to why the artist opted for something as simple as a jumpsuit, he had an evenly simple answer:

Because it’s easy to move in, I can easily fold it up, and it’s great tour gear. I can travel across the world and repeat it every night.”

But i feel ya: SCAD + André 3000 Benjamin is more than just that. The exhibition explores fashion, film and painting through the eyes of three dynamic artists, not just André 3000.

The project features fashion innovator-artist-performer-musician-actor André 3000 Benjamin, who designed these jumpsuits to celebrate 20 years of Outkast and made them a crucial part of his and Big Boi’s reunion tour as one of hip-hop’s most legendary groups.

But it also features filmmaker Greg Brunkalla, whose recent work includes interactive installations and advertisements for Nike, HP, and Lincoln; music videos for Vampire Weekend; and a series of intimate celebrity interviews for The New York Times and W titled Screen Tests, which earned him three Emmy nominations and a Webby Award.

Painter Jimmy O’Neal was also an important part of the project. His work focuses on the sciences of physics and biology and he has been featured prominently in international galleries including exhibitions in Holland, Zurich, France and Atlanta. Interesting side fact: O’Neal was listed in the 1995 Guinness Book of World Records for creating the world’s largest painting (80,000 square feet), which sparked his interest in large interactive installations.

In the video below André sits with Paula Wallace, President and Founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), to discuss his Outkast reunion tour and “i feel ya” exhibition.

You can find more information @ SCAD.edu

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!

Supermarket Prestige : “Wheat is Wheat is Wheat”

Wheat is Wheat is Wheat is an exhibition by Peddy Mergui. It explores the levels of ethics in daily consumerism and luxury brands. Mergui gives you an inside look of what a supermarket would look like if prestige brands put their name on daily products, which shows us some fashionable fast moving consumer goods.

Wheat is Wheat is Wheat is a humorous yet provocative commentary on global consumer culture that may just have us questioning our next purchase. – SFMCD.org

 

The artist questions what the consumer actually buys when it spends money on a ‘brand’. Because wheat is wheat and sugar is sugar, no? Does the brand add this much to the actual value?

The exhibition will be open until the 15th of June and is being held in the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco.

Sebastian Errazuris shows us shoes, sex and stories

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Artists usually draw inspiration from personal experience, but only once in a while it’s reflected this explicit in their work.

Chilean-born, New York-based designer Sebastian Errazuris started using his muses as inspiration for unique shoe sculptures, resulting in a fascinating collection of sexy footwear. With ‘12 shoes for 12 lovers’ he created shoes based on relationships with former lovers. Every shoe a candid reflection of the muse’s character traits and idiosyncrasies.

Every image is accompanied by a photo of the shoe as well as the girl that inspired it, together with a short explicit story that gives insight into the artist’s flirtations and sexual escapades.

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The sketches that went into the design and architecture of the shoes are easily equally impressive.

All images courtesy of Sebastian Errazuriz.

For more details and photographs go to ’12 shoes for 12 lovers’.

’12 shoes for 12 shoes’ will exhibit at melissa pop-up shop, miami from december 6th, 2013 to january 6th, 2014 for design miami/.

source: Designboom

Isabella Blow : Fashion Galore

In London, the Somerset House pays tribute to the late Isabella Blow (19 November 1958 – 7 May 2007). The exhibition “Fashion Galore” remembers the ever fabulous and fashionable magazine editor, stylist and muse of many talents (such as Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy). A woman who succeeded in establishing herself in the international fashion and art world.

The Somerset House lets you take a look into Blow’s private collection of dresses, hats and accessories.  The exhibition also features personal belongings and footage and fragments of her work. Like entering a walk-in closet that tells a story.

The duo (red. Curators Alistair O’Neill and Shonagh Marshall) also approached Blow’s husband, Detmar Blow, to obtain more personal items for the show. Her Rolodex with entries written in pink ink using her Waterman pen, stubs of her signature Chanel Rouge Coromandel lipstick, old business cards, self portraits drawn on napkins, and her false lashes are displayed, giving insight into her idiosyncrasies.” – Samantha Tse, Blouinartinfo.com

The exhibition showcases over a hundred pieces from her collection, which is thought to be “one of the most important private collections of late 20th Century/early 21st Century British fashion design”. A value that is based on and fueled by the many designer talents she discovered and launched, such as Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Hussein Chalayan and Julien Macdonald. For example, one of the more illustrious pieces in the collection is the 1992 graduate collection from Central Saint Martins, which she bought  in its entirety for £5,ooo, paying it off in £100 installments each week.

The curators really tried their best to make the exhibition display a lived life. Isabella’s clothes were not restored to appear as new. They want to show every tear, every missing bead, even lipstick stains, so as to preserve their stories.

We wanted to be able to say this is an amazing beaded McQueen jacket, yet it’s got rips and tears where she got it caught in car doors or when people treaded on it. It’s all a part of the story and I think that we need to be able to think about surviving the dress in this way now because those traces are actually quite important.” – Alistair O’Neill, Blouinartinfo.com

“Fashion Galore” promises to be a true an detailed reflexion of a controversial woman with a defiant and unapologetic artistic vision. A woman that let herself be intrigued by unconventional beauty and experimental artforms, combined with a gift for recognizing talent, which makes her a major influencer and icon of fashion history and fashion today.

“Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore”, 20 November 2013 – 2 March 2014, @ Somerset House, London