Trump women like me - my first exhibition in WG Kunst

On Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February I will show my project 'Trump women like me' in WG Kunst, Amsterdam. The group show titled 'Dump Trump' presents the reaction of 20 different artists on the recent election of Donald Trump as the president of the USA.

My work consists of a 'murder board'-like collage and a performance. These are the results of my reserach into the similarities between myself and various women who vote(d) Trump, Le Pen and Wilders. As a reaction to the current polarisation in Western societies I looked for common ground between myself and 'the other side'. 

A3 poster, detail of my publication for the exhibition.

A3 poster, detail of my publication for the exhibition.

Social media marketing templates

Content calender

A content calendar is a shared document that marketing and communication teams use to plan online content. The benefit of using the calendar format is that you can visualise how your content is distributed throughout the year. This allows you to plan content around key events and see where you have gaps in your planning.

The template below gives you a starting point for creating a content calendar. You can download the template in Excel. Personally, I prefer to manage my content calenders in Google Spreadsheet.

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KPI's

Your communication goal is to increase awareness with your target audiences. How do you know when your online content successfully meets this objective? This is where you set a KPI; a key performance indicator.

In preparation for a content management training I am giving this week, I created this infographic. It is a comprehensible overview of communication goals, online channels and possible KPI's.

KPI's online content

If you would like an English version, please send me an email.

Partir c'est mourir un peu — leaving Sandberg Instituut

From October 2014 until May 2016 I have managed communications and PR at the Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam. I have never worked in a more inspiring environment than the Sandberg. Everything is possible here. Failing is encouraged. Small budgets, large impact. This is why it was a hard decision to leave the organisation.

But it was time for a change. I have started as a student at the Rietveld Academie, which gulps up a lot of my time. Professionally, I want to focus on my capacity as a trainer/ consultant. So I discontinued the projects where I was involved otherwise. 

As my last project, I co-directed a photo series of the organisation's staff. Photographer Sander van Wettum and I created scenes that reflected and enlarged the personality of the person being portrayed. We had a lot of fun and the women were very happy with their photos. My only regret is I didn't ask Sander to take a picture of me covered in acrylic paint...   

Communications and PR manager Antje Klaster

Communications and PR manager Antje Klaster

Staff coordinator Marjo van Baar

Staff coordinator Marjo van Baar

Administration and finance officer Nancy van Vooren

Administration and finance officer Nancy van Vooren

Student director Femke Dekker 

Student director Femke Dekker 

Online campaign Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei

Every year on 4 May, the Netherlands commemorate their victims of war. On 5 May we celebrate our freedom. With theatre, music, food, lecture, poetry and other art forms, Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei offers direction for remembering and commemorating the atrocities of war and celebrating freedom. 

In my role as an online campaign strategist, I developed a social media and content strategy. As usual, I started off with a kick-off workshop with the communication team to gather the necessary insights, sentiments and valuable contacts. The next step was a meeting with agency KesselsKramer, to make sure our campaign was brand consistent. In a brainstorm that followed, we came up with a strategy around the three pillars: branded, curated and user generated content. 

For our branded content, we posted statements on freedom on a daily basis on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These statements provided food for thought, for instance "Freedom lets you be who you are","Freedom is in the small things" and "Freedom is of all generations".

We also asked a group of illustrators to make an artistic interpretations of these statements. We posted the statement and the illustration on the same day. They were shared hundreds of times, putting the subject on the collective agenda in an empowering, artful way.   

Some campaign highlights:

  • The best Facebook post was seen by over 200,000 people.
  • There were tweets and Instagram photos from influencers such as Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano (ambassadors), Guus Meeuwis and Ali B.
  • 10% more likes on Facebook.
  • 10% more followers on Twitter. 
  • 70% more followers on Instagram.
  • €0 spent on social media ads.

Fashion copy for Turnover—celebrating awesome women in art

Turnover always lets me have a bit of fun when I write copy for them. For the coming Fall/ Winter collection I based the titles of the garments on great women in art, literature, film and music. Can you guess who I am talking about in the Facebook posts below? 

