Ep.43: Wolfram Kampffmeyer (Paperwolf) about succeeding on Etsy and Dawanda

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Nov 02, 2017 •  Interviews

Wolfram Kampffmeyer is the designer and creative mind behind Paperwolf.  He studied Computer Animation at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. His passion is creating new paper sculptures with lively expressions.

Since I love to create virtual 3D models, it’s even better to build them afterward in real life – out of paper. Thats how my first paper model, the little big piggy, was created.

Since 2010 he creates new animals under his label Paperwolf. No matter if deer, lion, monkey or meerkat – there is nothing he can’t design from paper. His paper zoo grew from year to year from a little idea up to a second profession.

In November 2014 Wolfram’s work was featured on BoredPanda.com and ThisIsColossal.com and demand of his products increased so much that he wasn’t able to produce all paper craft kits in time anymore.

I even had to close my shops for weeks to catch up with the orders.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer’s zoo is loved worldwide and every year new animals join it – always when a new idea squeezes its way out of his head, urging itself to the surface of reality. The result is animals which are room decoration, gifts, art and great relaxing projects for your leisure time!

Get in touch with Wolfram

Key Takeaways

“Trust yourself, trust your gut and intuition. Your work will be of much higher quality if you follow your intuition rather than if you listen to the others.”

Resources mentioned

💡 Please note: We are supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Special thanks to Wolfram for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Wolfram Kampffmeyer, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer  

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life where it’s all about how you can turn your creative passion into a profession. My name is Iva, and my guest today is a 3d animator and papercrafter from Stuttgart, Germany. He’s a designer and creative mind behind paperworld, the papercraft design company producing awesome paper sculptures of animals of different kinds. Since he loves the Create Virtual 3d models, it’s even better to build them afterwards in the real life out of paper. That’s how his first paper model the little Biggie was created. He’s papers who grew from year to year from a little idea up to the second profession, every year new animals joining always when the new ideas squeeze its way out of his head. The result is animals which are room decoration, gifts, art, and great relaxing project for your leisure time. He’s a word was featured on bored panda.com. And this is colossal.com. So please welcome Wolfram Kampffmeyer. And let’s get to the interview. Hello, everyone, and welcome again to the Art Side of Life. And today I am super happy to welcome both from here as our guest. So hello.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Hello, nice to meet you.

Iva Mikles  

Hi, I would like to start with some background and your story with the art you always knew that you want to work with art.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

I think that when I was in school, i and i also the radiation approached, I was thinking what to do with my life. And I had two major interests and had to decide, would I want to become a pianist or in computer animator? And the decision was quite simple because I thought, would I be able to sit eight hours or nine hours on the piano or not? And the answer was no. On the computer, yes, I can sit for hours on the computer. And I wanted to save the piano playing as a hobby. And just practice as much as I want and stop when I don’t have any interested. So computer animation was fascinating for me all the time. I was lucky to have a computer in my house very early when I was in school. And I was fascinated by this 3d Look, which was like Toy Story back then. And I wouldn’t call myself so much an artist. It’s rather a mixture of the technical stuff, the in combination with the computer, and of course, the art of movement. This character animation, and later the paper sculptures. Yes.

Iva Mikles  

And you mentioned in one of your videos previously what I saw that you like to play with paper when you were a kid. So were you like a curious child and maybe what was the first paper thing or did it?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Well, yes, I was curious to the amount that I had to unscrew everything like like computers and all technical stuff, and never managed to bring it back together again. And the paper there’s a German editor called fiber forlag. Back in the 90s they offered papercraft models of buildings and some some other a windmill or a boat or something like this. And when I first I was I think 13 or 14, I did a couple of those. And then I just forgot about this completely and move to the computer stuff. And only shortly before Mike Gregory gradiation on at the Film Academy in Vicksburg, where I studied computer animation. There I just found a program which was able to to unwrap unfold 3d models and because I I was making 3d models all the time and never could was able to touch them. I was so happy to have this program just to finally touch my and hold in my hand the 3d models and that’s when I started with pepper blue Swing again, just 15 years. And then I got got very fascinated and develop and continue developing and optimizing everything and mastering the the papercraft models.

