We had the good fortune of connecting with Carolin Wanitzek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carolin, what makes you happy? Why?
From the ground up I’m a rather happy person. There are also many things that optimize this state of satisfaction even more, in the private, as well as professional context, although it is sometimes difficult to separate.
Sports and exercise, especially in nature are important points that contributes to being happy.
I live in the city, so I enjoy being in nature extremely. I enjoy to climb mountains and feel the thrill and freedom at the top. I love it to ride my road bike down the mountain at 60km/h after giving it my all on the way up, and it’s nice to get my daily workout in. I am an active person who loves movement and to be happy, satisfied and balanced, this movement is existential for me.
And of course, sport goes hand in hand with good food. There’s not that much to say about that, except that food makes me insanely happy. I love healthy, plant-based food, not just because it’s healthy, but because it tastes so good to me and I love eating it for that reason.
For me as a designer and artist, it’s super important to gather new impressions to be able to work on my projects inspired. I love to travel and bring home new impressions and inspiration. I’m inspired by the places I travel to, the people I meet there and most of all I’m enriched by the culinary diversity I get to know on my travels. Over the years, I’ve always brought something home from my travels that reminds me almost daily of my trip. This connects me to a memory over a long period of time and thus always calls certain places to my mind. For example, ceramic bowls from Mexico, the inner framework of a cactus from the desert, or as most recently from L.A. from Abbot Kinney Blvd. two beautiful handmade mugs that I drink my coffee out of almost daily and enjoy it because it reminds me of a great time. Thinking back to my last trip to Los Angeles where I built my installation for Wonderspaces in Arizona I was especially inspired by the trip to the desert. It made me happy to see this incredible landscape and spend days just sitting on the veranda soaking up these incredible images.
When I think about my work I need to start a bit earlier. In 2010, I was in my third semester in my communication design degree. In my photography class, we were given the task to create a series of images on the topic “The Border.” I had decided to visualize the border between dream and reality. This was the birth of my first paper project, which is by the way the basis for the installation at Wonderspaces in Arizona. This project was published on blogs worldwide, I was allowed to give many interviews and Gestalten Verlag from Berlin published the project in their book „Papercraft2“. This was followed by commissions from Hewlett Packard, Nest by Google and Fast Company. This project was responsible for starting my own studio while I was still a student.
This confluence of serendipitous events from 2010, has been a big part of where I am today and how I got there along the way. It’s a point in my life that I think about and go over again and again, and each time it makes me incredibly happy that it all happened the way it did.
I said at the beginning that it is sometimes difficult to separate private and professional happiness, because my professional “I” and my private “I” are one and the same person, so my work has a great influence on my private happiness and vice versa. Because design and art is not only a profession for me – now every artist will agree with me – it is a destiny, passion and a kind of self-realization and it determines to a very large extent who I am as a person, Carolin Wanitzek and how I am perceived.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I studied Communication Design and Scenography in Germany. During my studies I did my first paper project in 2010. I really loved to work with this material and optimized the way of realizing projects with it over many years. From project to project I became faster and better. I designed paper illustrations for national & international clients. For those illustrations I constructed all the objects, built them and also photographed the whole set design. My work was mostly for magazines, digital Media and some brands. At the beginning it wasn’t that easy, so it was helpful to start my business during my studies.
After my communication design studies I decided to do my master in scenography, as I found working in space an exciting addition to my previous work. I combined my skills from graphic design, set design and photography and created concepts for extraordinary worlds. The dimensions of my projects became bigger and bigger, I started to design exhibitions and building large art installations.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m from a city called Mannheim. It’s in the southwest of Germany. So a perfect week in Mannheim would definetly include a lot of food, art and a road bike ride to the Odenwald.
One of my favourite cafes in Mannheim is „Cafe Lido“, it’s perfect for breakfast and for a small coffee break. My favourite dish is scrambled eggs with avocado and a rice pudding with fresh berries and of course a cappuccino with almond milk.
Although it’s a big city, there are also a lot of calm places like the Waldpark, where you can go for a walk or for a jogg. There are two rivers in Mannheim the Rhine and the Neckar. It’s beautiful just to sit there, have some barbecue and enjoy the weather.
My favorite lunch and dinner places are the “Kombüse” in the Jungbusch and “Glück und Verstand” at the squares in the center of the city. Both restaurants with vegan and vegetarian cuisine are right around the corner from my apartment and my studio. I love to go there! It’s nice to order some tapas at “Glück und Verstand” and share the food with your friends.
A visit to the Kunsthalle is always worthwhile, such a beautiful art museum. My favorite flower shop is at „not the same“. It’s a pretty nice concept store where you can also find clothes and accessories.
If you need an overnight stay I can warmly recommend the Speicher 7 Hotel directly on the Rhine. There is also a super nice bar where you can let the evening fade away.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Other: Behance: https://www.behance.net/zayoba