Interview with Claudia Meßmer, Senior UX Designer, lecturer in Graphics & Design & participant in the Junior Showcase 2007.

by Eyes & Ears of Europe

Claudia Meßmer has been Senior UX Designer since 2017. Furthermore, she is an academic lecturer for Graphics & Design at a private university. 

You participated in the Junior Showcase in 2007: How did you come into contact with Eyes & Ears of Europe? And what made you decide to participate in the Junior Showcase?
My professor was very active at Eyes & Ears and he recommended the Academies as well as the Eyes & Ears Awards to us. The first awards ceremony – that took place during Medientage München back then – fascinated and inspired me so much because of the variety and quality of the submissions and award winners that I had plenty of motivation to submit my own project.

Could you please briefly describe your project from back then?
It was an animated music video for the band Anajo. The whole video was extremely time-consuming, because the animation was completely drawn by hand with pencil on paper and animated with Pec Bars at the light table. This was a real challenge for our small team of four! Every single frame was then scanned and edited, the video was cut and adapted exactly to the timing of the music. With a total of three and a half minutes of final video material, you can imagine the amount of time it required.

What was your inspiration for this project?
There have been many inspirations, such as Osvaldo Cavandolis cartoon classic "La Linea", stop-motion music videos like Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" and films by Jan Švankmajer and the stop-motion artists Brothers Quay.

How did the project develop after the Junior Showcase?
Firstly, there was an invitation to the fmx in Stuttgart. There I met outstanding personalities like Roland Emmerich, exchanged ideas with students from other universities and learned a lot about film and animation.
With these experiences and the valuable feedback on the presentation and the project, I was so motivated that I wanted to participate again next year with my own project. Therefore I got the chance to present my diploma thesis in 2008.

What do you remember in a particularly positive way about the Eyes & Ears Junior Showcase?
I was very impressed by the diversity of the projects, the creativity and the high quality of the young artists' productions. Likewise, the open-mindedness of the members, who gave everyone a warm welcome from the very first moment.

Did the participation in the Junior Showcase help you personally and / or professionally?
Of course – both personally and professionally!

Not only was the feedback on the presentation very important for the project at that time, but also in later professional life in general, e.g. for product introductions, customer meetings and all kinds of presentations.

Personally, there are still contacts to other former "Juniors" and Eyes & Ears members.

Where else do you have the opportunity to get to know designers, producers, composers, directors, editors etc. personally and chat about music with award winners such as Dieter Meier from Yello or discuss letterpress with Erik Spiekermann over a drink at the bar?

Which project would you submit today?
Since I am passionate about photography, I would submit an experimental photo project.

Now, where and in which field of business are you working? 
I have been working as a senior UX designer in a software agency for 3 years. My focus is on developing the best user experience for the agency's customers. We rely on the latest technologies, agile project structures and the spirit of international teams.
And because I enjoy working with students, I have been teaching graphics and design at a private university since the winter semester 2013/14. Whenever there is enough time, I give typography and letterpress workshops in my own studio.

What advice would you give the potential New Talents 2020?
The feedback, the personal exchange with experts and the submitted projects are an enormous motivation to improve your own skills and simultaneously your personality!

So take this great opportunity and make the most of it! Have the courage, because you all have unique talents!

Thank you very much, Claudia Meßmer! New Talents projects can still be submitted until July 15th: https://eeofe.org/en/calendar/eyes-ears/2020/new-talents/new-talents-call-for-entries/