Hybrid Modus - contemporary sculpture exhibition in Bredelar, Germany

Hybrid Modus - New Positions in Bio-, Living- and Digital Sculpture was the second exhibition to take place at Skulptur Bredelar. Skulptur Bredelar is a young centre for contemporary sculpture in a historic convent in Bredelar, Germany. With a biennial sculpture exhibition, Skulptur Bredelar shows contemporary art against a backdrop of monumental heritage. The centre’s mission is to demonstrate the vitality of new sculpture, and to support emerging talent. Skulptur // Sculptuur Bredelar Bredelar is an initiative of the Van den Broek-Nolte Foundation

As Skulptur Bredelar's communication consultant I managed the campaign around Hybrid Modus, in collaboration with Ester Serrano. Together with graphic designer David Ortiz Juan we created a visual identity for the exhibition that was applied to materials ranging from an exhibition catalogue to social media gif's.  

Artists of Hybrid Modus included Isabelle Andriessen, Lara Almarcegui, Julian Charrière, Andreas Greiner, Spiros Hadjidjanos, Martijn Hendriks, Markus Hoffmann, Rachel de Joode, Stian Korntved Ruud &AE, Philip Topolovac, Mirko Tschauner, Alvaro Urbano, Benjamin Verhoeven, Raul Walch, Dan Walwin. The show was curated by Bas Hendrikx (NL) and Ursula Ströbele (GER).

Vernissage Hybrid Modus

Art update—wrapping up the Rietveld orientation year

Some of my projects for the O-Year at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2015 - 2016).

Wrapped/ covered up (entry exam)

Cling film/ bondage

Cling film/ bondage

Plaster/ broken bones

Plaster/ broken bones

Silicones/ breast cancer

Silicones/ breast cancer

Cheese/ fobia

Cheese/ fobia

Colour (entry exam)

Tulips sealed in fluid silicones. 

Tulips sealed in fluid silicones. 

Paintings

Floridian self portrait #2, acrylic on canvas, 2016.

Floridian self portrait #2, acrylic on canvas, 2016.

Floridian self portrait #1, acrylic on paper, 2016. 

Floridian self portrait #1, acrylic on paper, 2016. 

Upside down portrait #4, acrylic on paper, 2015. 

Upside down portrait #4, acrylic on paper, 2015. 

Mixed media

Font based on my living room 'Franken Alcove'. Named after the jewish family who first inhabited the house and were killed in Sobibor in 1943.

Font based on my living room 'Franken Alcove'. Named after the jewish family who first inhabited the house and were killed in Sobibor in 1943.

'Werkverschaffing'. Piece of jewellery for the Amsterdamse Bos made from picknickware. 

'Werkverschaffing'. Piece of jewellery for the Amsterdamse Bos made from picknickware. 

Espresso trail

Espresso trail

Drawings

Clash of the Titans: Andy, Sophie, Marina, Bridget, John, Chuck, Anish, Jenny, Emmanuel and Yayoi. Charcoal on paper (100 x 150 cm), 2016. 

Clash of the Titans: Andy, Sophie, Marina, Bridget, John, Chuck, Anish, Jenny, Emmanuel and Yayoi. Charcoal on paper (100 x 150 cm), 2016. 

Charcoal research project. Read more

Charcoal research project. Read more

Pictures and charcoal drawings, 2015. Read more

Pictures and charcoal drawings, 2015. Read more

Crayon drawing I made on a plane

Crayon drawing I made on a plane

Pencil drawing I made at the beach

Pencil drawing I made at the beach

Designing educational modules for NCOI

For the private education institute NCOI I am developing a number of courses, all on the topic of contemporary communication. Modules include social media, web editingbriefing and concept development, writing for the web, text and communication, and content management. I love these course development jobs as it allows for integrating knowledge about the field, didactical insights and effective writing skills. 

The courses, which I also teach and grade, are on Bachelor level and will start in September 2016. For more information, see ncoi.nl.

Still from the NCOI commercial 'Hoe hoog leg jij de lat?'

Still from the NCOI commercial 'Hoe hoog leg jij de lat?'

Why I am going to art school

Hanging my 'work' at the Rietveld Academy, December 2016.

Hanging my 'work' at the Rietveld Academy, December 2016.

In September I am embarking on a ship and I have no idea where it will take me. I am starting a five year Fine Arts programme at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy.

