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06 March, 2009

Wie De Shoe Past: MiniMail Met Niels Meulman

Voor een magazine dat ik met een paar ex-collega's maakte voor Rich interviewde ik Shoe. Hij ontwierp een embleem voor het bureau. Dat magazine kun je halen bij Atheneum en FOAM, hier alvast het interview:


From bold, quick throw ups and tags to the slow and delicate proces of creating calligraffiti. Has Shoe finally softened?
‘Yes, I have become more soft. Let me share my theory about softness: All are born soft. When you grow up, you become curious and start asking questions. The more questions you ask, the tougher you become. Youth is for practice, experiment, input. Creating as much chaos as you can handle. This I did and the softness got going. Now, having seen the seasons change fourty times, I feel it is time for output, time to consolidate. I even find myself using the word 'harmony' now and then.’

‘But it's all good, the wide vision of the angry (careless) young man has transformed into a smooth sailing (still careless) artist with a zen-like focus... No, haha. Just kidding! But my point is, that although the creative process will always be a struggle, I now grasp the idea that it isn't only me and my silly brain that's doing the creating. There are many unnamable things that influence the process. Some call this intuition, or worse, oneness. I know what you're thinking... He's not gone soft, he's gone completely bonkers!’

Not at all
‘Well, check this out: (off the record) When I work on a calligraphic piece -like the Rich graphic- there's this continuous question: how do I so swiftly decide which curves are good and which need tweaking? This then triggers the notion that my goal is to uncover the secret of life. But I guess that is what every artist aims to do, right? No? It's just me? Whatever. Soft is good. Hey, I haven't been in jail for over ten years. But that's not counting DUI arrests... A shoe will never be a sandal... Understand?!’

So what do you enjoy most: assignments or autonomous work?
‘Good question. Again. They are practically the same. The only difference is that one type of job has a client called 'them' where the other type of job's client is 'me'. There is no essential difference between a window-down whole-tram by L'Oréal and one by Shoe. Multinationals think and operate in the exact same, primitive way that a fifteen year old angry (careless) young man does.'

'An organization of 100.00 people has the same structure as a person. You know; board of directors on the top floor telling the others what to do, etc. But I don't see any CEO that realizes he really doesn't decide shit and subsequently transforms into a smooth sailing (still careless) artist with a zen-like focus... Whatever, I created a situation for myself where my work either fits a campaign for 'them' or 'me'.’

How important is recognition for you?
‘Recognize me, respect me, love me, never forget me and say my name. Especially after I'm dead.’

What do you think of graphic design in Dutch advertising?
‘Read the weekly columns in Adformatie by Dolf Hell. Those should be published in deluxe format. Otherwise I'm just happy that the Futura Extra Bold Condensed is back.’

What’s the main reason for you to get up every day and do the things you do?
‘Now, that is a terrible question.’

What can we expect from you next?
‘Unexpect the expected.’

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