Autumn 2015 I graduated from The Aalto University of Arts and Design. Life was hectic with studies, work and two little boys. When it was finally time to do my thesis, I wanted to spend it wisely and do something that would help me in real life. I decided to take a deeper look into the creative process, slow down and study about my way of doing sketches, my "handwriting" and visual language. What are the things and techniques that inspire me and how would the process go if I had more time to be creative. I wanted to find some kind of formula for my working, that in the future, would help me to face the inevitable fear of blank paper.
It's in our nature - textile and surface designers - that we love to fill the surface. But I feel that sometimes repeating and following the measurements of rotation rolls makes the creative sketching too organized and routine-like. In my studies I tried to avoid that and didn't want to think any company or who so ever to possibly look/like at my works. Instead of repeating elements I started to look at the compositions more like painting on canvas.
I wanted to have a real sketchbook, something I never really had. Instead of piles of vague marks and spots I hoped to have something more meaningful, something that would tell a story. A story, that would convince also me. I sketched a lot and didn't set up any restrictions or rules for my working. I kept the process self-guiding and tried to think outside of the box.
This journey I made turned out to be very important. It was all very basic things, no rocket science or new discoveries for big audience, but for me - yes. Especially studying the creative process made me understand better all its different phases and the steps I often felt eager to skip. In my studies I found my interest in mark-making, something I had done all the time and something that had caught up my eye everywhere. I just hadn't had time to understand and put it into words before.
In the end I had my Sketchbook. Actually two; number 1 told the "first chapter", those elements and surfaces that I later worked for colored ones in Sketchbook 2. After the project was done, I also visited some companies and showed my works to them. You can see some sketches turned into fabrics in the collections of Nanso, Lapuan kankurit and Samuji.
The art prints you can see on my website, are my sketches. Some from the Thesis, some done after that. Selling them as prints wasn't my idea in the beginning and so the growing interest in them has really surprised me! Now, after some years of graduation, I'm still really fascinated by the creative process. I also realize how the methods I once found, by time can become new rules, that I try to obey. So there's no right or wrong way to do but rather knowing yourself better, not taking things too seriously, relax and enjoy. The Goal, not always that easy :)!