Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name in Jolien, I was born in a small village in Belgium. I studied photography in Brussels. I did also a researched master in art and design in Antwerp and last year I also graduated in Art therapy.
During my 9 years studies I learnt a lot about artists and the art world, but I was missing a piece, something like a promotional opportunity, like a platform for highlighting young artists. Thus, I started to research, in London and Berlin, and I saw that On-line magazine could be something for me and it could have fulfilled this lack I was feeling.
Than, I started with D!NG, with which I wanted to be independent from the main stream artistic network and trough it gather together different artists.
After that we also integrate the virtual community in real life by creating and organizing exhibition.
So, to summarize I am an artist with a D!NG passion.
What will you consider your distinctive achievement?
That’s a though question. It depends, because when the first D!NG came out I was “Wooow”. And when the second D!NG came out I was: “ Wooow”, everytime it comes on-line. So every month I have this hurray.
I was also very proud of my team when we realized the first exhibition in Kortrijk.
However, it doesn’t come immediately. I need sometime to realize what I did. At the moment of an opening or the publication I still worried about everything that I still have to do in the evening itself. The proudness comes later.
I am very critical to myself, I still have a lot to learn, I still have a lot of goals to realize and so on. But I think, I deserve a little “Yay” feeling from time to time.The biggest Yay will come afterwards. Everything I do, I do it with love and passion, and I stand behind.
However if I have to answer at this question with one word, I think I most proud of my team. They are voluntarily working at D!NG, and they are working to achieve my dream, initially, which became theirs as well. There is a special click between us, for now we are three girls, working there, and they do it with a lot of passion; I am so proud of them, because without them, there won’t be D!NG.
What are you looking forward to?
I look forward the next exhibition. The next goal is to organize an exhibition outside Belgium. The next edition of D!NGs focuses on the Mad faculty with 17 artists, usually the are 4! I am looking forward to do the same with different school. It is a way of supporting young artists in the magazine. The main goal I am looking forward to is to celebrate the 2 years od D!NG with a surprise arty party, and I want to do it big and so on, we have some great ideas. (Of course we’ll all be invited” 😉
Which advice would you give to the young professionals?
I did a course how to start a start-up. There I learnt a lot of this tips. First you need to have a ‘good product’. The product has to be so good. So don’t start something, with only half of the product. That’s maybe the mistake of I made. The first 2 numbers of D!NG come out with a different name. At that time I was doing it with another girl, and we really wanted to do it ‘NOW’; if you don’t do it now, others will do it before you. That’s not true, because if you have a god product and if you can diversify yourself from the others, than you can do it any time. If your product is the best just go for it.
What are the challenges that we need to overcome to make ‘cultural entrepreneurship’ more accessible?
We need to work together. I think you are always stronger when you work together. By presenting your own identity but still cooperate with others. It is important to do not to be afraid to cooperate; it is something to overcome. Cooperation will generate something bigger. And also look for other organizations and look at them how they are doing, and get inspiration from them. Especially in the entrepreneurship field, people want to cooperate, support, and advice others, so just contact the one you are interested in.