Iva Mikles  

And so basically you started doing this just as a hobby for for yourself, right?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Yes, actually, it was just a curious curiosity about learning a new program software, which is most most of the time it’s the case, I see something new, and I just want to test it. And then I have to make something to test the program, which was my my pig, pig, little piggy, I call it this was my first serious model. Just after the first tests. Yes, it was a hobby of mine. Just just testing and wanting to see something. And my was it a pig. I’m not sure after the pig, I did a penguin and the frog. So those were my three first. Usually, with my ideas, it’s just I have this inspirational flesh, and I do it and probably it was our kind of do epic, and then it must be a pig. So I just just like MATLAB right in my brain run free and then see what it’s done with me. And that’s why it was a pig. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And so when you are like starting your ideas and stuff do like sketch it on paper first to see your idea or you right away, go to computer and design stuff.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Very seldom I use paper, because because I’m not the best drawing artists. It helps me sometimes to, if I’m lucky, I do some sketches. And then oh, it looks like I have it in my head. But most of the time, I just can’t get the picture out of my head and control my hand to the amount that it’s what I had in mind. So usually as I start modeling in the computer and 3d application, because there I’m the fastest. It’s my fastest tool to say. And then sometimes I do some detailed sketches, because it’s faster sometimes, for example, if I want to model a poor, or some if details, then I do some quick sketch sketches, just to make sure I saved some time modeling then.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, I was thinking as well like that, when you have like, oh, maybe I will do a bunny. And then what will be the pose of the bunny? Like, is it jumping? Or is it sitting? And so you already have that in mind? Like, okay, I want to have him like this.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

It’s completely finished in my head, and I have to bring it into the computer. And for some people, it’s sketching, because they can draw very well. And for me, it’s rather having this display like polygon, stuff in the computer, and then I tweak and I add and, and delete and stuff. And then my creature comes to life in there. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And do you remember like, maybe first discussion, maybe with your friends or with your wife that you want to start this as a business?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Oh, well, actually, it was never planned to be a business. It just and I actually my pick and then the the other two enemas I had ready for myself and I showed them some friends and any friend I don’t know, I don’t don’t remember who it was said. There’s this German platform vendor, they sell handmade stuff, bear just try it. And then I tried it and I was happy to sell one pig for seven euros, just a PDF in a month. And then in the next month, maybe two pigs i Wow. Yay, some somebody is paying for my stuff. It was very happy then. But it was just a hobby and a nice nice to have to get a few euros from it. And then when when my first child was born, I wanted to have this collection of the Big Five the African big five animals. And to my wife I said I can’t cut cut all the pieces by hand. It’s just too much work. They are those toys, those those cutting machines, a lot of technical toys. And I could say I need this machine to be able to cut faster and because usually my mom said Are you kidding me? You can pay hundreds of euros just for toys and this is a tool I need let’s this is real. And that I this machine and I did all the I think the whole big five I did in one week. It was weeks before my child was born and I just started to finish it. And every day I develop an animal and and glues it together and the next day I do develop the next one. So after five days I was finished with five animals, which was probably the fastest development ever. But there was a motivation because I wanted to finish it, the deadline was the birth. And you never know when the child will come. And then I had this machine and then I started offering the paper craft kits already in cut pieces. And then in the UK, this was 2012. So from 2010, when I started the hobby to 2012 interest, it was a hobby and just just a couple of sales a year. And then in 2013, a German magazine discovered my pieces on the veranda and they did a three pages interview with me with a lot of pictures. And basically this was the start because then the request the orders just exploded. And it was like half a job maybe cutting all the pieces and also improving the the instructions and improving the packing because I I sense that packing is a lot of a big part for the people who who bite on the veranda that if the packing is just just an envelope with pieces inside, probably they are quite disappointed. And they also review your product, not only if they liked the animal, but also the packing. So the help of my wife, we improve the packing from year to year. And then it got very serious. And late 2014 When both this is colossal.com and Bored Panda to become featured my my stuff. And then it was it was probably the worst Christmas ever because I had so many artists, I had to close my shop for one or two weeks, just for to making all the orders orders from one day. And then I open up it again for 24 hours and then close it again for a week. And then we my wife and I we both worked in shifts to the hours. And it was just it was too much for me. And I just couldn’t help myself. And so this was quite bad to to close your shop with and getting all these emails. When we’ll be there again, and it’s sold out sold out. And can I have it for Christmas? And I said oh, sorry. I just can’t work faster. So yes, bad. It was a serious job. And my second pillar, so to say

