There may be many art-oriented universities in Berlin, but as I was looking to start my studies there were very few that specialized purely in illustration. I came to Berlin once to have a look at the university and from the very first moment, everything was perfect.
There are cool activities during the project weeks! You get the chance to work together with completely new people from different study programs on a project and the working atmosphere is very relaxed. We once worked with the kids at a primary school in Pankow to decorate a wall with sea animals. Each morning, we helped the children to hold the ladder and clean the brushes and, in the afternoons, we worked on our own animals. In the evenings, we went for drinks together. During the project week, we quickly bonded with our fellow students and teachers.
The experiences that inspired me most were the experiences of the lecturers. In our study course, many of our lecturers were still working in the industry and so they often talked about their personal experiences in professional life. There is also a regular “Guest Lecture,” which is given by illustrators and artists from different fields who come to talk about their projects. In my opinion, these lectures were very important in order to get a general idea of what the professional world is like.
I’ll answer that in the following question
For my Bachelor’s project, I wanted to dedicate myself to a project that clearly takes my work to the next level.
So, I tried to find a way to combine my hobbies, i.e. painting large surfaces, with what I had learned during my course program. So, I finally got the idea that I wanted to paint my whole home village! But I had to think about a suitable topic for my thesis.
At the time, when I had only a vague framework for my project, I explained my idea to the mayor of my home town. He was immediately enthusiastic. As a result, I only had to talk to the people whose walls were to be painted.
In a small farming village, completely untouched by graffiti, this idea was met with initial uncertainty. However, right after my first wall design in the village, any uncertainty quickly evaporated and the idea was met with enthusiasm.
In my Bachelor thesis, I not only wanted to spice up my village a little, but at the same time give myself a springboard for my professional career. In the end, the project attracted even more attention in Luxembourg than I could have imagined and brought me some jobs. Fortunately, I can now choose the ones that I like the most and that inspire me the most. My most recent project, which became public right after my vernissage of “Make Koler Kooler,” was an XXL urban game, which I produced on the floor of the courtyard of a cultural center, located just behind Luxembourg’s main train station. I think that without my Bachelor thesis, I probably wouldn’t have had such a high-profile project. So, the idea worked well as a career springboard.
That’s not an easy question to answer, because my development of a character always depends on very different influences and inspirations. Of course, it helps to make realistic representations of an object beforehand, because you will develop a much better understanding of its form and function. But I think it’s also good to draw things freehand, because you can let your imagination run wild with less information from outside. However, I try to do a lot of research afterwards, as soon as my characters take shape, in order to understand one hundred percent how they need to be drawn, so that every single part has the right function.
I think it’s hard to answer where I’ll be in ten years in this industry. Many things develop organically and you never know who will hire you the next day for a new project. I don’t want to commit myself to a big plan for the future, but to look step by step at where my projects lead me. Nevertheless, I have an inner urge to somehow travel the world with the help of my work and gain new experiences, to get to know cool people from everywhere in the same scene and simply have fun with what I do.
Students should definitely get involved in the things that really interest them, because this is the only way they will find their personal path to success! Of course, you should take advantage of what the university offers, but the most important thing is to find your own motivations. If you pursue your own projects during your studies, teachers will appreciate and encourage you to continue. After all, a university is no longer about being led by the hand, but about being guided and informed about what you want to do in the big world.
Relaxed atmosphere. Cool people. Awesome time.
In our Youtube video you can learn more about Alain Welter. Visit Alain's website or Instagram account.
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