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Traveling and shooting; the perfect combination for Owen Leen

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MR OWEN LEEN

My full name is Owen John Leen and I was born in Amsterdam in 1988. I have 3 siblings, two half-sisters, and a half-brother. The school I went to is not really all that impressive. I finished mid school and I never really went to college or university. To be honest, I do not believe that you need a higher education to become an artist, photographer, painter or musician. You either have it or you don’t. I believe that the world is yours as long as you work hard and believe you can. Anything is and will be possible.

“It all began with people telling me that I have a great eye for photography”

Friendships

About my friends, I do not believe in having friends. What is a friend? A friend is someone I can trust, I prefer to call these people associates. People you meet during life, they stick around and one day they will leave or you will leave. That means you are actually growing and the other person is not or it’s the other way around. You meet people according to the phase of life you are in

 

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Hobbies, does Owen Leen have them?

What are some of my hobbies besides photography? I would love to make this a long story but I will keep it short: I like to paint, visit musicals, go to the theater (William Shakespeare) and  I love art. I love everything about art, I even like classical music like Einaudi.

How did it all start?

It all began with people telling me that I have a great eye for photography. I never thought about it in that way.

Until I bought my first camera about eight months ago. It became more fashion photos 5 months later because someone gave me the opportunity to style the models with Saint-Tropez and Guess by Marciano merchandise. I never went to school for this! My mother, who I love the most, gave me a 2 hour to 1 day workshop of Paul Struijk, a Dutch photographer.  Before going to his workshop I had seen some tutorials to prepare. I did not want to go unprepared. I believe in the power of experience, the more you do something the better you get at doing it.

What Brands would you like to work with in the future?

What brands do I like to work with in the future? I must say that I do not care about brands, it is all about the clothes. I like classical clothes from the 1920’ to the late 1950’s . In my case, it does not really matter who made the clothes or what brand it is.

 

Owen Leen

Owen Leen

Do you love charity?

Yes, I love to do charity, because it shows that you care. I care about people, animals and planet earth. Also do I find nature very fascinating. How it was built, so perfect and precise.  It is something we should all treasure.

How did Owen’s life look before photography?

Before I started doing photography, I wrote, made music and painted. You name it and I did it. But nothing gave me the same feeling and satisfaction as doing photography. When I was younger I had a poem published in the Amnesty International. I am a good writer and I think if I combine these two together I can publish a great book of my work.

What book?

The book is going to be about me traveling to different war-zones around the world. Mostly in Africa and the Middle-East to show the people what really happens in the world. We have to open our eyes together and I believe it is our duty to help the ones in need. By photographing what I see, I hope to open a lot of people’s eyes. So people can see for themselves what war really does to a person and our planet. It is so destructive.

Why war zones?

I choose war countries because they need the most help in the world,. Look at all the refugees, war victims, children, nature and even animals who suffer because of war. I am prepared to give my life for this greater purpose. People die because of lack of water or food. To me that is ridiculous. We have to be there for one another. “Make love, not war” is it right? How many people would give up their lives for others?

During my trip I hope to stay with the locals, to hear their stories, interview them and let their story be known. I will visit different charities and see where I can help and discover which projects I want to donate money to.

17.000 euro that is a lot of money, how are you going to spend it?

The reason I need 17.000 euro is because of my traveling costs. For accommodation, equipment, gear, visas, immunizations, book publications, documentary and the exhibitions e.g. 17.000 euro won’t be enough to cut it. But it is a huge start and that is why I started the crowdfunding campaign “Samen staan wij sterk” meaning: Together we are strong. I hope that people find it in their hearts to donate and help me turn this project into a great success. Of course, I am saving money as well to fund the trip. I want to see this project succeed so I will do whatever I can do make this happen. Sponsors are more than welcome to support with whatever they can. They will be mentioned on every campaign ad, T-shirt, book, video and more as in “Sponsored by”.

The photos will be auctioned at an exhibition where the full amount of money will be donated to charities and projects that are active in the countries I traveled to. Every year I will visit each and every country I have been to see the progress. A percentage of the sold book publications and documentary will also be donated.

Every sponsor will be invited to the exhibition and will receive a book. This is also the case for the people who donate more than 20,- euro. (Please don’t forget to leave you e-mail address at your donation comment) at doneeractie.nl and look for“Samen staan wij sterk” to donate.

“To answer your last question: Yes, I am traveling by myself and YES I am risking my life.”

 

Geld inzamelen | Samen staan wij sterk

doneeractie

Art

EFE venue – The new HotSpot for the creative in-crowd

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EFE; A creative work venue for ENTERTAINMENT, FASHION & EVENTS in Amsterdam. Rentable Open Space for Events ( birthday parties, fashionshows, performances, screenings and more..

Photographer: Vern Wall Arnemann

Photographer: Vern Wall Arnemann

Black, Classy, Sleek, Sexy, Vibes, Fashion, Creative, Dreams, Aesthetic, Sway, Network Soiree, Place to be!

These are a few words that come to our mind, when describing EFE! 

On the 23rd of november, EFE opened its doors by throwing an official opening soiree. It was a classy gathering of creatives, models, photographers, artists, business owners and socialites. And no, this even did not take place somewhere in Atlanta, New York, Tokyo or Dubai, but in Amsterdam!

The Dutch multicultural and creative scene, needed a platform like EFE since forever, and we are glad it has finally arrived!

