In Autumn 2021 I took part in two exhibitions in collaboration with artist Sibel Kantola. Chromophilia was the first one, with prints made of our paintings for outdoors hanging on the beautiful street Luostarin välikatu in central Turku. Artist Paul Krispijn also took part with a light installation that was visible in the autumn evening. In December Sibel and I also made a Christmas/winter themed exhibition in the same frames. The frames were built in June 2021 by Hasan Al-Rubaye, with funding from Stiftelsen för Åbo Akademi. They were made for the photography exhibition Love Crossing Boundaries, organized by Nana Blomqvist. Nana gave me free hands to create art for the frames, and I invited Sibel Kantola to join me.
This collaboration was intense but very joyous. And we did not put any breaks on our love for colors (hence the title). Below you can see my half of the artworks from Chromophilia and secondly from the December exhibition.
Sibel and I are working on a webpage together, where we will further exhibit our collaborations and see where we can take it! But those are the plans for 2022.
I want to take the opportunity to wish you a Happy Yule and Happy New Year 2022. 2021 was intense and extremely productive for me. So much so, it has been hard to keep this webpage updated. If you use Tiktok, please go check out @kiiwyn, since I post there quite frequently, and I’m enjoying the simple video format very much.
Wow, I totally lost track of updating this blog after Covid 19 started. At the same, in March-April 2020, I also moved and started a new job. The new job is a longer employment, for which I am very grateful, considering the times we’ve all been living since early 2020.
I’m currently working as a graphic designer and illustrator for a research and development project called Resursstarka barn (Resourceful children).
You can read more about it in Swedish on the soon to be launched website. I’m responsible for the whole visual design of the project, which has been a very fun challenge for me. My past experience fits perfectly in this combination of research, illustration and work with children. I’ve also done the graphic design for other research publications within Novia, but also for Turun Yliopisto/VASSO (I’ll post links to those later when they are published). And more is to come. Many doors have opened, and I’m enjoying being able to go deep into information visualization and design processes.
That is also why I have not updated this blog for so long. I was busy doing the work, rather than promoting it 😀
It feels like I have learned so much the past year, especially my skills in vector art and graphic design have developed a lot. I’m also writing my own design thesis in service design about the project, and therefore not only developing practical skills, but also my design thinking skills.
Meanwhile I was also lucky to be invited into a children’s book project by Jolin Slotte. Jolin worked together with 140 children and created a fun story, that I had the privilege to illustrate. I also did the layout for the book. It recently got a very nice review in Swedish here.
A year ago I also had my first solo fine art exhibition in Mökki Galleria. I have uploaded most of the paintings on a new page here now. Most are still for sale, and you can simply contact me for details if you are interested in a painting. I’m going to be collaborating with Mökki Galleria also next year.
This summer I did the graphic design for a photo exhibition here in Turku. The artists Rewan Kakil and Saara Aina have created touching photographs together with project manager Nana Blomqvist. I was very proud to be part of the exhibition by designing flyers and text presentations.
My work with Resursstarka barn continues until the end of 2022. And I also have other projects starting this Autumn. Hopefully I will take the time to write more about them as they progress…
It’s been way too long since my last update, but I have good reasons: I’ve had so much work the past 10 months!
During the Autumn 2018 I started work with a film project, and it is still not finished, although the ending is in sight now. I joined a team making five short films about medieval times in Finland, Ostrobothnia to be more precise. I’m illustrating the films, and as soon as they are out on the web, I’ll tell you more about them.
In January I joined an amazing company called MiTale, where I will be doing Narrative Design. We are continuing the work with a speech therapy application, that we started already in 2015. But we are also cooking up some other very exciting narrative games, playing around with mixed reality, and visual storytelling is our focus. I’ve found my creative home and my team, and finally I get to realize my dreams about working with visual storytelling and games.
Parts of our team took part in the Energy Hackathon in Turku last weekend, and we got an honorary mention, especially for the narrative design of our game concept and presentation! This felt very encouraging for the future.
I am also particularly proud of being part of a book project: editing, illustrating and designing the book We see you. The book contains texts by thirty writers with different backgrounds and their experiences with being refugees, asylum seekers or being engaged with volunteering or human rights. The book was published in the end of March 2019, and the other two editors and I are now doing interviews and visits at events talking about the book. I hope the book will spread out and be read by many.
For me personally it is very important that my work reflects my values, and currently human rights and the climate crisis are the two most important challenges we have. All of my work is connected in different ways to these two issues.
I am still welcoming new projects, and especially if you are interested in collaborating with MiTale. If you are interested in working with me as an illustrator, I am interested in hearing about your project. But since I have no acute need for more work at the moment I only take on very special projects, and they also need to be well financed.
I have also updated my pricing (and I still believe being open about it is the best way to go!): My hourly wage for illustration, graphic design, writing or consultations is 75 euro / hour (+ 24 % VAT).
When it comes to talks and workshops it is now possible to book me through Läscentrum/Lukukeskus (information in Swedish)!
However, if you are a young aspiring artist, feel free to contact me! I am open to mentoring, and love to help people out in this tough business… I try to answer all requests, and also if you are in Turku, a lunch meeting is a fun way to pick my brain 😉
And as always, if you want to contact me, send an email to email@example.com
In April I finished one of the most extensive illustration jobs I’ve done so far, the book Piga, klockare, inhysing, lots, by the author Carina Wolff-Brandt (book in Swedish, published by Vingpennan). It finally arrived from the printers’ in the beginning of July and is now for sale!
The book is part historical fiction, part fact, about the life of people in the archipelago of Southern Finland during the years 1669-1809.
