Instagram: @polkapaper

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

Hello, we are Kristiina Haapalainen & Sami Vähä-Aho and we illustrate and produce paper goods under the name Polka Paper. We live and work in Kimito Island, Finland. We have an old wooden house with a big wild garden where we spend most of our time with our three little kids. We also love walking in the woods and by the sea here on our home island. We’ve met each other 20 years ago and started to work together. We got the same kind of interest in illustration, making things independently, and creating things with your own hands. Many things have changed but we still do have the same interests and ideas of how to work.


2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

We love to draw people surrounded by nature. Peaceful moments of happiness.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

Watercolor & gouache.

4. What is your artistic process like?

After we have get an idea, we make some pencil sketches and start painting. Finally, some computer work for adjusting colors or fixing some smaller details.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

Nordic nature, everyday living, art, design, garden, forest and music.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you
view the world?

Art is an everyday thing. We draw and paint everyday and enjoy art that other people have created.


7. Where did you study?

We both studied arts and crafts in the city of Kuopio and that’s also where we met.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Making art and raising our three children.

9. What about in ten?

Making art and raising our three children.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

We hope that we can continue creating our own illustrated world and take
care of our family with this small business of ours.


11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your
favourite food?

Homebaked stone-oven vegetarian pizza

12. Favourite book?

Recent favourites: The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories, David Byrne: Bicycle Diaries, Kazuo Ishiguro: The Remains of the Day

13. Favourite genre of music?

Soul, jazz and rock’n’roll.

14. What are your hobbies?

Drawing, gardening and walking in forests. Renovating our 80 years old
wooden home. Baking.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

Artisan of some sort. Gardener.