Alann De Vuyst was born in Dirk Marten's* city of Aalst, in the province of Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium. At the tender age of nine he studied art on Sundays with his father and elder sister at the Academie van Schone Kunsten in the same city for four years. A twenty kilometers roundtrip on his small bicycle, over hilly Flanders through snow and rain and occasional sunshine. At thirteen he was the youngest painter at an artist fair in the city of Zottegem. At fifteen he finally decided to take classes in advertising arts at the renowned St-Lukas Instituut in Brussels, for another six years. In 1982, he set out to work for a brief spell at the famous advertising agency Lintas SSC&B worldwide/Brussels, for which he was selected and awarded a second prize in a contest of designing a poster for the agency's 50 years of existence. The reward was a six months term of work at their office in Brussels.