Igniting Creativity: A design student finds his groove in unexpected territory

Clarence was in design school but felt mismatched, like he never belonged. Determined not to let feelings of insecurity and disconnection overpower his life, he chose to take a break from his studies and find something new.

“I just had the urge to do something different so I decided to travel abroad by myself in Europe.”

That’s when Clarence came across Airbnb when looking for places to stay in Europe. He was already familiar with Denmark so he looked in the region, and one listing in Belgium stood out for him. Little did he know it would change his life forever.

“When I walked into this home in Belgium, I was instantly inspired—it felt like I was in a museum.”

“When I walked into this home in Belgium, I was instantly inspired—it felt like I was in a museum.”

The environment is a highly sophisticated yet eclectic mix of vintage finds, antique furniture, high ceilings, and crown mouldings, contrasted with modern, luxurious finishes and a beautiful garden in the back.

The environment is a highly sophisticated yet eclectic mix of vintage finds, antique furniture, high ceilings, and crown mouldings, contrasted with modern, luxurious finishes and a beautiful garden in the back.

Clarence was so inspired by the space, he decided to create an impromptu photo shoot in his favorite room in the home. “My hosts were so open to the idea, they even helped me coordinate.”

A few days later, Clarence had hired a crew (including eight models, a stylist and a makeup artist), who all showed up at the mansion for his shoot. He not only had a successful day, but he rediscovered his creative spirit in the process. Afterwards, he started to feel more confident, with a different perspective on his own capabilities.

“It doesn’t matter what other people think. If you’re inspired to do something, just go for it.”

Clarence is now a design school graduate and working designer, with new enthusiasm about his career. His experience in Belgium helped him break out of his shell and feel confident in his creative endeavors and his future. He continues to travel frequently on Airbnb.

Clarence’s time as a guest in Belgium resulted in a fashion editorial that boosted his confidence as a young designer.

Clarence’s time as a guest in Belgium resulted in a fashion editorial that boosted his confidence as a young designer.

Collage and writing find their way into Clarence’s work. Today, the inspiration comes easily.

Collage and writing find their way into Clarence’s work. Today, the inspiration comes easily.

Airbnb teams up with local directors and photographers to bring these stories to life. Thanks to Philipp Engelhorn for capturing this story.


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