Photographer: Vern Wall Arnemann

Photographer: Vern Wall Arnemann

The Mastermind behind EFE is Tingy Lingy Yves, the renowned Libra man you cannot forget.

Together with his knit tight team, consisting of Nella Ngingo & Fabrice Monteiro, he created a concept of a creative working space and event venue, where creatives and the common man can manifest their ideas. Trusting Nella’s background as an established supermodel, Yves creative mastermind & eye for interior design and Fabrice’s networking skills, we believe this concept is on the high speed road to being a great success.

Looking for a place for your Birthday Bash, Fashion show, Photoshoot location, Baby shower, YouTube show, Bridal shower, Catwalk training, workshop space, presentation, network event or any other creative plans?

Then book your venue: www.efevenue.com / info@evevenue.com 

JOIN THE CREATIVE COMMUNITY ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER AND THEIR WEBSITE.

@EFEVENUE

Head over to Facebook and join the creative community called Events Fashion and Events venue. 

Stands for Entertainment, Fashion and Events!

Creative work venue for ENTERTAINMENT, FASHION & EVENTS in Amsterdam. Rentable Open Space for Events contact Yves and his team: info@efevenue.com

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De KROON

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On the sixth of May, 2019 something horrifying happened. The Dutch lifestyle and fashion TV show allowed one of the cast members to make racist comments about Afro and kinky curly hair.

This exploded in a negative in all the news platforms and many if not all black and brown men and women were grossly offended. Robin Ramos (20) and Kymani Ceder (19) wrote a poem as a response. They used the poem as a positive representation by, from and for the Afro-Dutch community. The goal is to use the movie “The Crown” (De kroon) created by Robin and Kymani to create awareness and free the Black community from the chains of stereotyping of Afro hair.

Footage from the short film – de KROON

Robin and Kymani chose to form the video as a school assignment with a theme family.

Robin Ramos

Kymani Ceder

Using ‘Black hairstyles’ as a point gave them the inspiration to show different historical and tribal connotations involving Afro hair. In many cultures, it is still a way to be in contact with the ancestors. Besides braiding, is doing hair an activity done throughout time and has it has been a signature activity in black families.

The short film portrays a paradox time-machine with precolonial impressions. It takes you on a journey back to the age of where the traditional braids were used to connect the past with the present.

The movie is a re-enactment of history acted out by present-day Dutch Africans. How do Dutch Africans experience their African identity after the physical alienation that has taken place after slavery? How do they feel about their hair now? How do we feel during and after watching the short film?

Around 80 people were involved by the making of the short film: De Kroon. Some well-known artists and actors from the Dutch entertainment such as Sylvana Simons, Veronica van Hoogdalem, Digitzz, Clarice Gargard and Guillermo Babel.

Sylvana Simons & Robin Ramos

“De Kroon” is a poetic storyline about the relationship Afro Dutch citizens have with their natural hair and hairstyles. The Natural Hair movement is becoming more and more visible in the world. And we are loving it.

For all readers from the Netherlands: Want to read more about the backstory and behind the scenes, straight from the creator/inspirator of this video? click here

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Introducing graphic art by Daniel Nizzy! CRAZY TALENTED!

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‘The beginning is always tough, but always have in mind what you can achieve when you get there” – Daniel Nizzy

The artist himself

My name is Nwabueze Chukwunonso Daniel, I am from Anambra state(Nigeria), the 2nd child of my family. We are a family of 4 actually, 3 boys and a girl. 

I attended air force secondary and graduated in 2015. Now, I am a student of the University of Agriculture Makurdi.

I just had a love for cartoons and artwork, I had a passion for it. I went into graphics right after my graduation from secondary school. I focused on cartoon graphics mostly. And as of 2016, I looked more into it. Although I wasn’t that good at it…

When did you discover you had a talent for Graphic Design?

Well, I can’t actually say. I just had a love for cartoons and artwork back then. I was an artist and I loved drawing and sketching as well!

“The talent was already there, I just had to improve on it.” – Daniel Nizzy

Who inspired you to start graphic designing?

I had so many inspirations. People online were the most inspiring though like Kingston, Madskill Jeremy and so many others. During that time my designs were not as good as theirs. So I put more work into it because theirs were already awesome. 

Did you study to become a graphic designer or is it a natural talent of yours?

Study? Kind of! I guess online videos and YouTube videos were one of the things that guided me. The talent was already there, I just had to improve on it.

Daniel Nizzy – Graphic designer

What are your goals with graphic designing?

I would like to work for well-structured companies. A nice pay would be very nice too. I would like to take graphic designing to a whole new level because it has helped me a lot in my life.

How many hours does it take to make 1 logo or 1 portrait?

It depends on what the customer wants. Because being a graphic designer, creativity is needed and much thinking too. I can’t really say any design has a specific timing. But as for portrait, an hour or more is okay, without any distractions or interruptions.

 

Daniel Nizzy – Graphic designer

How can fans contact you?

They can reach me through my personal mobile (08160309746) (Nigerian Line) or they can hit my inbox through my Instagram handle @daniel_nizzy, Or they can reach me through my place of work which is at ‘Meeting Point Photography‘ based in Nigeria.

Any advice for others who want to become a graphic designer?

The beginning is always tough. But always have in mind what you can achieve when you get there. Just keep pushing. If you need any assistance, you can always send me a Direct Messgage.

Find him on Facebook to enjoy his art: OG NIZZY JFK

 

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