The slashers re-inventing the work-life balance

Kick-starting our collaborative series of interviews with Rémy Martin back into action, we continue our exploration into the balancing act played by some of the country’s relentless multi-taskers, getting to the bottom of how, really, they manage it all. Here, we peak time management tips and tricks with a former model turned graphic designer and photographer, as well as a communications student part of one of Brussels’ most exciting music collectives with sideline gigs in artist representation.

Photographer Thomas Ost (c)

LAURA VAN SNICK

I’m a model, graphic designer and photographer, combining my creative work with a retail job, which allows me to cope financially. As a matter of fact, I first started modelling whilst studying graphic design, which I continued over the years and even took up as a fulltime job for a while. What I truly love about modelling is how it brings me in touch with creatives of all kinds, which is inspiring for my own work. Unfortunately, the industry’s become quite saturated with a lot of agencies and models, so it became increasingly difficult for me to find enough work. Besides, fashion works in seasons, so there were times where I wouldn’t work for weeks. This instability didn’t allow me to find the necessary mental space to evolve in the artistic field the way I wanted to and, after my studies, I got fed up with graphic design, not really knowing which direction to take. So I started working closely with my father, visual artist Philippe Van Snick, to get a taste of the different fields that graphic design encapsulates.

I eventually found the drive I was looking for in graphic design in photography when I started taking evening classes last year. Looking back, I realise that all of these activities have an effect on each other and keep me grounded in a way. One day I’m doing a presentation for Armani, the next I’m working the cash desk during sales and then come home with a head full of inspiration for a photography series. What’s more, graphic design and photography are a great way to unwind and take a step back. At the end of the day, I think the key in finding a work-life balance in all of this is to have a “mental safe zone”, where you do something you really love and aren’t financially depending on. That way you can give yourself the time to grow and meet yourself again and again. The confrontation between these different professional atmospheres makes you realise what you wish for and how you want to live, your dreams, your frustrations, your qualities, your flaws – essentially, the things you hate about one job and love about the other.

Given more time, Laura would love to get into art direction and curation.
instagram.com/lesnuits_

OTIS DEHAES

I started DJing at the age of 15, and from this passion grew the collective called Slagwerk, which I run with a few friends. Together, we organise events and host a radio show on The Word Radio and, we recently started releasing some tracks as well. I don’t think it would be appropriate to use the term “label” just yet, but it’s no secret that I hope it will one day evolve into one. Besides that, I also work as an assistant-agent for Culte Agency, a Brussels-based artist agency representing exciting and emerging Belgian electronic acts such as SKY H1, Hiele, Lawrence Le Doux and Golin. And last but not least, I’m currently doing an internship at Beursschouwburg while trying to finish my last year as a communication student. But to be honest, school has never taken much of my time. I’m not happy with our current educational system at all and I only attend classes during exam time. I’m fortunate enough to have a good memory because I otherwise wouldn’t be able to focus on all my projects if I had to spend hours working for school.

Everything I do started from my love for music, which grew a bit out of hand. My family counts a lot of music lovers, DJs and record collectors so I guess it was a pretty logical outcome. It all started as a hobby really, and still is, but it seems like things are evolving in a natural way: the older I get, the more professional I try to be, and the more experience I gain, the more opportunities come up. I have to admit however that there’s a downside to being a multitasker: I usually think of a lot of things I need to do when I’m not able to do them, and when I want to get started, I’m suddenly unable to remember them. Luckily I have a trick for that, it’s called to-do-lists and I even have a software for it. I know it might sound ridiculous, but it really works for me! I also try to keep a healthy routine by waking up early, doing sports – although that doesn’t happen too often – and hiking in nature once in a while to stay away from my computer screen. Even though it can be tiring to wear all these different hats, it’s pure bliss to work with inspiring people on different projects and in diverse contexts. In the end, all the above-stated activities are somehow connected and give me the chance to meet a lot of exciting people. I think it’s pretty clear that my aim is to work in the cultural sector, and I’m gathering some experience with these projects. Hopefully, I’ll get there at some point.

Once Otis graduates, he would like to find a fulltime job in the creative sector.
soundcloud.com/slagwerk