Mød manden bag Walter-tegningerne

Mauro Delli Bovi

Illustrator til bogen om Walter den glade hval

Hvem sidder der bag skærmen?
Du finder ham altid siddende med en pen i hånden, mens han arbejder på en ny skitse. Altid nye ideer og nye projekter. Bag det stille ydre gemmer sig et sandt geni. En ung italiener med et unikt og misundelsesværdigt talent. Navnet er Mauro Delli Bovi og han er manden bag de fantastisk smukke illustrationer i bogen om Walter den glade hval.

Mauro født og opvokset i Italien, hvor han også indtil fornyeligt har studeret creative arts. Sidste efterår blev hans talent dog anerkendt med en pris, da han vandt et stipendium på UCA – University of Creative Arts i England. Siden september har han derfor været at finde på universitet i Farnham.

Mauro Delli Bovi

Selfportrait –

Hvordan kommer man til at tegne en glad hval?
Hvordan bliver en italiensk illustrator så en del af historien om Walter den glade hval?
Det hele starter med et helt tilfældigt møde, med et helt speciel skolelære i New York i februar 2015 – Selene Candido.

Du kan læse om Walters tur til New York her: Taking the first bite of the Big Apple – Del 1. Taking the first bite of the Big Apple – Del 2

Selene faldt pladask for Walter den glade hval. Hun tog hvalen med sig i skole og præsenterede ham for sine elever i 4. klasse. Walter havde en helt særlig effekt på eleverne, som tog den glade hval til sig. De brugte ham i undervisningen, skrev opgaver om ham og tog ham med på udflugter. Jeg besøgte skoleklassen et par gange i NYC. 3. gang jeg besøgte dem, havde de en helt særlig overraskelse! Walter havde fået hovedrollen i deres end of the year school play. Det var en helt igennem kæmpe oplevelse, at se sin lille hval på scenen i NYC med de skønneste unger.

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Men ikke nok med at skuespillet var helt fantastisk, så havde Selene også fået en kammerat til at lave nogle helt fantastiske baggrundskulisser. Straks jeg så dem, blev jeg helt forelsket og der blev omgående pustet nyt liv i drømmen om en illustreret bog om hvalen Walter.

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Efter forestillingen fik Selene hooket mig op med hendes kammerat og illustrator – Mauro Delli Bovi. Der skulle dog gå et helt år, før vi kunne starte projektet op, da manus først skulle være helt på plads og timingen var rigtigt.

Der var på intet tidspunkt tvivl om, at Mauro var den helt rette til opgaven. Men der var stadig et stykke vej i mål. Vi skulle være enige om stilen i bogen. I bund og grund fik Mauro helt frie hænder – dog ikke i forhold til Walter. Walter skulle ligne sig selv på en prik. Det kunne godt give lidt udfordringer, når to kreative sjæle, skulle forsøge at mødes. Men det lykkes heldigvis på bedste vis.

De første tegninger og skitser. 
Efter at Mauro var blevet introduceret for manus og de første råskitser kunne han gå i gang. Det er imponerende at se, hvordan de forskellige tegning kom til live trinvis.

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Først fremsendte Mauro en skitse over hans tanker omkring det enkelte kapitel. Når tegningen var godkendt, fremsendte han er rentegnet skitse.

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Når den endelige tegning var godkendt, kunne Mauro gå i gang med farvelægningen. Det endelige resultat var nærmest magisk.

Walter den glade hval

Bogen om Walter den glade hval – Der er altid en grund til at smile.

Til bogen har vi brugt i alt 32 illustrationer, som Mauro flittigt har arbejdet på, sideløbende med hans studie. Hele vejen gennem bogen er der gemt små hints, sjove dyr og fine deltager, som langsomt kommer frem jo mere man læser bogen.

Jeg er dybt beæret over, at have arbejdet med Mauro og glæder mig allerede til næste projektet. Tusinde tak igen, til dig kære Mauro.

