Interview with Aino-Maija Metsola

Her illustrations, prints and patterns look like the perfect dream of folclore: Aino-Maija Metsola is a freelance illustrator based in Helsinki, Finland. And we’re glad to have her here today, answering some questions about her inspiration and work.

Among her clients is the finnish label Marimekko, who is well known for its multi-colour patterns on linen, porcelain or cloth. We like!

See what else she had to tell us:

Why and when did you start making art?
I have been making pictures ever since I can remember. However I don’t know when my pictures started being art.

What kind of art do you make?
I mostly work in the field of illustration and textiles. But I’m interested in other things too, for example I once designed the shape of a chocolate with my husband. Usually I work with watercolours or ink, but I like experimenting with techniques that I’m not familiar with and drawing just for myself when I have time. That helps me to maintain interest in my work.
Art, nature, weather, birds, books, libraries, fairytales, sailing, small trips, conversations and everyday life.

What does your usual workday look like?
My workdays are quite different from each other. I have sometimes tried to separate work time from my other life, but I have noticed it to be almost impossible. So I try work when I feel like it. When I’m not making pictures I take long walks with my dog, knit, drink coffee or tea, look for inspiration from different places and maybe sketch a little. Usually I work best in the evening or in the morning if I manage to wake up early.

How do you spend a perfect sunday?
I would spend a perfect sunday sailing to some island I have never been to. I would lie on the rock, swim in the sea and have a nice, long picnic.

What is your favourite taste of chocolate?
Dark chili chocolate.

Show me your favourite artwork (from your own collection or another artist)
The animation Jozhik v tumane (Hedgehog in the Frog) directed by Yuriy Norshteyn.

Whom should we interview next?
If I could choose anyone I would say Kazumasa Nagai, I find his work really inspiring.

If you could have coffee with a famous artist – dead or alive – whom would you choose?
One of the people who made the Chauvet cave paintings, though I’m not sure if he/she would drink coffee.

What is your philosophy of life?
Love. Respect all living things.

Thanks, Aino-Maija!