To mark the launch of their compact and customisable T-Roc SUV model, we partner up with Volkswagen to shine a light on three singular figures who go about it in their own unique way. From the financial analyst-turned-butcher to the designer making a jump to the music industry and the in-house textile designer going freelance all the way, these are the people that go the extra mile to ensure that uniqueness trumps conformity.

Photographer Thomas Ost (c)

LARA LANCEREAU-JAULIN

I’ve wanted to become a graphic designer ever since I was a kid, so I attended an art school from the age of 14 and ended my studies with a master’s degree in graphic design. Pretty straightforward stuff. I was born in France, and when I first arrived in Belgium, I had to start everything from scratch. I didn’t know anyone, so I went for the first job I found and became a textile designer for Bellerose. I learned the ropes on the spot and eventually came to love my job, yet after three years realised that my dream wasn’t to do the same thing in the same office my entire life. I wanted to choose my own projects and work for myself, so I quit and became a freelancer instead. I didn’t ask myself too many questions; I usually just try to do what I want whenever I feel like it, because the more you overthink, the more you become afraid. To be fair, I don’t even know if I consider what I did to be a real challenge. I’m always excited by change and impatient to do new things, and the dicier the idea, the more I’ll want to make the jump. I still work as a freelance textile designer today, but I’m also involved in music festivals, video clips and even movies. We really have to enjoy life doing as we damn well please, to dare and take time for ourselves. I truly believe that this is how one achieves big things.

Lara Lancereau-Jaulin (1991) is a former textile designer for Bellerose, and is now freelancing in the textile, cultural and music industries.
laralanlan.be

SIMON BOMANS

I studied six years in the hopes of becoming useful to the financial or business world. I went on to work for a private equity firm in Luxembourg as a corporate junior analyst in the funds industry, and later in a Brussels-based dealing room as a legal analyst in structured finance and debt capital markets – this was another six years. However, the more time passed by, the more I realised that something didn’t feel right. I needed a change. Today, I’m a student again, but this time to become a qualified butcher. Yet having said that, even while working in the corporate world, I’ve always done completely different things simultaneously, experiencing the unexpected. Anything and everything new interests me – wathever that may be – with a preference for handcrafting, music and visual arts. So I created Boudin Room, bringing together my love for meat and music. When changing career path, you can expect anything from a wide range of reactions – from laughter to admiration – but all of that doesn’t matter in the end. All you need to do is to stick by those you love and to trust your inner feeling. I increasingly see myself as a sort of one-man army. But being on your own doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dissociated from the world you live in; instead, you need to listen and keep an eye on your surroundings in order to be inspired. At the end of day though, it all comes down to you: you’re the face of your own project and vision.

After having worked as a financial analyst, Simon Bomans (1987) is now a butcher, event organiser, music writer and curator.
facebook.com/boudinroom

DAMIEN ARESTA

Even though I was already heavily into music during my teenage years, I decided to put it aside and study design in Liège alongside my friend Pierre Smeets. We eventually founded PLMD (pleaseletmedesign) in 2003 while still studying. When we first opened our studio, I knew almost anything could happen – and it did. We focussed exclusively on design for a decade. Then around 2013, I started to become more involved in my noise rock band It It Anita. I freed up more space in my weekly schedule for music, and also founded a small independent label called Luik Records. Besides releasing our own records, we also started working with other bands which obviously took up more and more of my time. There’s probably still a bit of a designer inside of me today, but it’s Pierre who takes care of PLMD. On the flip side, I run Luik Records while working as a manager and agent for a few bands. Besides that, It It Anita just released its fourth release, and I also host one music radio show on The Word Radio, and two French-speaking talk shows mainly centred on pop culture and whatnot. I decided a few years ago to give everything a try, jumping on any exciting project that came my way. It took a lot of my energy to make things work. A lot of them died out, while others stuck. Even though I’m still hungry for new ideas, I’m also trying to learn to say no. It’s hard – maybe it’s not in me to say no.

Damien Aresta (1979) is a graphic designer, but is now mainly active in the music industry as a record label founder, radio host and member of a noise-rock band.
damien.cool