Iva Mikles  

so so now you have it as a as a business or still as a freelance.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Well, I my own thoughts. It’s it’s, I’m still computer animator, because I love job so much. I can’t quit one of both. And freelance computer animator. And the same is for paper off to friends of mine founded a little company with one employer, employee. And they doing all the water audits. So I’m doing the design and they have the data. And if somebody muddy, somebody orders a black lion, they will make it and send it. So this is this is a bit, it takes some pressure off me because I don’t have to sit on the machines all the time. And I have time to design new stuff. So this is not my business. I just license kind of like the right tool to reproduce my stuff. But still, paperwork is one of my two jobs. I do.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And so if you think about like the percentage split, how do you is it like 5050? How we work on animation and paperwork? Or if one is more than the other?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

I would love to have half it’s half a clean split 5050. But since since I can’t control when to get which job because I called Can you help me base a big animation or can you make a paper sculpture for me? I always say yes, I try to. But roughly it’s 5050 Last, it was a bit more paperwork than animation. Simply because I never never did some. I never applied for animation jobs. Just wait for the call to come in. Because I constantly have to do something with PayPal. So once a client calls me with an animation job, I pause PayPal for a moment and then do the animation job then come back to PayPal with projects. Yes, except for the commission to work for PayPal Of course. I do it immediately.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah And do you have like, special occasions for for the paper animals? Or is it mostly like private person? Or is it also something like a special event and some special team for for the creations?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

It’s both. So the daily business is the art, sculptures I sell on the veranda and Etsy. So this is mostly private persons, although I sometimes have some stylists who buy maybe 15, flamingos to, for us a shop window or a chain shop. But on the other hand, I can’t I regularly have those commissioned works mostly very big animals, for example, for a fair booth. If this two meter Cat Cat sculpture, which was for for a company who offers cat houses, like round boss made a fat cat can live inside. And they have this had this big fair booth and order to this two meter cat and quite a lot of smaller cats too. So usually, I’ve commissioned work like this, or a company who wants to have its mascot, as a big paper sculpture for their their entrance hall, for example. Or the zoo basil last year audit, golden NMS. And also two meter or two and a half meters, big rhinos or gorillas are very big animals. So this is just very fun to do, because I designed exactly what they need. They say it, it must be assembled, assembled fast, so I choose less detail. Or they they want a certain pose, and then I can design exactly what they need. So there’s very much a lot of fun for me. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

I mean, it sounds like so much fun. Me. I love that because I think first thing what I saw from you was the Fox and I saw it in one of the shop windows. And I didn’t know that to you. And I’m like, Oh my God, look at these. These is so cool. And then I found it on social media. And I’m like, Oh my god. You saw this fox Fox? I don’t know. I don’t remember. It wasn’t one of the trips somewhere in Germany, I think, if I remember correctly.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Okay, fascinating. Because most of the time, I don’t I never get to know where my stuff is. We’ll be hanging most of the time private houses of course. But if a shop or as I never get to know,

Iva Mikles  

yeah, this was I really don’t know where it was at that when I saw the image of the folks I’m sure it was that because it was the one like coming out of the wall. And it was part of these like autumn display, you know, when you had like leaves and the fox was there and it looked amazing. So I was like, This is so cool.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Oh, nice to hear. Yeah, it was really nice

Iva Mikles  

design together everything like as a as a whole setup. And now I’m wondering as well, like before you started the business and also the whole career in art. What was like the best advice maybe you ever received?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Best advice? Actually, I can’t remember any advice. I mean, I plan to become an computer animator. And then of course I had advisors from from colleagues who were just perfect animators and they trained me back then and humbug were left two years. But this was paperboy for just one thing came to the another and I just reacted all the time. All men 100 orders What can I do buy more machines? How can I optimize find something like like an online invoice generating software which is connected to the vendor and Etsy and even Amazon and eBay. So they get the information and I just don’t don’t have to write the addresses by hand. And so I just learned the hard way to optimize a business and to learn something about management, which was never planned and I it was never a talent of mine. So I probably I just reacted to stuff which which came to me

Iva Mikles  

so yeah, so you didn’t have like a mentor or someone who kind of helped you to learn new things.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

