Creative stimulation to bring out the best in people
November Five couldn’t exist in a vacuum. We are part of the diverse and vibrant creative sector that calls Antwerp, Belgium and Europe home. November Five strives to stay connected to the creative ecosystem to keep us at the cutting edge of creative digital development. By nurturing and giving space to other creative industries, we can collaborate in ways that bring out the best in us all.
One of the ways we like to bring out the best in our people is to get them to experience something new as often as possible. By having new experiences - big or small - the senses are sparked. Supercharged senses create excitement; a power to broaden our horizon, free our minds and stimulate our creativity, leading towards growth & success. New experiences, knowledge building, new activities and even new foods are some of the pathways we use to stimulate our people, and our work environment is no exception. It must stimulate and excite our people, helping to spark creativity and tap into different kinds of resources.
Designing around our values
On the outset of this journey of transforming our workspace, we wanted this brand collaboration to give space to a local muralist for a piece that represented our values.
November Five is passionate about what we do; about breaking new ground and setting the bar high. Our culture of inclusive teamwork is what brings us results. We are disciplined, always focussed on success, and our resourceful spirit drives us forward through creativity with our characteristic energy. When we came to settle on a theme alongside Treepack’s concept department, we decided on a Mars landing scene which expressed our values in a pallet that echoed both our brand design and the colours of our home city of Antwerp.
The astronauts working together to plant the flag is true to our way of working, symbolising teamwork but also guidance, with one of the astronauts helping to show the way. The home base shows our value of being human, in recognition that working at November Five should feel like a home from home.
It’s all in the little details
Attention to detail is an important principle to us at November Five, so while we wanted the artist to have creative freedom - we wanted some cheeky winks that acknowledged November Five’s culture and history.
The overall theme of the Mars landing references our history of breaking new ground in our previous incarnations. As Cowboys & Indians we provided digital marketing, Appstrakt grew out of the emerging market for Apps, and in our final form as November Five all our growth has contributed to us becoming full service providers of end to end digital product creation. The Mars scene also reflects that we have always explored new horizons to remain on top of our game in order to offer our partners the best digital solutions to grow their business.
The Anarchy symbol is a nod to our non-conformant ethos. Also making an appearance on the pack of one of the astronauts was our unofficial slogan - ”1-2-7 Alles Geven!” (1-2-7 Give it your all!), famously shouted by Engineer Farid at our team building last year. Finally, the fact there are three astronauts is a reference to founder Tom’s ‘golden rule of three’, that good things come in threes.
TUZQ’s top tips for growth and development
The finished piece by muralist TUZQ (real name Lars Van Cauwenbergh), has blown our minds. At just 23 years old he is already turning out some of Europe’s best street art. TUZQ’s journey is not unlike our own as a company. He started out small and honed his craft. Soon small graffiti lettering wasn’t enough for him, and he knew he wanted to challenge himself to go for bigger and more detailed pieces, taking inspiration from artists like Smug, Adnate and Smates.
We asked TUZQ what his secret to growing and developing his talent was; “Practice. That’s the core principle. And keep expanding your range. Some artists get good at one subject, and that’s where they rest, but I knew I needed to keep trying out new subjects to keep expanding my skills. I’ve done wildlife, I’ve done portraits, I’ve done still life, and I’ve used a range of canvasses from walls, to electricity boxes and corridors. Every new challenge meant I was able to gain a new skill and ways of working”.
That’s something we can relate to. We are always looking for the next technology, never content with only mastering only one or two. It’s that spirit of exploration, yearning to find out what’s next and practicing until we are the best, that means we are always able to provide the best solutions for our partners.
As you can see from the mural, TUZQ’s practice has paid off, and his style has developed into a recognisable realistic style with fantasy elements. Not only is it well-executed, but this entire project was turned around in just two days of hard graft (and 24 empty acrylic paint cans later!), echoing November Five’s culture of moving fast and delivering quality results.
A mindset for growth
As this is one of the bigger projects TUZQ has done to date, we asked how he found working on the project. “It’s one thing to know you have a big canvas, and another to the big empty wall with irregular corners standing in front of you. I often work with a grid system, setting my sketches out into a bigger scale. However, the size and speed of the project meant I didn’t want to leave any room for mistakes. I was able to source a projector and use that to work on my outlines to make sure everything was exactly to scale before beginning.”
Because a growth mindset is a key part of what we do at November Five, we asked TUZQ what inspires him to keep getting better; “Working with and being inspired by others. I hope that soon we will start to see some of the graffiti jams reopen after COVID-19, as that’s where I go to learn from others and develop my skills. It was at graffiti jams that I came in contact with artists such as the Hertkore crew, and OBG, that has really helped my development.”
“In terms of my wider ambitions, I’d love to paint a piece on a building so big that it needs a cherry picker! I also hope that i'll be able to realise my dream of working on more international assignments in the future.”