PAZNAUN PEOPLE: MICHAELA PFEIFER, GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Michaela Pfeifer is 30 years old and has worked for five years as a freelance graphic designer in Kappl. She tells Trisanna just why this move has made her happy – and why you should just do your own thing.

phOTOS: NIKO HAVRANEK

 

Michaela, you have set up your office on the ground floor of a family house. But it’s a special house, right?
It’s the house I grew up in. I live back here now, and my parents have built a house on the neighbouring plot. I used to really love drawing and painting as a child in this house. So this is where everything began.

All the same, it was a while before you knew exactly what you wanted to do.
That’s true, after finishing school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and so at first, like most people from around here, I worked for a season in tourism. Then I started to study social pedagogy in Innsbruck, but it was a bit too dry for me.

And then?
I started thinking again: what do I want to do? And then I found the advertising design academy at WIFI in Innsbruck on the internet. Right from the beginning I realized that I was in the right place there – you could try things out, and find out for yourself where your strengths are. After two and a half years, I then completed my diploma and began to work in an agency.

But then you moved into freelance work after all – why?
I don’t like just implementing ideas, I prefer to design them. What was missing for me in the agency was direct contact with customers, in other words, really being able to get involved in the project. That’s what I have now. And also, although Innsbruck really is a great town, I did feel a bit homesick. I definitely prefer how things are now. I can just do my own thing, and that makes me happy.

The name in the corner of your own paintings hanging on the walls here is “Mitchy”. How did the nickname come about?
(laughs) My friends at school gave me the name. We used to really love the TV programme Baywatch back then. And Mitchy comes from Mitch Buchannon, who was played by David Hasselhoff.