Sunday, March 02, 2014

Buy Handmade vol 97

This week we are in Stuttgart, Germany..

Name: Wolfram Kampffmeyer
Age: 31
Occupation: Freelance Computer Animator
Etsy Shop: PaperwolfsShop

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
With the PAPERWOLF sculptures I started back in 2009 and soon opened my first shop on DaWanda. On Etsy I'm only since mid 2013 with the intention to sell international.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
PAPERWOLF is a mixture between my first name (Wolfram) and the fact that my items are all made of paper. So far I don't have a paper wolf in my shop, but probably this year I will design a big wolf.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
In November and December I was almost full time busy with producing papercraft templates for my customers, but actually it's more a hobby. Full time I'm computer animator and since this is a lot of fun too, it probably will be my main profession for the next years.

How would you describe your creative process?
In the beginning there's always research. For example I will look on the internet for as many pictures I can get for a deer. Then I try to figure out which pictures show me the essence of the deer in general. When I believe I've got it, I start modeling in my 3D program, do more research, ask my wife for her opinion and finally decide it's time to do it in paper. I build my first prototype model, improve here and there in the 3D program and when I'm satisfied, I take product pictures, design the construction manual and put it online.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
When sitting in the bath tub. ;-) just kidding. I can't really tell. Sometimes all the sudden I have a idea, no, a need to create a new figure, or a series of animals that are somehow connected (Africa's Big Five, or my "Horns Trilogy"). Or fulfilling a customer's wish.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
At the moment my favorite item is my big fox paper sculpture. I believe it's my best one so far. Wait for the paper wolf, maybe this will be my master piece :-)

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I love doing sports like rock climbing or bicycling or having fun with my lovely wife and little daughter. I like working freelance so I have lots of time between jobs to try out new stuff (like the Paperwolf project which transformed from being just a hobby to a halftime job).

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
No. I never wanted to be an astronaut :-) I just loved computers and animated films and soon it was clear I wanted to become an animator.

Five years from now you will be…
...same person like now, but maybe with a little bit more experience and a six years old daughter :-)

Describe yourself in five words:
Creative, Happy, Playful, Maverick, Musician

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <sorry, I don't listen to music so often, I rather play music myself on the piano>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list? Yesterday I've played Dvorak "Humoreske", "Solfeggio" by C.P.E. Bach, and two pieces by Michael Schuetz.

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Don't try to think "What will customers buy?" This is in my opinion the wrong way to start a business (although for some it works out well). I started doing what I liked to see and to have in my flat and I was happy when other people liked it as well and were willing to pay a appropriate price for it. Then one thing came to another and slowly "Paperwolf" is growing a little more and getting more established.