10914729_10206045800649878_5499354204922924400_oDu kan læse mere om Mauro her: Dellibowie

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2017 – Hard beatings and loving, supporting hugs

2017 was a wild year! A crazy wild year! A year full of amazing unforgettable moments, but also a hard that gave the me the hardest beatings. A year, where I on several occasions had to pinch my arm, just to make sure, that it all wasn’t just one happy dream. At the same time, it has been a year with countless sleepless nights. Nights were I found my self starring into the wast air, just hoping that it was all just a bad nightmare, and that I would soon wake up. But for better and worse, the year of 2017 has shaped Walter & me as entrepreneurs.
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When you are standing there, at the beginning of the year. Holding your fragile little start-up company in the hand. Just gazing upon the year that lies ahead, it is impossible to guess what awaits you in the new year. Basically you can only see a few weeks ahead. After that the road becomes unclear and takes a sharp turn around a corner. From there on, you can only guess what will happen and you just hope for the best.
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2017 seemed to start very nice and gentle. Instead, it hit me hard in the face with a cold and wet slap – or maybe it was more like a fist.  My financial fundament was pulled away from right under me. As an entrepreneur, one must typically prepare oneself to live under the concept off “boot-strapping”, as they call it. At first I did not fully understand what that meant or implied.

But as time went by, I got to learn the full understanding of the concept. Basically it means, that you have to cut down on your expenses… You have to cut down on everything! Revenues are small when you are a relatively unknown up-coming design brand. At the same time, it costs money to run a business – a lot of money. As a certain colleague in the real estate industry once told me “You have to burn money, to earn money”.

So to make ends meet, I helped a good friend a few days a week to keep his business flying. But on a cold January day, he announced that, from that day on, there would be no money for wages…
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It was a tough and unexpected message to get, but that’s how it goes. And as little Walter always says so happily “there’s always a reason to smile” And sure there was! A good friend and I got behind the wheel and drove across the country. Soon we had built a solid network of retailers. At the same time, there is nothing like a solid financial crises, to kick the creative boost.
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Never before had I started so many creative projects as in the first quarter of 2017. Particularly one project had potential and ended up being our biggest investment since Walter the happy little whale was born. A project we are looking forward to launch in spring of 2018.
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The hard beatings was soon replaced by a huge loving hug, when Design by Witt was voted Entrepreneur of the Year in Frederiksberg. It was a completely surrealistic experience and it was a huge boost on the self-confidence. The loving hugs was then followed with another huge loving hug from Illum’s Bolighus, who took on Walter and the other Tokens of Happiness. Getting Illums Bolighus on the retail list had been an main goal from Day 1 in Design by Witt.
Walter & Illums Bolighus
Summer and Autumn offered some tough months, which, as a matter of fact, had shaped me as a person and given both Walter and I some extra hair on the chest. Life as an entrepreneur is not always easy. It is basically about facing challenges and overcoming them. It can be exciting and fun in itself. But when the challenges come unexpectedly from people who are close to you, it’s in every way uncomfortable and ugly. It puts things in perspective and forces you to be more carefull about who to deal with. On the upside you do learn a lot of these challenges and become more hardened and professional.
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Fortunately, 2017 was not done showing off its good side. We had an amazing cooporation with Micheal Bundesens and in the autumn, it happened quite unexpectedly that Design by Witt won yet another prize – This year’s entrepreneurship-stand in Tivoli. I can honestly admit, that it was a bit of a chock to me. Luckily I was happily unaware of how much work it would really require, to get a retail stand in Tivoli.
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It meant 25 days straight in Tivoli with min. 12 hours working days. But it was 3 fantastic weeks and every day was nothing but adventurous. It was great fun meeting so amazing many sweet people. At the same time, it helped develop a whole new concept – namely the Walter machine. It became a huge hit. Again, I my dear parents gave there help and support.
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Tivoli gave us a beautiful fairtale ending of the year 2017. We are now in every way ready to cheer on an exciting 2018.
Once again, it’s not to say what the year will offer in advance. But Walter and I are really looking forward to making It a little bit extra happy. See you out there 😀

EN GANG GARDER – ALTID GARDER

Solen stod højt på himmelen, over Garderkasernen i Høvelte. Til trods for den store folkemængde, der var samlet på den åbne eksercerplads, var der helt stille. Midt på pladsen stod Chefen for Livgardens Vagtkampagni, Søren Østergaard. Hans blik var stift rettet mod et helt kompagni af værnepligtige Gardere. Til trods for alvoren, havde han et skævt, men stramt smil på læben.

