2017 - a year of joy, loss, growing experiences and great steps forward. Along the year I mustered up the courage to start this business for real. It's been a time of trial and error, but I feel like I might start getting the hang of it. Fingers crossed.
I've had the joy to make various custom orders (mainly illustrations) for lovely customers along the year. I'm always grateful about being able to work for and with inspiring people and being able to provide a service especially when it's well received. It's one of my favourite things about my work - getting to create something that someone literally asks for, enriching my art.
I have to mention one of the most fun custom orders of 2017. The ever so talented and interesting Sinéad Obrey published her first book "Fågeltanken", and I got to make an adaptation of my feather dress for her to wear at her book release party. She's an incredible writer - her book is a collection of poems with a dark, poignant and above all beautiful poems.
I had the pleasure to travel to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Paris this year. I'm in love with Scotland, such a cozy place with charming people. I have to quickly mention to Kelvingrove museum, wonderful place that displays Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí among other amazing work.
Paris has a strange feeling over it. It has a certain charm. It's pretty filthy, crowded and expensive, but strangely that adds to the allure. Still, I'm always over the moon happy to return to Helsinki after a trip to Paris.
In May I had some of my work displayed in an exhibition - Stories Of: Expression. It was a part of a series of events. The theme for this exhibition was feelings. Visual and musical works addressed feelings of sorrow, hate, loneliness, depression, anxiety, lovesickness etc. It was a wonderful thing to be a part of, and yet another thing to be grateful for.
This year I did the Inktober challenge. You post an ink drawing every day for thirty days. The challenge was created by Jake Parker in 2009 to improve his skills, and now artists all around the world are partaking. It was a wonderful challenge and great growing experience as an artist. It made me get in to some good drawing habits, and gave me a good excuse to create something for myself and try out new things every day. I didn't use the official prompts by Jake Parker since I feel like they suite a different style better, and I had a lot of things in mind that I wanted to do instead. One of the challenges for me was to come up with new subjects all the time. It was a nice opportunity to visually reflect on some of my thoughts and ideas.
In November I was asked to give a speech at this event for Swedish speaking youth, "Höstdagarna". I got to talk about what I do, and ethical fashion and consumerism. The audience was lovely and I felt really honored by this opportunity. It feels good to be heard and be able to spread a message of collective responsibility, especially to young people that the event is for.
Recently I was given the opportunity to partake in a calendar for Inlace Media. It's a new great platform that is up now https://inlacemedia.com . I'm proud to be a part of a team of 12 female illustrators who got to create powerful illustrations for each month of the year.
During the past year I made an effort to study 21st century fashion more in depth. I took a course at Aalto, a local university, and did some google deep diving on interesting topics. It really has contributed to my creative process and it has greatly improved my understanding of the overwhelming and strange wheel that is modern day fashion.
When it comes to personal growth in an artistic perspective, I've gained a lot of confidence and courage and been able to express some more personal things and fundamental ideologies through my art the past year. It's genuinely terrifying sometimes to publish something close to yourself, but it can be very rewarding. Even some reflections on animal cruelty from my vegan perspective were received surprisingly well, though it's not a very pleasing subject to many. The Inktober challenge turned out to be really rewarding in regards to this as well. As a result I'm going to do more personal and expressive art the upcoming year.
I think I've managed to gather most of the highlights of the professional aspect of my year. In between all of this there's been custom orders to make, portfolio building and dealing with the everyday stuff like bookkeeping and so on. I'm looking forward to experiencing 2018, managing this business and site and just developing as an artist.
I wish you all a wonderful 2018, let's make it a good one.