Kathi Walter is a dedicated Art Director with a good sense for concepts and ideas. So far so usual. But mainly she is absolutely hands-on! A rare task nowadays and maybe a relict from her times as a car painter. When she used to spend her workdays with boys, fast cars and spray cans. Which is also clearly the source of some great deadpan humor reflected in her work.
With over 10 passionate years of «create, present, repeat» at agencies like Jung von Matt, Heimat, MUTABOR and LOVED, she created ideas for brands like Audi, Bosch, Lidl, Rebelle, Telekom and Viva con Agua. For the moment Kathi has been tamed by the Creative Collective Überground in Hamburg as Creative Director Art.
Besides the agency work, she hosts an ongoing project called THE DOM DANCERIST which is less good to describe but well to discover on http://domdancerist.com/
What was your very first job?
Aged 15, I started my career as a car painter, repairing and painting old cars. Later I started studying (architecture and communication design), and beside I spend a lot of time in kindergarten playing and learning about fantasy from small children.
Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.
My current job consists of different tasks, but basically it was and still is very important for me to create a positive and productive work culture in which the customers see themselves as part of the team.
I firmly believe that good ideas can only be born and grow in a fear-free environment, and that they can do more than explain to people what they have to buy with money that they don't have. And that creativity should make the world a little bit better, or at least should always try.
How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?
I’ve always been creative in my life, but it took some time until I realized that it could be a profession.
Then, I started studying Architecture at the HTWG in Constanze, but I realized that I was more interested in what our Design co-semester was doing than in my own lectures. And I also was really bad in statistics and physics. So I switched my study to Communication Design and got influenced by many very different mentors, like old Swiss graphic legend Michele Baviera from whom I learned the most important design rule: respect the individuum!
In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
Inspiration can hit you everywhere. It’s super important to be open for your associational thoughts anywhere: on the bike, jogging, reading books or on the dancefloor. Do stuff and it will find you! Do more stuff and you find more inspiration!
If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?
It’s actually not the project or piece itself that makes me proud, but the unbelievable amount of teamwork and blood-sweat that me and my team are willing to pour into each new challenge again and again and again …
But if I had to pick one piece, then its an actual project where we teamed with Snapchat and created a unique augmented reality piece of art with Okuda San Miguel for Viva con Agua.
What social media artist/account are you most influenced by?
I think I am more influenced by real artists and people, exhibitions, concerts, friends and family than through social media.
Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of? (ie photo, film, social, experiential, vr, etc)
In recent years, the requirements have changed, in addition to specialists who are explicitly sought for individual projects, we are increasingly looking for people who think in generalistic terms and are conceptually strong, so-called Wonderwuzzis (austrian for all-rounders).