Autumn 2015 I graduated from The Aalto University of Arts and Design. Life was hectic with studies, work and two little boys + one bigger man. When it was finally time to do my thesis, I wanted to use it wisely and do something that would help me in my work as a designer. I decided to slow down, take a deeper look into the creative process 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 have more time to be creative. I wanted to find some kind of formula for my working, tools to use and help me to face the 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 random 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 from my box.
This journey I made turned out to be very important. It was all very basic things, no hard 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 black&white elements and surfaces that I later worked for colored ones in Sketchbook 2. After the project was done, I also showed my works to some companies. You can see sketches turned into patterns in collections of Nanso, Lapuan Kankurit and Samuji.
The art prints on my website are these sketches. Some from the Thesis, some done after that. Selling them wasn't my idea in the beginnig and so the growing interest in them has really surprised me! Creative process and trying to understand it is endless and something we all think. Where to find inspiration? How to know what is a good? What are the things I'm interested in and where do I just follow the others? I also realize how the methods I once found can become new rules I try to obey. So in the end, there is no right or wrong way or final answers but rather careful listening and examining.