This paper stuff not bad with animation of course. Yes. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And maybe like you mentioned also the these invoices. And this can be also really helpful for young artists can you share is that the software which they can buy or like find online?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Yes, it’s called bilby dot d. So it’s a German soft Yeah. And it’s, it’s quite cheap because it’s, I think there’s no monthly fee. And it’s every click you do like generating an invoice or generating a printing a shipping label, or even the stamps, you can print out with this, then then you pay maybe eight cents or so Oh, yeah, I mean, if you have hundreds of orders, it sums up, but they have the F limit, I think 45 or 50 euros a month. So you’d never pay more, if you have hundreds of 1000s of sales. And they have much, many more features I never used by so they are prepared to for our sellers on Amazon, eBay, or the I think 20 platforms. And yeah, and constantly, they implement more. So I really can recommend this. And you can have your own invoice layout. And so with your logo, so

Iva Mikles  

yeah, that’s really cool. I mean, I’m always looking for like different things, how to simplify your life, and is there also maybe something else you would recommend something maybe what you bought or some kind of tool, which you would recommend to people to try out what they can buy.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

A cutting machine is very good. I think any any will do. As long as you can feed in vector data, and probably every every cutting machine, even the very cheap ones will do. If you offer digital files for download, maybe pattern for suing or pattern for papercraft, then fetch it, maybe or fettered dot d, I don’t know. This is a test a program, which is also connected to the vendor. So if you mark your order, the order is paid, then the customer gets a link, direct link, which needs to fetch it. And she can download it. So you don’t have to send the PDF files or anything to the customer by hand. It’s just automated.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, that’s really nice. Thank you for sharing, that’s perfect. Because a lot of people when they have artwork, you know, and then so they can automate the process bit more

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Yes. And once you have have a lot of customers, and for example, very cheap data, maybe you sell a postcard for a euro, euro. And if you have to do everything by hand, it’s so much time you you have to do until you can put it to the mailbox, then you just you lose money, because you don’t have time to make new art.

Iva Mikles  

It’s true. And so how do you design your day? Or how do you plan ahead when you have so many things to do?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

I get up early. I have a person who needs eight hour sleep. But it doesn’t matter how early I get up. So the two kids, they come from kindergarten at two in the afternoon. And then it’s very hard for me to go on working, they bang open the door and want to show me something or want to play with me. And it’s I say, please, I need to work and then close the door and bang, it’s open again and they show me some toys. So very, very difficult the afternoon hours, and not so much a person who can work at night. So sometimes I work after after dinner, but after bringing the kids to bed, but the best time for me is to get up at four in the morning. So so this means I go to sleep at eight, bring the kids to bed, just sleep as well and then get up at four. And then I have three and a half or four hours until my family wakes up. And those four valuable hours are just not distracted. No email is just nothing and I can work for four full hours. And then I go to breakfast. And I know the half of the day is already behind me. And it’s breakfast time. Then I can do the remaining three or four hours just in the until my kids come back from kindergarten. And then it’s very easy. And I can do overtime in the afternoon. Just some distracted hours of work. But in total, I have a very, very effective birthday like this.

Iva Mikles  

And then you take like weekends off to be with your family.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Because I always work from home. It’s it’s not as easy because I am never off and I’m not never fully fully on. So if I see a timeslot on the weekend, and I have a lot of that work to do, then I go working then or maybe in the evenings but on the on the other hand, if there’s a sunny afternoon and I hear My kids play outside, I just quit quit work and go playing or go to the spin to the swimming pool or something. So I take off the time when it’s needed. And I use all the time slots when I can get some.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, yeah. And where do you get your inspiration? Do you go to visit animals in zoos or, or do research online or how they do it?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

