A playground for art
23rd November 22 - By Elin Jonsson,General News
We caught up with Morten Kaaber, founder here at Paper Collective, to hear about why he started the company, where Morten gets inspiration and what his hopes are for the coming year.
Why did you start Paper Collective?
We launched Paper Collective in 2013 as we felt there was a need for a quality platform for curated modern art prints. We identified some talented art print makers but found a lack of consistency in quality and only few options. We wanted to bring the best artists together on our platform to create a high quality and consistent offering of curated and easily accessible and affordable art.
And from a background in interior design, I wanted to bring the art print category closer to where and how we buy our furniture, lighting and other stuff for our homes.
(Morten and co-founder Kasper Møller with the first collection in 2013)
Why was it so hard to find wall art in the same quality and style as the furniture and lamps we live with? That is what we wanted to change.
How does Paper Collective balance between art and design?
For some years the Scandinavian design scene has evolved very quickly with the exciting development of New Nordic home design and a kind of second wave of Scandinavian design in the world (after the mid-century modern era). And while there was suddenly so many options to decorate your home with modern, beautiful, and affordable furniture, lighting and home accessories there was big gap to the art prints that people would have access to. Why was it so hard to find wall art in the same quality and style as the furniture and lamps we live with? That is what we wanted to change. So this relationship with the interior design industry is evident not only in our artwork curation but also in our collaborations with some of the world’s best product designers and top design shops all over the world.
Back when we started Paper Collective, art prints were not really part of the interior design scene or product categories. The customers did not think of it as a product for furniture or design shops, but we have managed to change that and today it is a big category for many of our retailers.
I wanted to create a company and job for myself that was based on collaboration with gifted, talented creatives.
How did you decide to take the leap to start your own company?
Career-wise I have grown up in creative startups and I love the feeling that when you take initiative, things change and make waves. In bigger companies, you can feel like a very small cog in a large wheel while in a smaller company your actions cause reactions much quicker.
Secondly, I wanted to create a company and job for myself that was based on collaboration with gifted, talented creatives. It is a constant source of inspiration for the whole team at Paper Collective to have all these external colleagues in the artists we work with.
Where is Paper Collective based?
We are based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
There is definitely an element of minimalism and simplicity in the artwork we choose. And Copenhagen is really the main source of this.
How is being located in the heart of Copenhagen influencing Paper Collectives work?
We have always been heavily influenced by Danish and Scandinavian design. There is definitely an element of minimalism and simplicity in the artwork we choose. And Copenhagen is really the main source of this.
What separates Paper Collective from the rest?
At Paper Collective we want to create a platform with a lot of freedom for the artists we work with. There is space for all sorts of creatives and artistic direction at Paper Collective. And for our customers it is easy to find the perfect art piece in a collection that is both broad but also a finely curated and handpicked selection of the best artists.
Where do you find your collaborating artists?
We are always looking for new artists and we find them all over. Some from exhibitions, others from social media or references from other artists. Our artists have very varied backgrounds. From painters, illustrators and graphic designers to photographers, fashion designers and architects, we have creatives from so many different fields. And as we have grown over the years, more and more great artists find us and propose collaborations. It is such a privilege that all these talented artists trust us with their work.
Describe the creative process for the collections
We like to group our new art prints into larger selections or collections that we release every 5-6 months. For each collection we like to work with one or two overall themes that can both relate to artwork thematics such as fashion references, architecture, or flowers. Or be more technique or texture based such as photography, brushstrokes, watercolours etc.
We have throughout the years passed along a lot of our profits to good causes around the world.
What does corporate responsibility mean to you?
When we founded Paper Collective it was with the ambition to always set the best example we can. Be that in our production practices and sustainability. Or in our charity projects. We have throughout the years passed along a lot of our profits to good causes around the world. From cancer research and wildlife preservation to our biggest project so far: The complete funding of a school for up to 400 children in rural Nepal that was completed in 2021. That is probably the one thing that we have accomplished over the years that make me the most proud.
What are your hopes and wishes for 2023?
For Paper Collective we are working hard to make improvements to make it even easier to be a Paper Collective customer. New artworks, new beautiful materials for our artworks and a more fun and inspiring shopping experience.
For a broader perspective and on a personal note I just want a peaceful world for my kids in 2023 – and for all the rest of us.