I explained my decision to the Rietveld's teachers, staff and leadership in May 2016. One of my orientation year teachers, Marek van de Watering, had asked me as a speaker for the academy's study day. In case you are interested what moves a thirty something Master in Arts to go back to school to obtain a Bachelor's degree, read my talk below.

I'm also (embarrassingly) sharing some of the art projects I worked on the past year in a separate post.

Hi, my name is Minke Havelaar and I run what I call an agency for contemporary communication. That is a fancy way to say that I am a freelancer. I advise and run campaigns for organisations in the arts, culture, and fashion. I specialise in social media and creating online content, working together with photographers, video makers, writers, historians, programmers and graphic designers. I have a Master’s degree in business communication, and in September I will start the DOGtime programme.

I don’t have the illusion that being a maker is imprinted in my DNA. I like to think it is, because I dream of creating an outrageous persona for myself who plays the synthesizers in smug galleries. A residency on a deserted island off the coast of Japan is also on my bucket list, just like an international project where I work with engineers and scientists for a charitable cause. However, if I really were a full blooded maker, it wouldn’t have waited until almost middle age to come out. Still, “makership” came bursting into my life like a long lost sibling, and it is changing everything. Hanne Hagenaars recently debuted in the Stedelijk with her book “Geen wolk, hoe kunst mijn leven redde”, or “Not a cloud, how art saved my life”. In this wonderful collection of artwork descriptions, photographs and personal stories, as a reader you discover how art can push an individual into the right direction, time and again.

At this moment in my life I also feel a magnetic pull from the arts. In recent years I got stuck on the road that I set out for myself. I’ve been burned out, depressed, and I got divorced at age 34. A year ago at the Sandberg Instituut where I worked, my (and I guess ‘our’) colleague Marjo said to me: “Why don’t you try something creative?”. If you know Marjo, you know she has the uncanny skill to look straight into people’s souls and that you better take her advice seriously. Last summer I started playing around with paint, pencils, video and other media. It felt like a flood gate opened, I was unstoppable. I was drawing in the park when I walked my dog, painting in stead of partying on Friday nights and I even dragged my then family in law into assisting in a performance situation that involved rotten tomatoes and my naked butt. At the end of that summer it was clear that I was going to enroll into some serious art course, starting with the orientation year programme.

In many ways the O-year felt like school: you had to show up, be on time, do your homework. This gave a nice structure. But meanwhile the Rietveld was getting under my skin. The teachers, Aldo, Erna, Maartje and Marek, and some of my classmates radiated a mix of intelligence, curiosity and warmth that made every Saturday feel like a Spa day. I always came home ready for bed but completely reenergised. I also noticed I was turning more inward; working, making, reading, writing. When I did go out it was often to visit an exhibition or for drinks with my classmates—to talk about the O-year, how we ended up there and what we wanted to do the years after.

And that, fantasising about a future that involved something as playful as art, was something I wasn’t used to do. Up to then I only allowed myself a serious and predictable life path, consisting of study, work, marriage, babies, retirement, death. But since I was so tired and sad, this path felt like an ill-fitting suit. So when “application” became a topic in class, I was eager to investigate. I went to the open day of DOGtime and within 30 minutes, after looking at the work and talking to students and teachers, I thought “these are my people”. They are sensitive and serious, hardworking and foolish at times. They also feel like the state of the world is their concern and that art can make a difference. I wanted to belong to this group so I applied. When I got the “congratulations” email I was so happy, I jumped around the room.

As you may have gathered, at this moment I am very much occupied with myself and figuring out life. That doesn’t mean I come to the Rietveld for therapy or personal growth. I come here as a member of society who is ready to shift into a new paradigm, who wants to play a part—however small—in breaking social taboos and dealing with issues of humanity, and who is hungry for insights and human connection. Through my work for the Sandberg, and participating in the orientation year, I also know the Rietveld is an amazingly social place where almost family-like bonds are formed. People help each other, but are also critical of each other’s work. This is especially valuable today, as—at least in in my experience—true constructive criticism is almost absent from the professional world. People praise each other, find excuses for mediocre work, or they just bash the ideas of others. This can be dangerous in many ways. Although here at the Rietveld feedback on my work ranged from: “But shouldn’t it be a bag of hay”, to “What would the object want?”, I learned more about giving and receiving critique than at any training where this subject was addressed.

