Alumnus Matthieu Vermeylen aka Matthew Dawn graduated from Digital Arts and Entertainment in 2010 and is now a renowned Grafitti artist in Belgium.
Matthieu was approached by Xior, a project developer specialized in student housing, to work on a special assignment. Xior recently bought an old hospital in the center of Antwerp and reshaped it to house 207 students. Xior invested in improving the living conditions of the students by getting them biljart, mini soccer and ping pong tables. Even a sunroof terrace. But the white walls of the interior still made it look like a hospital instead of a cool place for students to reside. They needed to spice it up and give it a youthful appreance. So I took six street artists, including myself, repainted the whole interior in five days and documented it.
Matthieu pitched the project, reeled it in, got the paint, booked the artists, prepped the building, took care of the day to day tasks and build as much press attention as possible. (ended up on a few tv stations, a couple of newspapers and on the DAE website).
Matthieu rolled into the world of graffiti through some friends. Since he always has had a passion for art, and using his preproduction skills he acquired at DAE, it was just a matter of learning the techniques. By practicing on the streets, people came up to him and asked if they could do graffiti in their home. Then came the click to market himself and become a graffiti artist.
It was not so much a conscious decision to be doing graffiti. After his studies at DAE he even did an extra animation and a business administration course and even started his own T-shirt label.
Working with that label gave Matthieu his first experience with entrepreneurship, sales and customers. This made it easy for him to recognize the opportunity that he had with the graffiti and went for it.