1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hi! My name is Suvi Suitiala and I currently live in Oulu, Finland. I grew up in a small town in Northern Finland. Besides being an illustrator I also work as a graphic designer.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I love interesting color palettes, bold shapes and fun details.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I mostly work digitally: it gives me more freedom to experience with colors and compositions. But I also love the look that a traditional pen and paper gives you: lately I’ve been scribbling with kids felt-tip pens and it is a lot of fun.
4. What is your artistic process like?
In my personal work my process is very slow: first I have an idea of an illustration, then I sometimes write it down. The thought process is very long, I usually don’t make any sketches until I have the idea more crystallised in my mind. Then I do a quick sketch on paper, scan it and move to digital (Photoshop + Wacom tablet). Deciding on the colors is a big part of my work. In a sense my process is very wandering: usually, the piece changes a lot from the original idea to finished work. In commissioned work, the process is pretty much the same but more high-speed. Sometimes I push myself to work quicker, not to be more efficient but to make the work more intuitive and ultimately more fun.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
People, the way they dress, colors, feelings, photography, movies. Sometimes I take screenshots of shows or movies because I love the setting/color palette/composition/expressions in a certain scene. Even though I don’t work with mediums like inks or watercolor I love seeing art made with them: I love wobbly lines and stuff that looks ’’accidental’’ in a good way.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
It’s a big part although I rarely think about it like that. It’s a way to reflect feelings, relieve stress, a source of joy or a way to experience something new and a bunch of other things. Art should get more credit in this world.
7. Where did you study?
I studied graphic design at the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi (Finland).
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’d like to have the freedom to work from where ever I choose and do fun projects. I want to concentrate on illustration more and see where it takes me.
9. What about in ten?
Pretty much the same.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Looking at other people’s art brings me a lot of joy so I hope my art can make somebody’s day even a tiny bit better. Also, a way to pay my bills?
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Something home-cooked: I’ve been eating a lot of take-away food lately because I’m a lazy cook and now I’ve had enough of it! A home-cooked pasta is always a good idea.
12. Favourite book?
It’s hard to pick just one… I love the Napoli series by Elena Ferrante so maybe that.
13. Favourite genre of music?
This is a tough one as well, I listen to a lot of music and I can’t really say I prefer a certain genre over another. I love anything that makes me move, dance, think, not think, sing or just makes me feel better. My Spotify tells me I’ve been listening to a lot of Big Thief this year.
14. What are your hobbies?
Snowboarding is my passion. Since I grew up by the mountains, I’ve been snowboarding since I was a kid, I also competed in it a bit. I love the multitude of it: I can go take a day-long backcountry trip and admire nature or just take laps at the park or go ride the slopes. It’s a very social sport: I’ve made some very good friends through it, and it’s always a lot of fun to ride with friends and catch up with them. It makes me feel better about myself. Also, I started skateboarding a couple of years ago. I’m not pretty good at it (yet!) but I like it a lot.
Anyway, I’m a Sporty Spice, I like to do almost any kind of sport, it’s fun. I also like to read, dream and watch the same tv-series over and over again.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I have no idea.