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.

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.

Icy & Sot – Iranian Underground Art

Icy and Sot, a band of brothers armed with a talent for graffiti and stencil art, spraypainted themselves from the streets of Tabriz, Iran, right into the country’s underground youth/urban culture. Defying law and censorship, their talent brought the two young artists to Brooklyn.

A bold, but necessary move since western art has been forbidden in Iran since the revolution of ’79. This is also the reason why you won’t find Icy and Sot’s work on the streets of Iran. They always had to document their work digitally fast, because graffiti would often be removed after one or two days, making their work ephemeral. At least in Brooklyn they can legally show their art and work in peace, without risking being thrown in jail or getting physique punishment.

Nevertheless the underground art scene in Iran flourishes. With talented filmmakers, musicians, writers and other artists finding their voice in the shadows of the law, it seems like the oppression is kindling the artists’ fire. Many of the Iranian creative crowd find themselves in similar positions as Icy & Sot, and decide to make the move to America, who in recent years seem to have been welcoming foreign artists. The brothers also made the leap inspired by a befriended punk rock band named The Yellow Dogs (see insert below), who fled Iran in favour of Brooklyn. The band’s manager, Salehezadeh (an Iranian-American) embraced the two boys upon their arrival and took them under his wings.
Icy & Sot - made in Iran ft. yellow dogs

At the moment they even have an exhibition going in Europe. They are currently showcasing their work in Amsterdam at The ABC “American Book Center” Treehouse [Opening Saturday, September 13th – 16:00 to 21:00]. You can even meet the artists on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th of September. Find more information on the expo and the boys here.

More information on Icy & Sot you can find on their website (be sure to check out their videos ) and don’t forget to follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

See them in action here…

Rooftopping exhibition in Paris – Soyez prêts!

The Publicis Drugstore on the Champs Élysées is the place to be this week. From the 16th until the 21st of January, you should put your vertigo aside and make the climb to the roof of the Publicis Groupe headquarters and check out the amazing photographic work of several Rooftoppers.

Among the represented artists are Tom Ryaboi, Aurelie Curie, Andrew Tso, and Taran Cypher, known representatives of the cultural movement, who climbed to the rooftops of skyscrapers in Seattle, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Toronto.

 Whether we like it or not the urban build environment runs through our veins, there’s nothing more beautiful and tragic than this affair between concrete, steel, glass and the people who go about their lives in and around it. There is no better place to see this majestic relationship than from the top of a building looking down, this is where the eternal and fleeting world meet, at the boundary between earth and sky. It has always been in our human nature to want to explore our surroundings, but now that we live in cities many have shelved this instinct. Rooftoppers are now taking this instinct to a whole new level.” ~Tom Ryaboi [mymodernmet.com]

The location fits the theme perfectly. It’s all about urbanity and heights. The Publicis Drugstore rooftop serves as a great temporary exhibition room. The walls are decorated with flatscreens and your guide is an iPad. The tablet lets you scan the artwork for more information on the artist, his or her philosophy and take on rooftopping and the artwork itself. For the people who really have no fear of heights there is another special interactive feature… Part of the rooftop floor consists of a large video screen. When you stand on it, it will let you take part in an amazing Rooftopping illusion.

Oh, and there’s a Nissan Qashqai in the air. Because this whole shindig is presented to you by Nissan.

The entrance is free but you’ll need a password to get in.
Get it here: http://www.qashqai-rooftopping.com/

For more amazing pictures, go to the My Modern Met website.