Rutger van de Wiel: "Tilburg gives art the chance it deserves"

| Sanne Leenders

Tilburg is an event city. A fact to which the new initiative by entrepreneur Rutger van de Wiel fits in well. In one month's time, a unique route along digital artworks awaits Tilburg under the name Illustrada. Rutger is the originator of the whole idea and sees Tilburg as the base for this event. But does Tilburg have enough color or will we remain a bit of a gray mouse among the cities? You can read about it in the latest Unfiltered edition.

From watching the Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers on TV, to visiting different museums on vacation; they have all been sources of inspiration for Rutger van de Wiel, creator of Tilburg's first digital art event. The Illustrada event will brighten up the center of Tilburg from June 9th to june 15th with the works of 16 artists. How does someone come up with such an idea? We asked Rutger: "I grew up in Oisterwijk, but for my interest in all things visual I went to Breda to study Communication Multimedia Design. Later on, I also followed a master's course in animation. While doing the master's degree, I started my own company, an animation studio called Indicia Digital Storytellers (IDS). This company has been in Tilburg for seven years now. In my work I constantly try to find the balance between commerce and art. We are overwhelmed with visual stimuli in the online world and we scroll without thinking. With an offline event like Illustrada we give digital artists the space to show their art to the world."

Stop scrolling, start looking

Illustrada it is. In total, 16 high towers will be spread throughout Tilburg for a week. Together the towers form an art route that you can walk at any time of day. Rutger: "I tried to create a nice mix of established names in the digital art world and emerging talent. For the artists, I looked from the inside out. So there are a number of Tilburg names among them, such as Ramona Treffers and Loulou & Tummie. An example of an already established name is Loish with over 2 million followers." Rutger hopes that his event will make people go outside. So don't stare at your screen (or this interview), but take a walk!

Inspire and be inspired

Art affects people, whether you like it or not; there's no accounting for taste. According to Rutger, art provides inspiration. "And without inspiration you don't get ahead in life. That's why I think it's so important that there are opportunities to cultivate, discover and share inspiration. I wanted to give something back to the city and our society. I wanted to share the beautiful works of digital artists with the outside world. People should go home and say to each other, "I found it very inspiring and I will come back next year to see it." Because ultimately the idea is to have this event return annually. In Tilburg, of course, because I think it fits in very well here."

"Tilburg has an experimental and artsy character"

According to Rutger, this event needed to take place in Tilburg. "I think Tilburg just has so much potential. We are looking for our own identity and that is exactly why a lot of different types of events can find their own way here. In another city it might not have been quite right. The event Playgrounds, a kind of digital arts conference, also started in Tilburg and is now everywhere, from Berlin to Amsterdam. That is what Tilburg can do and does!"

A colorful vibe in the city

The observant viewer knows that in this section we always ask for an Unfiltered opinion about the city. Something you miss or something that really bothers you. What would Rutger wish for Tilburg? Rutger: "More green, more color and of course more art; that's the first thing that comes to mind. We used to be the hottest city center in Europe, we shouldn't want to hold that position. Fortunately, measures are now being taken against that. I think more color contributes to a positive vibe in the city. Less gray and concrete, more life and color. As far as I'm concerned, those tiles can make way for art. There is plenty of canvas in our city. This can be done with murals, but also with these kinds of events with temporary art like Kaapstad does well. In short, let's work together to make the city attractive in the broadest sense of the word. The green does not have to give way to art, but may coexist. Other than that, to me Tilburg is good the way it is."


Within this section, we give creative people from Tilburg a stage. A ticket to... the expression of their unfiltered opinion about the city. Are you curious who else has something to say about Tilburg besides Rutger van de Wiel? Then take a look at these interviews:

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