1. Tell us something about yourself...
My name is Elian and I'm twenty years old. Last name is van Esch. I’ve recently found out that if you say my last name really fast it sounds like ‘vanish.’ Pair that with my frequently mispronounced name and you got yourself alien vanish.
It does make for funny conversations when I meet new people though. Currently I’m studying sociology in Rotterdam, where I also live on my own. If I’m not at school or hanging with friends, I’ll often be home either searching for music, reading books or if the weather permits it then I’ll be biking outside. Though I have to admit that in the last half year I’ve rekindled my love for reading books. I think it’s really cool when you read because you’re introduced to so many new ideas about the world that it forces you to widen your perspective too. Also I think it’s really awesome because it’s like you’re having an one-on-one conversation with the author. It frequently makes me think about my own values and assumptions and has taught me to question everything I know. And in the age of information, often misinformation too, this is something that I think is extremely important. Having said that, I think I’d like to write a book about all the valuable lessons I’ve learned along the way. They’ve all just been so great that I’d really love to share it with the rest of the world.

2. What inspires you?  
It’s not really what but more who inspires me. But if I’d have to say a ‘what’ then I’d say that it’s either books, articles or documentaries. Of course that has more to do with the people in them and the message they have. To name a few: 
George Carlin, Mahatma Gandhi, The Dalai Lama, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Martin Luther King, Jr. Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Bell Hooks, Erich Fromm, Michel Foucault, Naom Chomsky… Okay there are too many to mention but those are the first ones that come to mind. Now I would love to add that even though some of them have had some profound and lasting impacts on me while reading or hearing their words, the people close to home that have inspired me are my mom, dad and grandma. They’ve all just taught me so much. My mom has taught me to do my best and to strive for excellence rather than perfection since if you try to do everything perfect you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment. Why? Because perfection simply doesn’t exist. My dad has taught me the “three c’s” as he calls it. It stands for calm, cool and collected. And basically that means that in any given situation, specially the bad kind, just remain calm cool and collected or you might end up saying or doing things you could regret. Think everything through. Lastly my grandma. I’ve lost her a long time ago during my childhood so I can’t say that I remember her really well, however she left me a letter before passing away. I read that letter whenever I need some guidance. In it she wrote about the importance of being grateful and being gentle with others and most importantly yourself. The truth of her words always comfort me in those times. But it has also made me realize how fragile life is and how important it is to be mindful of your actions since they often reflect who you are as a human being. 

3. How does fashion inspire you?
I see fashion as art. And it’s because I see the arts as the human expression of the soul, I can really appreciate it for the work that’s put in. I might personally not like all styles of clothing but I can see that in every creation; imagination and human effort were contributing factors. That’s why it’s pretty interesting to see the fashion trends that come and go since they all have something in common among the fashion designers but each of them twists it to make it their own signature style. Because of this I always tell people when I go shopping with them that whatever it is that you decide to wear, make sure you wear the clothes. Don’t let the clothes wear you. You have to be comfortable in your own skin so that’s what inspires me about fashion.  

4. Can you describe your style?
I think my style is largely based on simplicity and comfort. It also tends to have an understated air because of the dark colors I'm usually attracted to. Because of the dark colors I like to wear, I do try to balance it out by adding a more vibrant color such as red, green or whatever seems to go nicely with my clothing that day. Also I have to admit that I like to color-match my outfits. It’s really a pain in the butt sometimes, but otherwise I won’t leave the house. I just feel awkward and messy if I do. I’m also quite happy just wearing sweat pants and a hoodie, so when in doubt I’ll wear that. Yes, this is the point where I’ll have searched through my whole wardrobe and have found absolutely nothing to wear. 

5. My 'Get Inspired' quote is...
     "Learn to love yourself and you’ll be able to love others. 
Learn to be happy with yourself and you’ll be able to make others happy. Learn to be kind and forgiving to yourself and you’ll learn to do the same for others. In the end it all starts with the choices you make. Therefore choose to be the best version of you today and maybe you’ll be able to inspire others to do the same tomorrow."