In this #beamies article we would like to introduce you to Franzi from Püppi & Lotta . Franzi has specialized in hand lettering and watercolor and has now set up his own business. We want to give you a little insight into what is possible with the help of Mr Beam. Your works have even made it to our booth as an example. So we are convinced of their quality work. 😉
Franz introduces himself
First tell me something about yourself. How did you find out about Mr Beam? How long have you had a Mr Beam? Which model do you have?
Hi, my name is Franzi. I am 35 years old, married, have 2 children, 3 cats and live in beautiful Upper Bavaria between Lake Chiemsee and Munich. I have a small creative studio in the Rosenheim district and became aware of Mr Beam via Instagram in 2021. I looked at the account right away and fell in love right away. I've found the topic of laser cutting very exciting for a long time, but I've never dealt with it in detail. Then I found out right away that you are in Munich - so right around the corner - and somehow one thing led to another. Then I had a bit of contact with dear Jessie from Mr Beam and in March 2021 the first Mr Beam will be in my studio and I am still very much in love after 2 years - meanwhile there are already three Mr Beam II dreamcut [p ] and I don't want to have to do without any of them anymore. 😊
What is hand lettering?
What exactly is handlettering and do you have any tips for our readers?
Hand lettering basically means "The art of beautiful letters".
(Hand = Hand & Letter = letter - i.e. "letters written by hand"). And as the name "Art" suggests, the letters are not written, but rather drawn or painted, so that in the end a small work of art is created from a wide variety of letters or sayings. It's also relatively easy to learn hand lettering if you enjoy fonts and letters a bit - and for most it's actually easier than it looks. As is well known, practice makes perfect, and it's also a bit like Yoga 2.0 - a really nice way to calm down and slow down.
From hobby to self-employment
How exactly did you come to be self-employed with your hobby?
So the self-employment thing was never really planned – somehow one thing always led to another, and then little by little it all just happened. Originally, I trained as an office communications clerk at a bank in Munich and then worked in internal sales for several years – so nothing creative. At the same time, hand lettering became a bit more step-by-step, and I decided to only do that. I have given countless workshops about the VHS here in the area, was at the trade fair in Munich for Boesner, was allowed to give a workshop at Hugendubel in Munich, and have written 3 books.
Somehow there was always the desire to be self-employed one day – but at the time I never knew what to do with it. And here at our house there was a small shop that unfortunately had to close due to Corona. So the opening of the studio was actually anything but planned, but that also just happened - in the most difficult time, because I opened in October 2020, was only open for a month and then had to close again for 6 months because of Corona, but I believe that if you don't try, you have no way of knowing if something will work. And afterwards, I can at least say: I did my best.
I remember when I was doing all the workshops back then and people were always asking me where they got the right material, and unfortunately I always had to answer "On the internet!" as disappointingly there were hardly any shops where you could get them could buy things directly. That's why it was immediately clear to me that there will be a studio where workshops will take place and that you can also buy the right material directly. The assortment changes a bit sometimes, because interests change over time, and you grow with your tasks. I always have new visions and ideas and standing still is not my thing at all, which is why something in my studio is constantly being rearranged or rearranged. In any case, I love what I can and can do every day, and I wouldn't want to imagine it any other way.
The Mr Beam laser cutter as support
That all sounds extremely extensive. It is fascinating how such a business develops from an idea or a project. How was Mr Beam able to support you later, or how did he make your work easier?
To be honest, I was initially overwhelmed because I had so many ideas in my head and didn't even know what to start with - in the end you start with the classics such as engraving card holders, lasering wooden door wreaths, chopping boards engrave, ... things like that. Little by little, one thing leads to another, and I then lasered herbal plugs, for example, simply tried out many things and at some point the idea of “swatching” with the Kraftplex stencils for watercolour paints came up. These stencils were very well received, which is why there are now a really large number of different stencils. For example, there is a number stencil, a typewriter, an "Urban Houses" stencil and much more.
In the end, all these templates are super versatile, and I'm sure that has helped a lot of people a lot, because it really saves a lot of time once you have a "skeleton". And as you know, we all don't have enough time.
Otherwise, you can simply combine the theme of hand lettering and watercolours wonderfully with the Mr Beam - when cutting and engraving. I have already engraved mirrors with my own watercolour motifs, cut wooden and acrylic wreaths with my own writing, engraved a doormat, personalize the watercolour boxes or travel brushes in my online shop as desired and simply love the versatility of Mr Beam.
Mr Beam + Creativity = Perfect Match 🧡
You can see right away that there really are no limits to creativity. Which materials do you prefer to process with the Mr Beam?
That actually changes sometimes - but I prefer Kraftplex because of the templates and because it's otherwise so versatile, and I like the structure so much. But I also really like the wood for wreaths or small pendants for Christmas or Easter. You can implement so many great gift ideas with the Beam, or simply wonderfully enhance a gift with little things. I also have storage jars with wooden lids, for example, which can be engraved as desired.
Oh, what can I say, the Mr Beam is just so versatile, I can't really decide on any favourite material - everything has its certain advantages.
Tips and tricks from the pros
Do you have any special tips for new Mr Beam users that make lasering easier at the beginning?
Well, I keep getting messages from people who write to me that they also have a Mr Beam, but don't dare to do this or that. I'm always of the opinion "Just do it, it could be good!" and I find that you often think too much about certain things. Ultimately, you can't really break anything and if I'm using materials that I'm really allowed to use (if I'm in a pinch, I'll ask the Mr Beam support team directly if I'm not sure), then just get started - without much to think. Imagine, your idea just turns into absolute madness, and you never tried it because you didn't dare!
Your creative projects are very diverse. From postcards to stamps and your own watercolour box, you have already implemented a lot. What would particularly appeal to you in the future?
For me personally, it actually always makes a difference whether I take a finished product that ultimately “only” has my name on it and market it, or whether I develop and sell something of my own. I would actually like to do a lot more, but unfortunately I don't have the time at the moment - as soon as I have a great idea that I can't get rid of, I just take the time.
Either ... or…?
We are definitely looking forward to your future ideas and products! Finally, three “either-or” questions
Would you rather cut or engrave?
The question is pretty nasty, but if I really had to decide, it would probably be cutting, because I think it's a bit more versatile (and without cutting, my stencils would no longer be possible). So cut – but in the end prefer both.
Would you rather give workshops or implement creative projects yourself?
I prefer to implement creative projects myself, because that has simply fallen by the wayside in the last two and a half years, and that is actually the reason why I have this studio in the first place. And I have already given countless workshops, so definitely: implement creative projects yourself. Realize creative projects and simply put ideas into practice and no longer just write them on the to-do list.
Would you rather give a gift you made yourself or a gift you bought?
Always prefer to do it yourself, of course. In the end, self-made doesn't mean that you can't buy anything. But a certain part of it can always be handmade - even if it's "just" a card or a pendant.
Thank you, Franz! You really gave us a comprehensive insight into your work. We are very happy that our laser cutter can support you so well and look forward to your next creations. Be sure to follow Franzi's Instagram account, so you don't miss anything new! By the way, Franzi also bought the new Mr Beam II dreamcut [x] laser head for retrofitting, in order to have twice the output when lasering.
By the way, this board is available as a sample piece at our booth and has already caused a few laughs.