Computer Arts catches up with Oliver Wiegner of Berlin-based collective Ice Cream For Free, to talk about flea markets, designing for the music industry and What Makes Berlin Addictive.
Computer Arts: How did the Ice Cream For Free collective start up?
Oliver Wiegner: After graduation I moved to Berlin with some friends who were into design. Some were more into film, editing, animation, or graphic design, so we founded the collective in 2004 to pool our skills. Then I started a home-driven studio with a friend. We made some animated videos, but my companion got a well paid full-time job at a 3D animated feature-film production company. Another friend got a full-time job as a graphic designer, so I kept up the work alone, with a focus on print. If any bigger or animation-led jobs come up, I have all these talented people around to manage it.
CA: Where did the name Ice Cream For Free come from?
OW: I played around with words to find a name with a friend. I said "ice cream" and she said "for free!". It turned out to be clever, with lots of potential. I also like the short form, ICFF, and there are related sentences, such as "I scream for free" and "Eyes cream for me", which is nice!
CA: You use a lot of montaged images in your work. How do you find good images?
OW: I walk around to find matching motifs and take pictures. Berlin offers plenty of different moods to get hold of pictures and inspiration. Another way to get material is to visit the flea markets in Berlin, where you can find books filled with pictures and get your hands on unusual stuff.
CA: You also work for music clients. How did you become involved in that?
OW: Some of my work is published in online magazines, and a Berlin-based PR manager who works for record labels and movie companies saw my work and liked it. We met soon afterwards and hit it off straight away. Through this I made connections with small record labels. I really enjoy working for this branch of business because music is my third passion (after my girlfriend and design), and to connect these arts has always been my goal.
CA: What was the What Makes Berlin Addictive? exhibition about?
OW: That was a showcase of Berlin graphic design, media design and street art in Shanghai. Its goal was to emphasise the variety of scenes and styles in Berlin and its attitude to life. The 'wanted'-style posters give lively and individual insights into Berlin and its attitude to life. The exhibition was the starting point for a second one based on the question "What makes Shanghai addictive?", featuring international and local creative minds in Berlin.
CA: Are you planning on developing your motion design work?
OW: Motion projects are always exciting. Certain projects are more time-consuming and therefore costly, but if a client wants a motion clip I'll drum up some help and it would be a pleasure for us to manage it.
INFO Check out Ice Cream For Free's work at www.icecreamforfree.com