A bit of everything. Sometimes it’s just a flesh I mentioned earlier. So I know I have, I want to see this animal I, I always make just, I only do this, but I want to see myself. So all the times I, a customer said, Oh, you need this. And that animal, especially the dog kind of people, they want to have a shepherd or, or they are 1000s of dog species. And they are a big fan groups. And they say all you have to have a pack or something. It was never successful when I I listened to them. But when I wanted to see something like the fox coming out of the ball, it’s the best turn number one. So So usually, I have to trust my own inspiration. And sometimes it’s the flesh coming in my head and I need to see it. Or sometimes, like the artefacts in my collection, I was in the Berlin Zoo. And in the I saw those artifacts, they were just marching in their in their cage. One very close behind the other one bit, just much there. And it was so funny. And I just saved this picture in my head. And once I was back from Berlin, I started making those. And I never understood why it took quite a few of weeks, I thought this must be better. Oh, I am so proud of those animals. But hardly anybody knows artefacts. too, yeah, they ask, Oh, it’s an antique beer, or it’s a rabbit or I think in the past two years, you’ve seen many artifacts coming up. So now that people know. But back then it was it took months until the people started buying those. But then it’s it’s sold very regularly. Now. But this was one of the those moments where I I just couldn’t get away from from this cage. And to just have to study those animals, how they walk, how they behave, how they look, what’s a typical pose of the for them. So because I’m a computer animator, by heart, I suck in all those movements of anything and poses and stuff. So this is where where my, my poses come from, from my library inside my head. And but of course, I also do internet research, if I want to see how the Gnosis looks like or the eye what’s typical about the body of an animal. So, so this is a combination of anything, we can get visual, visual reference,

Iva Mikles  

yeah. And they also have maybe recommendations for some books you read or something which everyone should see.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Only for animators, maybe there’s a booklet called animators survival kit, and they are you they you can see some walk cycles, also how to shift weight and the importance of, of a good pose and stuff. Which is of course, also very, very important when making paper sculptures. Because if you have those T posts, then it’s just a boring pose. And it’s it looks like like a finished or not living. But but very important to me is to have a very vivid, lovely expression. And also if I have a full body sculpture, then it’s very important to have this this animal typical pose and not the base pose where you would make a digital rig, for example.

Iva Mikles  

And do you also maybe watch some movies and documentaries which inspire your work or something maybe you would give as a gift?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Unfortunately, I have so much to do since since I have two kids and so much work. I just I can’t I don’t don’t find the time to read books or watch movies, maybe some some after some serious in the afternoon in the evening, but very seldom because I just have too much to work all the time I have free. I would like to play with my kids. So I use this. But for nature lovers, I remember when I studied computer animation. I used to look watch Planet Earth with David Attenborough Hmm, both very interesting and funny and you learn a lot of animals you never heard about. And of course you you get the awareness of this destruction of nature. And maybe it’s also climatic like climate change. So this series is quite a bit serious, serious planet Earth. And there are some other documentaries by David Attenborough. I love those. And I think I’ve seen almost any episode with David Attenborough.

Iva Mikles  

So what is your favorite animal? Because you have a lot? And do you have a favorite one? But is it the wolf?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Yeah. No, not yet. Once I have the sculpture ready, it’s about my favorite sculpture so far is actually the big Jaguar, which was a commissioned work was the commission’s work for wildlife awareness campaign. With the hashtag, stop the machine. It’s about compassion about we’re farming. And they are organization. I think they had a big event in London. And the agent agency called me and asked if I can make a life sized Jaguar, and I thought, wow, how big are they? Up to two meters? Well, yes, I can do it. And, and it was just a very beautiful job. And I it was quite a journey to but the I chose a pose. It’s a half jumping out of the, of the ball, the Jaguar. And I even built a big wooden box for it to make sure it reached the destiny, because I had some bad experience with DHL. And they just crushed my boxes because they are basically empty. It’s just a cardboard box, which is actually stable story. They put pressure on it or crushed it. I don’t know, because, but But what I get back is just just crushed paper, made this this wooden box and choose Korea to ship it to London. And it just vanished. And it was it was there was a holiday and there was weekend and then the exhibition started just a few days later. And over the weekend. I rushed to the to the bow marked.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, like, yeah, Bauhaus bombard? Yeah, I did. Yeah.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

