Can you describe what you do? Where you are based, the neighbourhood you live in, your daily routine?
I’m a 3D graphic designer that mostly works in advertising. I just became a father, and moved to Antwerp’s city centre, in the St. Andries neighbourhood, and typically my day revolves around work and food. Breakfast at Coffeelabs would be followed by some hours of work on my computer, then I’d go for lunch somewhere, probably at Carroterie or Native, which is then followed by more hours spent behind the computer, and after dinner I’d do some more work.
How do you perceive Antwerp? In your view, what kind of city is it? Its people, its cultural landscape, its vibe? How does it compare to other, similarly-sized cities?
While it’s difficult for me to explain the exact reason behind it, I really love this city. Antwerp is culturally aware, and is also a culinary hotspot, while not being too big nor too busy. The quality of life shouldn’t be underestimated, either. We have good rent prices which makes for some relatively cheap living. Thanks to its size, everyone pretty much knows each other, which makes it easy to create new bonds and meet new people.
What would you say is Antwerp’s main appeal for creatives? What gives the city its edge?
Fashion is still Antwerp’s creative driving force, in my opinion. I admit it might come off as arrogant and pretentious at times, but it raises the bar for everything else. Antwerp’s fashion makes things more exciting around here, even provocative.
How would you say has Antwerp contributed to making you who you are today? What role has the city played in shaping your outlook and career?
It’s a microcosm of creativity, thanks to its tightly packed network of people. I was lucky to meet the right people at the right time, which helped me develop my talent and my design practice.
It’s a microcosm of creativity, thanks to its tightly packed network of people.
On a personal level, what would you like to see more of in the city?
Looking at the Netherlands, I really quite like the way they handle and support creativity, especially design. I’d like to see the same happen in Antwerp – more ateliers, more events, and a more international flair.
To you, what is the best way to spend a weekend in Antwerp? If you had to take out-of-towners to one place that truly symbolises the city, what would it be?
Alec’s has the best breakfast. And a simple stroll around town is always inspiring, whether by the MAS museum, the Vrijdagmarkt, or Het Zuid. For beers I recommend ‘In de Roscam’, Vitrine or The Hopper. For dinner, Veranda is where it’s at.
A local legend, neighbourhood anecdote or urban myth?
Tons of juicy nightlife stories but unfortunately they died when Café Capital burned down…
rizon.be Interview Erik De Beukelaer Photography Miles Fischler