The event that provoked our interest towards hariko was a meeting with a local hariko artisan in Kyoto, Japan in 2015, and later in the summer of 2018. The simple but cute and defined style of the characters initially charmed us and the conversations with the artisan made us more interested in the art form.
As a specific sub-category of hariko, the traditional head-bobbing, bright red cow figurines called akabeko, were particularly fascinating to us. Inspired by these traditional crafts, we decided to create a Finnish akabeko style character utilizing the hariko technique. Many of the Japanese hariko designs feature both local animals and characters from old folktales. We ended up choosing a brown bear as the motif, because it is a regular guest in Finnish folktales besides being our national animal.
For the painting we aimed to re-create to feeling typical for original hariko, but with a Finnish touch. The shape and proportions of the bear we created is also slightly more realistic than in Japanese akabeko.
Me and my dog
Ever since I got my Japanese kokeshi doll in 2015, I have been fascinated by its warm wooden material, the shape and the unique style of painting. As an admirer of Japanese kokeshi I became fascinated about idea of creating a modern, Finnish version of the doll.
I decided make two dolls, that I designed to be displayed together as a pair. Although my painting style differs greatly from the original kokeshi I hoped to paint expressions that could be also described as “demure, innocent looking and cute” –just like when talking about the expressions of original kokeshi dolls. For the colors I wanted to choose something playful, bright and fresh. I was inspired by Finnish brands that use lots of bold colors, such as Marimekko.
Her Mysterious Business
As my graduation project in the Bachelor's program of Visual Communication I designed a series of three illustrative patterns. The patterns I created were digitally printed on cotton sateen, and sewn into decorative pillows.
My goal was to design quirky and cute textile products that would appeal to my main target group: women who love and live their own kitschy, colourful and cute lifestyle.
Telling a story had an important role in my project and all the patterns I designed have background stories that also tie them together. I came up with naivistic short rhymes about each of the background stories and together with the pattern titles they give the viewer a hint about the stories of the patterns without revealing too much.
Series of illustrations created in collaboration with Johannes Kaarakainen for Ylioppilaslehti magazine.
The idea was to let the viewer recognise the topics behind the images mainly through the visual aids so the textual parts were usually only one or two sentences long.
How Americans Spent Money in 2012
My goal was to create a visualisation of information that would be playful and nice to look at compared to some classical, simplified and a little bit plain statistic that are so commonly used in news magazines and such.
Since young age I have been fascinated by miniature props and back then I had quite recently grown more and more interested in colorful and kitschy aesthetics. This inspired me to use actual three dimentional things in my visualisation and as a result I created flat lay-style collage of “How Amercans Spent Money in 2012”.
The props used in the illustration were found from fleamarkets, charity shops, from my own archives or crafted by hand for the illustration.
The animal calendar 2014 was a collaboration project with Johannes Kaarakainen including illustrations of Finnish animals.
I was in charge of illustrations while Johannes took care of typography and main layout. The calendars were printed and bound by ourselves and sold at Christmas Fair of Lahti Institute of Design and Lahti University of Design and Arts` pop-up store in late 2013 and 2014.
Illustrations for HS
Between the years 2009–2014 I drew more than fifty illustrations for Helsingin Sanomat newspaper´s Nuorten Posti, which was a column where young people could write freely about things concerning them.
During those five years l had a chance to draw illustrations diversely about wide range of subjects like bullying, confidence, loneliness, sports, school food, summer jobs and many other things that came up in texts sent to the newspaper by its young readers.