By wood and tools. And I built another box. And I use my last paper to build another degra. And I put it in the box that Jews adjusted and even more expensive Korea to bring it bring it to London. And then both Jaguars arrived at the same time. The end, because the vintage van just reappeared. It was delivered to a wrong person. I think it’s three packages. My client got a bed frame instead of a jaguar. And the bed frame was meant to be two to Ireland, I think. And this client said I never ordered a bed frame. So it was just around about have packages being shuffled. In the end, both Jaguars appear appear to at the client. And luckily, they also bought the second brand for me. So I had at least for a small price, but it was a back up for them because they wanted their their audience to touch the Jaguar and they wanted to make sure that the exhibition I think it’s going through whole Europe and they just have to pick up now and pick up sculpture, sculpture. But very beautiful pose and I think I managed to get the expression, the fifth catlike expression and also it’s like Jaguar with an open mouth, but it’s not aggressive. It’s just just like you would see a Jaguar relaxed Jaguar. And think the pose is very lovely and very beautiful. So this is my favorite animal so far.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, I mean, it sounds great. I would like that would be super nice to have at home. I like image you know the entrance. Like two meters Jaeger? Yeah.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

built one if I find the time because I want one minute. In my home to maybe smaller maybe one meter or maybe 70 centimeters long, I think would be enough. But I want to see too many home to

Iva Mikles  

how many animals I mean the paper sculptures do you have at home?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

That’s a limitation. My wife says before you are allowed to build one more you have to give her Some many friends who, who adopt my my enemas, because I will never throw them away, but our balls are full and you can place 2020 enemas in one word, it’s just. So that’s the limitation. And probably in my house, I have maybe 10 or 12 or so it’s not that many, no, and it’s spread distributed all around the house. But some of them are in cardboard boxes. So and in my my workshop in Stuttgart, they are probably 20 or 25. Because it’s not a it’s not a shop, but there’s a window to the street, and people go by and look inside. So they see many, many colorful animals and some fliers on the outside so they can can information.

Iva Mikles  

So what are the exciting projects which are coming up? Maybe what’s something you can share?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Let me see. Currently, I’m designing a couple of animals for for an English company. I’m not sure it probably is for an exhibition. I don’t know their client, but the agency ordered and they want to have like two, two and a half meter big animals. Also, it’s a company who was able to cut them by themselves, because they are from the cardboard business. So I only designed the animals and the pattern and the instructions to put together the animals. And they make it themselves. And I think they print some pattern also on the on the outside of the cardboard. So it’s very colorful. This is actually all the commissioned work is very exciting for me. And I love getting getting orders like this, because it’s always something very new, some new challenges, for example, a two meter or three meter long animal need some insight support structure, and I have to be an engineer to develop something like this. Or if it’s a very, if the client says, I want to make 40 of those, for example, the rabbit behind me, my client wants to make 40 rabbits. So I had to design a rabbit which is doesn’t take six or eight hours to make. So this one’s good and two hours. So this is also a challenge my clients give me a timeframe or our size, and I have to find a solution for

Iva Mikles  

this. So it’s Yeah, because then you have to simplify as well. And you also made the project for kids, right?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Yes, this is the maximum simplification probably because even even a five year old kid is able to look a little Hey, help to clue to get cut and blue

Iva Mikles  

animals. And you also made books, right?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Yes. Also it was never planned and when the flock is editor

Iva Mikles  

I’m not sure that publisher publisher yes,

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

if the publisher when they called me last year and said we want to make a book book funeral and I said oh, I’m not an author I can’t write I mean I can write my name and some emails but I can’t write books. So they promised me they would take my my words and make beautiful sentences out of them basically it’s just instructions and a foreword and some something about the author. So it was the patrons and they are inside and the instructions and you can open it you have the colorful pet paper you had to cut yourself so I made five bucks so far. So free and last year and to this year. Now I need the rest of the room for a while. It’s quite stressful to review the books all the time and test the pattern and until everything is ready and of course with a very very close deadline. Yep, it’s one of those things which I never planned and they just come and I react and say okay, I try

Iva Mikles  

so what is the thing you wish you knew before you started this career?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Anything is possible every every problem can be solved. But actually I I never stumbled across something or I never since I never planned my business like or I my investments was not so big. If I want to open up a carpentry I have to buy tools 100 1000s of euros and this is a big challenge and the big risks and needs to do some planning, but I just just scared when it was needed. So when my two machines were not enough, I bought two more. So I could I could double my my output. But I never run on to serious problems. So I will just do the same again.

