Instagram: @salmi_anna Tumblr: salmianna.tumblr.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I am from Finland and originally from a small town called Porvoo (look it up, it’s cute!), it’s an hour away from the capital Helsinki. I moved to Helsinki when I was 16 to go to an art high school here and I still live in Helsinki. I graduated few months ago and have been working as a freelancer since.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.I’m very much into pastel colors, badass women, dash of FUN and I also like to add a small element of surprise to my work.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?I used to do only traditional mediums and preferred watercolors but after starting to study Graphic Design I learned to use digital mediums better and now I make almost everything with Photoshop and then some editing with After Effects. I guess you can still find my interest to watercolors since I use some watercolor textures.
4. What is your artistic process like?I usually try to do some research before, it can be reading articles about the subject or just creating Pinterest boards about the mood or inspiration. Sometimes I use myself as a model for difficult movements for animations and I make small videos to study timings from. I have been teaching myself to animate and started in the spring of 2015 so there is still a lot to learn. Then after that I sometimes make a storyboard, especially for customers. Then I like to just dive in! I need to have a lot of space and quiet around me to get into this flow state with drawing. I loose the sense of time and forget to eat or look outside. I prefer to work fully concentrated and try to finish everything relatively fast. Often that is not possible for commissions but when I do personal projects I keep in mind from the start not to make anything too time consuming. I think that’s why I like GIF animations because I can make them faster. With longer project my self criticism gets in the way of creating things but I have ways to cope with that, friends especially are precious.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I get inspired usually just before going to sleep, I think pop culture like movies, tv-series and music have a lot of effect to my illustrations. I also get inspired by doing boring mundane things like washing dishes or traveling with public transportation.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?I often forget how much art is part of my life since most of my friends and my boyfriend work in creative fields. We share the similar way we view the world and after a while you get used to everyone around you understanding what you are talking about. My family is also in many ways creative oriented and I feel really safe and understood when talking about my work with them.Then sometimes I get so surprised when I am outside my bubble talking about specific fonts in the add or weird color combinations of the curtains and people not understanding me. That makes me appreciate the people around me even more.
7. Where did you study?After middle school I went to the Helsinki Upper Secondary school of Arts and got to experiment so many different ways of making art like photography, film processing, ceramics, silk screen and fashion illustration. After that I went to Aalto University to study graphic design, it wasn’t something that I had planned for a long time. I think I always wanted to be an illustrator but it’s not possible to study that in Finland so I thought graphic design would make sense.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?I like to make lists of dream clients and projects to do and then try my best to gravitate towards them. I would definitely like to see myself create something related to music, for example music videos or visuals for concerts. I would love that I would be doing more editorial illustrations and more diverse illustrations for teens. I would also love to be making animation workshops around the world and that I would travel more. Oh and I’d love if in ten years I would have a greyhound friend.
9. What about in ten?Um I think that all of those things above and I hope to still have the same or more amount of passion for what I do.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I would love that especially younger girls would have more diverse illustrated women to relate to and show that they are capable of everything and more.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?I am not picky at all when it comes to food and I love cooking! I like Japanese tastes like seaweed, rice, everything from soy beans or edamame, raw fish and ginger. My boyfriend comes from Naples, Italy and I also adore all the foods from there but especially Buffalo mozzarella I crave for. If someone would create a fusion restaurant from those two countries I would definitely be a regular customer!
12. Favourite book?The most read book lately has been the Animators Survival Kit that I borrowed from a friend a long time ago (Ian I will buy you a new one!). I have dyslexia so it takes a longer time for me to read and I haven’t made time for that in a long time. I prefer listening to podcasts because I can also work at the same time and my favorites are (not in order) This American Life, Serial, The Mystery Show, Criminal, Heavyweight, The Heart, Women Of The Hour, RuPaul: What’s The Tee? with Michelle Visage and 99% invisible.
13. Favourite genre of music?This is always such a difficult question because I like so many different genres. But when talking about music I have to say that I am such a fan girl for Björk’s music.
14. What are your hobbies?This is so weird still when your hobbies become your income and they are no longer your hobbies. I should really get a new hobby. I am starting Italian language course next year and hopefully I will do more sports like yoga.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I really like working with kids so I think I would make forts with them and read them stories and hopefully get paid to do that. Or I would like to work in a animal shelter for Spanish greyhounds. Maybe for now I’ll just make plans to adopt one.