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Pludselig brød han tavsheden, med sin sidste befaling til flokken: “TIL CIVIL! TRÆD AF!”.  Befalingen blev efterfulgt af et jubelbrøl fra hundredevis af unge mænd og kvinder, som netop havde afsluttet deres værnepligt ved den Kongelige Livgarde.

 

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Måske man selv skal have været der, for rigtigt at forstå, den ære og stolthed, der er forbundet med den Kongelig Livgarde. En institution og et regiment, der bygger på gamle traditioner, ubrydelig kameratskab og den helt særlige opgave det er, at vogte og værne om det danske Kongehus.

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Et regiment jeg selv har haft æren af, at være en del af. Eller for at være helt korrekt; Et regiment jeg stadig har æren af, at være en del af. For som Chefen for Livgarden ganske rigtigt pointerede i sin tale til de aftrædende Gardere “En gang Garder – Altid Garder”.

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Det er efterhånden er en hel del år siden, at jeg selv blev aftrådt til civil. Men paraden i dag ganske særlig for mig og Design by Witt. Vores design, Den Vagtgående Garder, havde nemlig en helt særlig rolle at spille.

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Øverstekommanderende og Chef for hele den Kongelige Livgarde Mads Rahbek, overrakte hæderspriser til 4 af Vagtkompagniets Gardere.

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Gardere som hver især havde gjort sig særligt bemærkede. Som en del af deres hæderspris, fik de overrakt plakaten “Den Vagtgående Garder – Attitude is a choice”.

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Samtidig havde Gardernetværk også en hæderspris, der skulle overrækkes. Adm. Direktør og medlem af Gardernetværks hæderskomite, Torben Schwabe, stod for overrækkelsen.

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Prisen – Design by Witts Garderfigur – blev givet til en Garder, som havde gjort en særlig indsats for Livgarden. Med indgraveringen “Fortjent”, modtog Garder Martin S-D Hansen prisen.

Som Gl Garder, kan jeg slet ikke beskrive med ord, hvor stolt og helt igennem beæret jeg er. At se sit design blive anvendt som hæderspris, ved at så prestigefyldt regiment som Livgarden – det er bare ubeskriveligt.

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Jeg og hele holdet bag Design by Witt, ønsker alle aftrædende Gardere held og lykke fremover i deres civile liv. De har nu hver især noget helt særligt med i rygsækken.

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En ekstra lykønskning skal naturligvis lyde til de Gardere, som modtog deres hæderspriser.

 

WALTER & THE SHU-BI-DUA LEGEND

WALTER THE WHALE & THE SHU-BI-DUA ROCKSTAR LEGEND

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Sometimes one great thing leads to another great adventure. Sometimes you are just presented with an opportunity, that seems too good to be true. Sometimes you simply feel absolutely humbled and honored about the people, who show interest in your work. But every time Im surprised how fare you can reach and how much happiness you can create, simply by following your heart and your passion.

Ten years or so ago, I was standing in the crowd at some music festival. Preforming on stage was one of Danmarks most beloved national bands SHU-BI-DUA. Lead singer Michael Bundesen and the rest of the band seriously got the crowed going.

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Every time this band was preforming, you would be sure to hear their hit song about Hvalborg the Whale. This time was no exception.

At that time, I had no idea how big an impact this song would have on me and my start-up!

Imagine your self building a concept of happiness based on “Walter the happy whale”, in a country where the entire population, knows the song about Hvalborg the Whale. The first two years all I did, was to tell people that the correct name of my whale was WALTER!

Some years later lead singer Michael Bundesen tragically suffers from a stroke in the brain. Against all odds he fights his way back to a life, keeping his great spirit and good humor intact. Michael is no longer able to preform on stage. But when you have a creative mind, not even a stroke can keep you down. So Michael has started to paint. Now he creates beautiful paintings full of color, life and humor.

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Last week I was presented with the award “Entrepreneuer of the year 2017” in my local community.

After the ceremony, a women came up to me. She just heard, that I got the award for making a start-up in the design business. She told me, that she was connected to an art gallery. Now she was kean on learning more about my design. When I told her my trademark design was a happy whale, she immediately lit up in a big smile. “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?” she asked. She wanted to discuss some super exciting project, that might have my interest.

