For the fourth year, several Sofico colleagues guest lectured a class at the HOGENT university of Applied Sciences and Arts. During this week, students...
Can you give us a short introduction?
“For two years now, I am part of the Sofico Marcom team. Before that, I worked as a creative manager at De Blauwe Peer (Now called Karakters, e.d.), a communication agency in Ghent.
At Sofico, I am responsible - together with Wim - for internal communication (e.g. Newsletter), employer branding (support for HR) and certain public events (Sofico Gent Marathon, (trade/job) fairs, press, etc.).”
If we call you ‘a communication freak with a creative streak’, would you agree?
“Sounds good! If only I had thought of that myself ;) Communication without surprise, creativity and a layer of self-mockery or absurdity? That wouldn’t work at all. The search for that balance is particularly fascinating. It seems like Wim and I keep each other in balance there.”
“By nature, I am also restless and impatient, there is always a lot going on in my head, because in every event or conversation I see opportunities for new ideas, jokes or forms of communication. So, I am quite exhausting.”
Did you study the arts, or are you self-taught?
“As a child, I went to the Waldorf School (Steinerschool), where the artistic approach is of the utmost importance. In high school, I attended Sint Lucas art school.
Later I studied at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. As far as I remember I was always drawing: during meetings, on the blackboard in the classroom when I was teaching, on my hand when I lacked paper, or just somewhere on a wall.
A white sheet calls for interaction and I always have pencils, markers and chalk in my pockets.”
By nature, I am also restless and impatient, there is always a lot going on in my head, because in every event or conversation I see opportunities for new ideas, jokes or forms of communication.
Do you have a preference for a particular medium or format?
I noticed that I have certain periods; a bit like Picasso had too. (laughs). For the past year, I've been focusing on cartoons: images and text that, because of their context, create a wry or funny situation.
Every day I post one on my Instagram account (@daf_drawings). Mostly they are word jokes in Dutch, but sometimes without text.
I'm also making illustrations for a children's book and sometimes I make illustrations together with my girlfriend, Isa De Wispelaere.
Currently, we are working on a children's book, where the illustrations are 3D models (depicted).
A white sheet calls for interaction and I always have pencils, markers and chalk in my pockets.
How do you flex your creative muscles?
Creativity really means: daring to make connections that seemed unlikely at first, or that were never discovered before. To do that, you need to know a lot of things to connect. So, reading a lot, visiting museums, watching other people's cartoons or writing stories tends to help that process.
Many people have absurd ideas from time to time. I usually just try those ideas too, that's how you test the limits of what works and doesn't work. Usually you only know that when you step out of that theoretical framework.
How? Mens creativa in corpore sano. Moving around a lot allows you to make room in a repetitive cadence for the freedom that thoughts need. Those who can surprise themselves, every day anew, have (almost) found eternal youth. At least, I think so anyway.
Is there a project that you are particularly proud of?
The fact that I've managed to draw a cartoon and share it for 205 days in a row now, I do think it's already a successful stretch. But in general, I am most proud of my son and our wonderful relationship.
I love being a father, and that always comes first. Last year, during the first lockdown, we built a giant marble track together.
At Sofico you also get the space to balance your work and life in a healthy way.
Mens creativa in corpore sano. Moving around a lot allows you to make room in a repetitive cadence for the freedom that thoughts need.
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