Iva Mikles  

But it’s good. Do you have a favorite quote, because I love quote,

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

sorry, I’m not the author. Actually, it’s do what you like. And don’t, don’t do not care what others tell you. Because if you say I have an idea, and and you tell this idea to five people, you will get five variations and five, don’t do it like this better, it’s better to do it like this. And then you get just a compromise and a mediocre product. In the end. This there’s a guess I have a quote Jonatha the the head of Pixar Animation Studio, he said, if you have an idea, or if you in this case, if you pitch a story, remember the laughing of so or remember your first laugh and then trust it was worth it. Because if you develop a story over a month, every joke, every gag just is not funny anymore in the end. But if you tell it the first time, and everybody laughs, then it’s worth implementing it into the story. The same goes for any idea. I think, if you have an idea, and you think, wow, it’s great. It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever had. Trust, trust yourself. Probably even trust yourself more than the feedback of other people’s. Because if you do what you like, you put the most heart inside it and then probably be it it’s it’s becoming a better product, or a better design or a better artwork, then if you want to want your audience to like it.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, perfect them. Yeah, I think that that’s really good advice. Because then everyone is kind of like looking for the style or like, what they should do. And if they just really have the patience for it, then it’s a good way to go.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Yeah, sometimes people ask, asked me how do you do you choose? What? Why did you start paperwork. And then I have to ask, it was not meant to be a business. And if you if you try to analyze the market, and look what’s what’s trendy, and then you start a business, doing this, you are always too late. Because you have first you have to get a name and then get to know get known. And then the trend is over. And you’re just running running behind. And if you have an idea, and you you want to see it yourself, and then probably you see, nobody does this. And when I started, there was no serious businesses, of course, papercrafter. They were papercraft out out outside out there. And I didn’t invent paper craft of course. But I think I invented this kind of business, if you call it like this, and I this kind of paper sculptures which are available available as Do It Yourself kits. And I just tried it because I wanted to see it myself. And I was lucky enough that this was a successful success.

Iva Mikles  

And so I would like to also ask you about the future where like one of the last questions, then where would you see yourself in five to 10 years, maybe some like dream scenario?

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Oh, that’s a difficult one because I never plan. I just continue doing what I like. And even if, if the trend of pavement do to set or papercraft is over, I have so many ideas just waiting my head to find the time slot to test it. And who knows maybe one of those ideas is could be accepted as access to I never plan it and I I am not read do not rely on just having a successful ideas. Because it’s always for myself. And if I want to if I see the name happy so this is enough rebar for me. And because I have the second pillar of computer animator, I always have have this security that I will never stop. And if I have free time I just test around. So in five, maybe in five years, I will stay still to paper both stuff. But in 10 years, maybe I have this other idea was, I want to test new materials. For example, I want to do something with fabric. Not that geometric geometric style. But maybe I have some ideas, which I want to test. And also I want to, there was this one guy from northern Germany, who called me and said, I want to make one of your animals off made of steel. And he did. So it’s very beautiful. He, he will visit me and in a few months and and put the steel sculpture into my garden. So as a as a thank you because I just gave him the vectors and cooperated with him, and he wants to test it, maybe make a business out of this licensing my products. So I would get my steel effects sculpture. And I’m very happy about this. And I hope that he will make more of those. Because if not, I have to learn the speisen which is the craft of making so welding, welding steel together, yes. This is one of my plans, I want to learn it, I always want to learn new new crafting skills. And I love to work with wood and fabric and with paper and hopefully soon the steel, but it takes time and I need this time slot to learn it. And I need this time slot to put hundreds of hours into one sculpture. Because working with steel is much slower than working with paper. But who knows, maybe in five or 10 years i i can do this.

Iva Mikles  

For sure. And so is the last question I would like to ask you about what we’d like to be remembered for in 100 years.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Well, I don’t see myself as an artist of this kind of, of being remembered forever, like the VINCI or or Picasso. I think in 10 years, I would love to still see some paper sculptures, which I designed out there in the houses, but 100 years. And not the artists artists enough to say I want to be remembered in 100 years.

Iva Mikles  

But maybe someone can have you know, like these pets in a VR setting or something like that. They will be cool.

Wolfram Kampffmeyer  

Yeah. Probably in hundreds. Yes. You don’t have VR, anything that’s

Iva Mikles  

true, something new, but something like that, you know, photographic stuff. Yeah, whatever it will be. And so thank you so much for being here. And I’m really happy that you took time from your busy schedule. Thank you. It was a pleasure. Thank you everyone for joining and see you in the next episode. Goodbye. Hope you guys enjoyed this interview. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at rtsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you. So go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes, hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Art Side of Life podcast, because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to rtsideoflife.com. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer  

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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