What I expect from you the coming five years is to recognise that I feel more of a novice than a 16-year old kid fresh from high school who has been drawing all of its life. I have seen a lot of great art, and I get intimated when I think of the long road ahead of me if I ever want to conquer a spot in the art world. Since I’m older than most basic year students, I have experiences that sometimes may be a benefit, and sometimes a burden. I hope you will help me discerning between those. Lastly, somewhere during DOGtime there may come a point where I will feel I have to dramatically choose between work and study. This probably applies to more DOGtime students, as many people identify with how productive they are professionally. Therefore, at these moments I hope you can be our advisor and give practical pointers on how to balance making money and making art.

When Marek called me about talking in front of you today, he suggested I’d explain why I applied to Rietveld, and what I expect from my time here. I think I made this clear. Let me conclude by saying how excited I am to start a study here, how decided I am to continue dedicating my professional skills to advancing the arts, and how lucky I feel about having the opportunity to do all this. Thank you.

 

 

 

Sandberg open day

The Sandberg Instituut held its open day on February 4th. Like last year I was responsible for the campaign, routing and signage. I worked with a team of students from the Design department to create invitations, email newsletters, print ads, online banners, social media visuals, posters, floor plans, signs and more.


Guerilla routing

As the Sandberg's new location on the Overschiestraat is somewhat hidden, we did a guerilla campaign using students' bikes as billboards to help visitors find their way to the building. We also made sure that the entrance was not to be overlooked.

It was an awesome day. We saw 20% more visitors than last year, and they truly made the building come alive. In his thank you email to students and staff our director Jurgen Bey said:

On behalf of the building I would like to thank you. It never felt more appreciated by its inhabitants and has never been celebrated this way in its whole life. It wishes that everyday it could reveal itself within this splendour, among so many nice people who flowed through her, made the floors dance on the beat of music, sing through colours and flashing light, floating ceilings, engine rooms partying and walls. It was blushing because of the nice words being shared among the visitors.
Social media visual

Social media visual

Guerilla campaign

Guerilla campaign

Guided tour

Guided tour

Social media strategy meetings with AMMODO

AMMODO is a foundation that promotes contemporary art and fundamental science, Focusing on projects of an international scope, the institution selects projects to receive funding based on a level of innovation and character, highlighting those that could contribute to the development and innovation of the arts.

AMMODO initiates and develops artistic projects in collaboration with institutions such as EYE Amsterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and Holland Festival. Together with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Art and Science AMMODO grants the KNAW-award to encourage unfettered fundamental scientific research. 

With a series of social media consultation talks I help the organisation to create a social media strategy.

Kick-off online campaign Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei

Every year on 4 May, the Netherlands commemorate their victims of war. On 5 May we celebrate our freedom. Both days are dedicated to art and culture; theater, music, food, lectures. Tomorrow I'm kicking off the 2016 online campaign for the national 4 en 5 mei committee together with this team of strategists and creatives. 

Clockwise from top left: film maker Lorenzo Schmidt, strategist Suzan Huesken, me, photographer Mascha Jansen, strategist Ester Serrano and community manager Lisa Luijten.

Clockwise from top left: film maker Lorenzo Schmidt, strategist Suzan Huesken, me, photographer Mascha Jansen, strategist Ester Serrano and community manager Lisa Luijten.

JAN Magazine X Turnover

Turnover and JAN Magazine worked together on a capsule collection that celebrates the power of soft. They picked out the richest fabrics to create five luxuriously feminine styles. Each a contemporary take on a classic look, the pieces can be dressed up or down, worn to the office or at night. For this collab I wrote media releases, blogs for JAN online, web copy and social media copy.

Now teaching: Briefing and Assessing Concepts

Last month I started teaching the NCOI advertising module: Briefing and Assessing Concepts. This module is part of a creative communication course and deals with briefing advertising agencies and graphic designers on marketing campaigns, and judging their creative output. Copywriting and branding are two other important subjects in this course.  

I like the assigned literature: Copy & Concept (Thobokholt et al. 2015) and Beeldtaal (van den Broek et al. 2015). And I like my students! Ten motivated, smart and creative professionals in advertising, marketing and communication.

One of my favourite ad campaigns, by KesselsKramer for Women Inc.

One of my favourite ad campaigns, by KesselsKramer for Women Inc.