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Interview with Thomas von Kummant

Home > Designer Interviews > Thomas von Kummant

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Thomas von Kummant (TVK) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Thomas von Kummant by clicking here.

Interview with Thomas von Kummant at Monday 23rd of May 2022
Thomas von Kummant
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
TVK: After graduating from "Design School Munich" in Munich, I started my professional career as a freelance illustrator in 1998 in the community studio "Die Artillerie" together with 8 other freelance illustrators and graphic designers. I started working for advertising agencies, publishers and film productions and found my love for visual storytelling. In 2012, together with Benjamin von Eckartsberg, I started to develop our own story GUNG HO as a comic series for the Swiss publisher Edition Paquet for the French market. The A'Design Award winning image shows a cover illustration of our series.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
TVK: I currently work in the collaborative studio REAKTOR, which I co-founded in 2019, together with Peter Popken, Luis Guggenberger - both concept artists - and Prof. Michael Coldewey - producer, director and professor for VFX and animation at the HFF Filmhochschule München.

FS: What is "design" for you?
TVK: For me, as a visual storyteller, design underscores a story. The synergy of narrative and aesthetics can create a piece of art in the process.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
TVK: My favorite things to work on are well-told stories with excitingly unique characters and extraordinary locations. The story doesn't necessarily have to be fictional.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
TVK: One of my first designs were two animated characters guiding through the Junior Programme of the BMW Welt in Munich.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
TVK: All technology which helps telling a story. I still prefer to draw with pencil and brush for rough ideas. Later I mostly work on Photoshop, or use Sketchup.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
TVK: For me it is always important that body and mind are in harmony and that my family and my environment are well. I am most creative when I have a well-told story and the research work brings the greatest possible input.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
TVK: In the beginning I focus on the general form and colors. Later details become important and in the end everything needs to Coe together.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
TVK: While working on a Design for a great story I feel excitement, anticipation and inner peace.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
TVK: At best, satisfaction. But this usually does not last long.

FS: What makes a design successful?
TVK: For me, as a visual storyteller, design must always match and support the tone of the story. The synergy of narrative storytelling and design aesthetics can elevate a project to a work of art. The design of a story is successful when you see an image from the work and immediately recognise that it can only be from that story.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
TVK: The charisma of the design and the tone of the story have to fit together. It often happens that a design doesn't appeal to me at first, but I think it's brilliant when I've finished reading or watching the story.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
TVK: A designer on a story has to create a feeling and convey content, make it easy for the viewer to immerse himself in a world.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
TVK: I think artificial intelligence will play a role, life will happen more and more on the net. Virtual reality will replace the old football pitch. That's why I like more and more to just look at the world with pencil and brush and capture designs on paper.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
TVK: 2021, "Gung Ho - Sehnsuchtsort Postapokalypse", Comicfest - Alte Messe, München 2022, "Gung Ho - Sehnsuchtsort Postapokalypse", Comic Haus, Köln 2022, "Gung Ho - Sehnsuchtsort Postapokalypse", Comic Salon, Erlangen 2022, "nAcKT - Form durch Farbe und Fläche", kleine Altstadt Gallerie Dachau 2022, "NACKT - Form durch Fläche 2" Kleine Altstadt Galerie, Dachau

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
TVK: Like probably most designers, my inspiration is observation, reflection and the desire to create something new.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
TVK: The Norwegian saying "Only those who wander find a new path" describes it quite well. I always try to find a new design that fits the tone of a story.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
TVK: I´m living in Dachau, close to munich. In our town we have the concentration camp from WW2. Of course that had a deep impact as a young adult - I like melancholy. Also Munichs artist community "Der blaue Reiter" was somehow an influence - I like colors and abstraction. But I think that doesn´t effect my Designs.

FS: How do you work with companies?
TVK: On a daily or weekly rate basis payment wise. Communication works mostly over Skype, Zoom or some similar communication system.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
TVK: There are different steps. In the beginning, I always try to approach the design very roughly and like to reflect on it and try to get feedback. Then it's a matter of working out the spontaneous lines in detail without losing the feeling of the sketch.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
TVK: desk lamp from Artemide Tolomeo electric pencil sharpener from Dahle speaker from Sonos desk chair from James Eames BMW R 100

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
TVK: Fortunately, I don't have a set daily routine and can adjust my days.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
TVK: Observe and reflect life every day, even on weekends and on holidays, don't stop processing your skills, don't eat in front of the computer and take good care of your body and soul.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
TVK: Understanding of form and function, perspective, anatomy, the core of a story and its characters and a sense of creating something unique with these elements.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
TVK: My tools mostly are Pencil, Brush, Aquarell, Acrylic, Oil and Photoshop, sometimes blender and sketchup. I have a huge library in my house and my studio with novels, biographies, art books, books on photography and architecture, comics etc. Internet is also a big source, same goes for nature.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
TVK: There is no strict plan, every day is different.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
TVK: How can you do this and how do you generate your ideas?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
TVK: Developing and working 10 years on one comic book series.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
TVK: Pixar animation studios, Laika studios, Blur Studio, Atomic Cartoon, Maybe Movies, BMW Stern, Focus

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
TVK: Designing (animated) movies and creating own Comic books.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
TVK: Directing a movie.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
TVK: Both, it depends on the project. Working alone gives you a big freedom, but working in a team brings out the best of you and the exchange with like-minded people is a valuable resource.

FS: How can people contact you?
TVK: https://www.thomy.org/contact/


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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