I begun work on the illustrations in August 2017, and by the end of April the amount of images landed at around 70. They are all graphite drawings, and then digitally assembled and colored. The original drawings are for sale, so if you happen to read the book and wonder about some of the drawings you can ask me about them by sending an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or sending a DM on one of my social media accounts (Instagram @kiiwyn for example). Some of them are already sold, so act fast if you’re interested!
I feel very proud to have been part of the team making this book. The text is fantastic, a very engaging mix of fiction and fact, that paints a vivid image of the people of the archipelago. My task was to imagine places, people and object that are in some cases not pictured anywhere. For example a coast line in the 17th century will look very different. This was a very cool challenge, and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to work with historical illustration. I really hope I will have the chance to do it again!
In the book there are also animals and plants, and this has also been a dream of mine, to have the chance to work with images of flora and fauna. A fantasy I have is to get the opportunity to illustrate a book on botany or similar.
The graphic design is also stunning! Made by Tuire Aho (Anno Design Oy).
Anyway. Cheers to our new book! I’ve received tons of wonderful feedback, and all I want is that as many people as possible see and read this beautiful book.
That is a quote by Rosa Luxemburg, and since I saw it last year I have been thinking it is very descriptive of my attitude towards life. I move on and I need to be free. I also keep creating new things.
It’s time for a blog update, enjoy because they don’t come very often, haha!
Last Spring I finished work on the Literature game I was working on with a writer and a programmer, and a larger team of experts and support organizations. The game itself will be launched next month, so I will write more about it later. I have been using this experience of co-creating a serious game for my Master’s thesis in Service Design, that I hope to complete this Autumn. The thesis writing got delayed because I simply had too much work and big changes in my personal life in the Spring to focus on it. But now it is moving onward.
I also have a new studio and work space from July onwards. It feels amazing to have a large room all to myself.. white walls to fill with ideas and works in progress. But the funny thing is that I currently mostly work digitally, so I still sit cooped up in one corner of the room with my laptop. I hope I can take time to paint more at some point and really use the space that I have now.
My current large project is illustrating a history book. So far the work and collaboration with the writer, AD and editor has been amazing and so much fun. But also hard work. The past week I have put in hours on creating an old 17th century map. It really brought out my perfectionist streak when it comes to visual design…
Meanwhile I am also doing the layout of another easy to read adaptation of the Moomin books, and drawing simple illustrations for a web based language learning material.
And as always some exciting and very secret projects are bubbling under and moving along in their own pace in my mind and together with some awesome people (usually it’s writers). What I have noticed over the years is that what I really love about illustration is that it is collaborative. I get inspired by others, by meeting new people, and forming new work partnerships. They shape me and push me into new directions, and I hope they feel the same excitement I do when we work towards creating something new together.
So. Moving forward with renewed energy and passion for my work.
Yesterday the Sanalanka Speech Application team took part in the Turku ICT ShowRoom, and we got an honorary prize for best educational application! See more information on our Facebook page.
This was amazing news, and I’m very happy to be part of this team. Hopefully the prize will mean that the application will get funding and that we can keep developing it – because it is an amazing idea, and we have an amazing team making it!
I’ve been a busy little bee, the last couple of months. Juggling a staggering amount of projects and searching for new ones at the same time, is time consuming and not very easy at all. But things are looking up, and the future looks bright!
On the studies side, I’ve completed 15 ETCS in Service Design courses last autumn, and now I’m in the middle of a course called Marketing Skills. I’m mostly focusing on developing my company brand in the course project. Very fun and interesting work! Later in the Spring I will attend a class on Future Research – and area that has interested me for a long time. I’ve started writing my Master’s thesis for my degree programme, and my working topic is “Drawing the Future of Illustration”. In the thesis I will focus on my own artist brand, where I want to develop it, and how I see the future of my business.
And then work work work…
My work illustrating an easy to read adaption of the prize winning fantasy novel Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff has been very fun and challenging. I am also doing the graphic design, basically the whole visual layout of the book. I would say I am a bit over halfway done with it now, and the work is due to be finished for printing in June. It will be published by Lärum Förlag in August 2016.
The Speech Therapy Application demo that I’m doing script and graphics for, is soon finished – it is final crunch time at the moment. It will be showcased in the ICT-showroom in March. This work has been an absolute joy, especially the collaboration with the wonderful team! The app and game has raised a lot of interest, which is expected: the idea to make fun games for kids to play, while doing speech therapy is brilliant. There will also be development of technical innovations in the app. I’m very happy to be part of the project, and am hoping to be able to keep developing the app with our awesome team!
And Underworld Kitchen is also under active development again. I’m doing ten more characters, and once again I get to tinker with pixels, and I LOVE IT! I’ll also be doing some environment concepts for the game.
I’ve been teaching comic book drawing on Thursday evenings, and I’m really enjoying coming up with new exercises and experimenting on the students… I’ve been teaching academic subjects for many years, but now I really think I’ve found what I really should be doing when it comes to education. Teaching a more practical subject, like drawing and comics, is just so much fun! And I feel I can really develop as a leader, facilitator and interaction designer at the same time.
Exciting times. The light is returning in the North and life goes on.
As of October I’m doing story writing and graphics for an application project called Sanalanka (“Word Thread” in Finnish).
The goal is to create an interactive book for tablets. The app will have researched speech therapy methods baked into a fun and engaging story with minigames that develop childrens’ language and speech. It will first be made for Finnish speaking children aged 0-3 and 4-6 (two levels). There are four programmers, three speech therapists, three graphic artists involved, and the project is also a Turku University IT student project (Capstone). The prototype is due in March 2016, and the app will then be developed for the open market.