Ute Spingler

Artist, designer, stylist

My first attempts at painting were when I was 2: I discovered my mother's lipsticks and "painted" her dressing table mirror. The result must have been quite convincing because I was given my first finger paints.

Later, during my school days, I was fascinated by the flair of the Academy of Arts in Bremen (now the College of Arts - Hochschule der Künste) and I got my first taste of the studio atmosphere between huge canvasses on easels in the academy's old buildings. It was my passion for art that led me to study fashion and graphic design in Bremen.

Movement and dynamics

The Hogeschool voor de Kunsten is very close to the Veluwemeer, which was my surfing and diving territory. After college, I used to load my surfboard onto the roof of my VW Beetle and head for the water, where I let the roaring waves inspire me...

I set myself the challenge of capturing moving people in paint at the moment of maximum tension. For my diploma show, I designed and produced a 15-part poster series in 70 x 100 cm format on the
subject of movement and dynamics. The images were later published
as a calendar.

Graduation in fashion and graphic design

I studied illustration, screen printing and classical hot metal typesetting for 2 semesters at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Constantin Huygens in Kampen, Netherlands. I also spent a semester studying free drawing and printmaking at the Latvian Academny of Arts in Riga.

Following my graduation from the "Hochschule für Künste" in Bremen in graphic design (1994) and fashion design (1995), I worked as a freelance designer in the graphic and fashion design fields and as an illustrator.

Inspiration from the watery depths

A series of (under)watercolours where the bizarre melds with the figurative (right and below). Myths and mysterious creatures of the deeps fascinated me and inspired me to make this the theme of my
fashion design diploma.

Styling training

In 1990 I completed an additional training course in style advice, with the emphasis on photo make-up, and traditional training as a colour, type and style consultant

Art therapy and creativity training

Between 1997 and 2002 I took a part-time training course, qualifying in art therapy and kinesiatrics at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Art Therapy ("Institut für Interdisziplinäre Kunsttherapie (Psychodynamisch- prozessorientiert)") in Hamburg. I chose the development of creativity training as the main focus for my course. I use these skills today when developing corporate designs for our customers.

Tango paintings

When Heiner and I discovered Tango Argentino, it was almost inevible that I would want to capture on paper the expressive movements of the tangueras and tangueros at international tango festivals. Most of the paintings have to be completed in the short time that a tango lasts: just 3 minutes! Some get the finishing touch later in my studio.

I have been painting
tango dancers live since 2002 and my tango pictures have been exhibited at numerous tango
festivals and in galleries.

Professional developement

From 1995 to 1998 I managed a gallery in Bremen, designed uniforms for well-known hotels on behalf of the firm "uniform company" (from 1992-93 at their offices, later on a project basis) and worked as a creativity trainer in northern Germany and on cruise ships for several shipping companies.

Digital illustrations

The images on the right and below are part of a series of digital illustrations. They are based on pencil drawings and photos and are used on packaging, for example.

The pictures in this series reflect the varied spectrum of life in our former district of St Georg on the Alster in Hamburg: we had our studio there from 1998 to 2005.

Graphic design

In my day-to-day design work I focus on creating a visual image for a company where all the aspects fit together: the graphic style used in the company’s business stationery and packaging should be in keeping with the interior design of its offices and the owner’s personal dress style if the desired image is reach the outside world.

In 1998 I met Heiner at a design workshop and we decided to work together. We started out as "Spingler + Schäfer Design GbR" and changed our name to "Design on Location" in 2004.

The skills I bring to our work, besides graphic design and illustration, are the creation of logos and signs, the design of calligraphic logotype, styling and make-up for photography, style advice and corporate fashion design.

Design on Location