As it turned out, she was the art mentor of Michael Bundesen. Now I was the one who immediately lit up in a big smile. The woman was Lill-Marlene from Puls Art Gallery. She saw some great potential in a fusion project, bringing art and design together. I totally loved the idea. We brainstormed for a while and two days later, I had the honor of meeting Michael Bundesen him self.

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Meeting people like Michael is truly inspiring. I was amazed to meet this person, who had been through hell and back and still kept his light spirit and good sense of humor. I was super proud to hear, that this man also found my design appealing and that he wanted to make a cooperation with Walter & I. So he generously offered to paint on one of my special editions of Walter the happy whale. Im my opinion Michael truly made Walter even more bright and appealing.

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For now we are storing the whale for display at the Puls Art Gallery. But soon we will announce the purpose of this fusion project.
On the 24th of June, you can come see Walter and all the beautiful pantings of Michael Bundesen at his speciel event – World Premier of Michael Bundesen.

One small step for Illums Bolighus… One giant step for Walter!

ILLUMS BOLIGHUS IS NOW REALITY

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This picture has been my visual goal and motivation every day for the last three years! A simple picture showing Walter being launched at Illums Bolighus. But ever since I started this journey with Design by Witt and my little happy Whale Walter, the only place this picture existed, was in my mind. I visualized the picture and burned it into my mind. Now, three years later, this picture is no longer just a product of my imagination. Today the picture is very real.

But how do you end up in the flagshipstore of Illums Bolighus? The nr 1. interior design retailer i Denmark. Why was Illums Bolighus the main motivation? And now that Walter is launched in Illums Bolighus, then what is the next goal and motivation?

About three years ago, I got this somewhat funny and crazy idea. For some time, I had had the dream and the urge to try to start up a project or a business of my own. On a daily bases I was working as a real estate agent. But I wasn’t completely satisfied, so I made a decision and quiet the real estate business to go start my own design brand. You can read the whole story here. 

My dear cousin was one of the first persons ever to lay eyes on this little design, I had just made. From the first moment she saw Walter the Whale, she told me, it should be sold at Illums Bolighus.

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She was working at Illums Bolighus herself, and quiet an expert on interior design. This statement did something to me. I lit up my motivation like never before.

Quiet early in the process, she managed to set up a meeting with the purchasing manager at Illums Bolighus. I showed up with a good friend, and we actually had a great meeting. The purchasing manager liked my designs and the concept. But she need something more. A concept and a univers surrounding the designs. On top of this she needed some nice wrapping and a guarantee for a serious and stable big scale production.

Two purchasing managers and 2,5 years later, my good friend and I showed up at Illums Bolighus again. We had been working on all the demands the first manager had asked for and once again my dear cousin had helped us set up a new meeting. This time Design by Witt was no longer just an idea of a business based in an old wooden workshop. This time Design by Witt was a serious business, with retailers all over DK and in NYC, London and Cologne. This time we had a professional set up, a unique concept and a happy univers surrounding the designs.
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45 minuets later we walked out of Illums Bolighus. This time we didn’t just have a great meeting. This time we closed the deal!

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Just getting out of Illums Bolighus

My friend and I went to a near by cafe, to just sit down and reflect on what just happened. As we sat there my friend looked at me and said “Martin! You still might not understand what just happen in there. But when you get home, you gonna flip out completely”. And he was absolutely right! The journey from my fathers wooden workshop, till finally being singed up with Illums Bolighus, had been one of the most exhausting experiences for me. So yes, I got emotional.

WorkshopThis is my beloved workshop 🙂

But the thrill of sealing the deal, was in every way worth the effort. At the same time it taught me an important lesson. If you go all in, work hard and fight for what you believe in, then anything is possible. For me personally this is the finally approval and blue stamp to show, that my happy little whale is recognized as a serious design.
Last week the company also won the “Entrepreneur of the year” award.

Walter & Illums Bolighus
So what now? What is next? Well, only time will tell 😉 But I promise you this! Very soon we will reveal our next big project. Another project that will take us yet another step closer to full-felling our main vision – To become the next danish design icon.

Learn more about Design by Witt at our webpage