Creativity beyond the pandemic
In 2020, the team at allspraypainted was more than excited to introduce the new allspraypainted Meets project. The idea behind it was a breath of creative fresh air and a window into the creative processes of some of the most innovative professionals the world has to offer. To kick start the series we met the very talented and creative German artist/illustrator/designer/commercial artist, Carolin Kaiser. While talking to the Mannheim resident who is also a confessed 80‘s girl and lover of all things from that era, we learned that she had a profound connection between her creative process and music. Not to mention that she was an advocate of sketching nearly every day. But what we didn’t know at the time is that the world was about to change and that a pandemic was coming. Catching up with Carolin Kaiser.
Fast forward a little over a year, and we take a small moment to reflect on how the Coronavirus has affected the creative process of nearly every professional and personal creator on earth. Lockdown, restrictions, a new way to be educated and work, changes of how we have time and how we use it. It got us thinking about how artists have coped, or are coping with the “new world”. Why not speak to an artist we thought, and get some feedback from the source. That‘s when we decided to reach out to our very first feature artist Carolin Kaiser and see if she would share some thoughts with us. Lucky for us, she was not only happy to speak to us but also invited us into her studio to see what she was working on at the moment. Here is how the visit rolled out.
allspraypainted: What have you been up to since we last spoke in 2020?
Carolin Kaiser: During the first three lockdowns, not that much actually happened. My daughter, like many other children, spent a lot of time at home. It was important for me to stay relaxed and not lose my nerve. Therefore, the priority for me at this time was to try and achieve a relaxed “togetherness” at home. I started gardening and invested a lot of time and energy in it. The garden was the perfect retreat for me from all the dreariness and chaos. And gave me back a lot. I didn’t do any major projects, but I drew in my sketchbook almost every night. You can say that I used the pandemic to expand my creative ideas fund, which I can now fall back on when the restrictions start up again. I also tested a lot of materials that I could use for future projects. That was a lot of fun too.
allspraypainted: Has the way you work changed at all?
Carolin Kaiser: Nothing has really changed in terms of the implementation of my work, rather, my personal attitude to making it. I have become more relaxed. I don’t get so agitated anymore when something doesn’t work. I have become more confident that I will find a way to make it work. On the one hand, because the Coronavirus made me aware of what is really important, and on the other hand because I have grown in myself. In times like these, you get to know yourself from another perspective.
At the moment I am so full of power. So much so that I have rarely been like this before. I’m soaking up everything new. Looking for new input and new people. I missed socializing with people the most. That’s why I’m so happy about all the new projects I am involved in and the people I‘m getting to know.
A relaxed Carolin created her artwork right before our eyes as we asked our questions and shared our thoughts. The works she was working on took a slightly different form from what we had experienced from her in the past, however still carried an obvious connection with all that had come before it. Of course, we were still looking at her unique take on 80‘s color schemes, use of ACRYLIC Markers and paints, and imaginative and retrospective motifs like the palm tree. But now, with some diverse new materials in addition like metal mesh, glass, wood and concrete as a basis, and glass, we were also seeing the fruits of her lockdown experimentation in the form of the use of Montana GLASS Paint and the use of tools like small angle grinders which assisted her in cutting and forming metal.
It is obvious to see that physical lockdown at home has not meant mental lockdown for Carolin‘s design process, idea development, or material experimentation. Taking what she knew to a new level, we watched on as the artworks progressed and the questioned rolled on.
allspraypainted: Is spray paint still your favorite medium? What materials are you working with right now?
Carolin Kaiser: At the moment I‘m working with different materials. Currently, I’m even making paper collages again. But I’m reluctant to focus on one medium. I like the variety and challenge of testing new things, expanding my material know-how, and exploring new materials generally. New materials offer new possibilities.
allspraypainted: What was the process of creating this particular project, and which part was your favorite?
Carolin Kaiser: The first step, as it always is, is the analog sketch. Then I convert it into a digital graphic so I can make the color selection and improvements. I also needed a production file for this project as the glass elements had to be cut by a glazier. I also needed templates for the wood elements as these I cut them out with the decoupage saw. After that, it’s sanding, priming, and painting. I cast the bases from concrete and sawed them from wood.
The process of moving from a design to a finished object is the most fun for me. You can see and feel how something is created out of nothing. That is very fulfilling for me.
allspraypainted: What is your biggest source of inspiration at the moment?
Carolin Kaiser: I think right now I’m most inspired by life outside the door. Into the hustle and bustle. Feeling the vibration of the city and the people. Experiencing new stories. But also the colors and shapes of nature that surround me outside. I have the feeling that this summer I have perceived the colors much more intensely. It has surprised me again and again how intense and luminous the natural world is.
allspraypainted: How balanced is the proportion of digital to analog in your artwork now? Has the pandemic changed the balance of scales at all?
Carolin Kaiser: No, no change. I still prefer analog and the handmade aspect to my work. I don’t think that will ever change. The only thing I would like to learn soon is animation. I would like to breathe more movement into some of my illustrations.
allspraypainted: What are your plans for the future?
Carolin Kaiser: Get bigger! Take more risks! I’m totally up for bigger formats, bigger collages, room-sized installations, or even crazier projects. I want to break out and grow beyond my limitations.
In the end, three new unique artworks braced the world and we were a little more informed on what goes on in the mind of a creative professional in a time like these. We look forward to seeing where Carolin‘s journey takes her and the artworks that are created during the process.