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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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.

All Love Is Equal : Portraying Romance

Another beautiful example of how Kickstarter makes creative dreams come true. The All Love Is Equal project is a true celebration of romance. Being a firm believer in love and the narrative magic of good photography myself, I can’t but include a post about it on our blog. Make sure to watch the video and get to know the artist behind the pictures.

Braden Summers, the photographer behind the pictures, challenges himself to capture the most beautiful romantic moments all over the world, crossing cultural and stereotypical borders. Because his lens puts focus on the LGBT community, who he finds underrepresented in romantic photography. 

All of my references for idealized romance were completely hetero-normative. It is of a man and a woman, we all know the story, we grew up with it.

So Summers, who is actually a classically trained painter, paints a picture of love with his camera and goes beyond the clichés. He illustrates what he thinks iconic romance should represent.

Now, I know firsthand that there’s a lot of love and romance in the gay community, and what’s lacking is representation of this in these mediums. Now what we do see of the LGBT community is often overtly sexualized and sometimes deviant. I want to show a campaign that illustrates the love and romance in various cultures around the world, that communicates all love is equal.

In his kickstarter video Summers explains what inspired his idea.

Last year I found myself living a dream. I was in love, I was in Paris, and I was inspired by the old world architecture and fascinating people and their classic French style. So, I created a bunch of portraits and I shot couples dancing in the streets of Montmartre and women gazing over the city of Paris from balconies. It was amazing. After creating some images of hyper realistic Parisian couples and glorified portraits, my boyfriend had suggested that I photograph a gay couple, and I asked myself, as a gay man, why was that something that I had not thought of instinctively? In fact, why had I not considered this at all?

But with this beautiful vision comes a budget. Insert Kickstarter. Summers calculated that he would need $20,000 to realize his vision. The money would be financing a team of creatives, models, a producer, and production costs for the iconic shots.

The plan is to travel to global destinations that capture the various cultures and romance the world has to offer. Starting in Paris, going to Mumbai, Beirut, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, New York City and Los Angeles. If we surpass our goal, I will continue to cities such as Mexico City, Bangkok, and Tokyo.

And yes, he succeeded! He gathered a $23,121 budget to fund his dream project.

So follow his website or facebook page to follow his dreamy romantic activities.

All pictures courtesy of Braden Summers. Like it? Check out his website for more!

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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.