Scribble Artist Interview with the creators of Illustration Challenge!
Scribble Town (ST): Illustrationchallenge.com is a site for everybody to share their unique creative responses to fun and interesting challenges. For example, the current challenge is illustrate your mythical creature! I wonder what you’ll come up with ;).
So, who are the genius creators of Illustrationchallenge.com? They are Kirsti Maula and Mikko Sinvervo and we’re lucky to have them with us in Scribble Town. Please let us know a bit about yourselves.
Kirsti Maula: I’m a freelancer graphic designer and illustrator. I do print design, for example book covers, layouts, posters and brochures. My design work can be seen at www.lufudesign.com. With time I have found out that my favourite work includes always illustration. some way or another. I like to have a job where I can also find myself playing with playdough, sewing machine, or cutting shapes out of paper. The best work are always the ones I had most fun making.
Mikko Sinervo: I’m an architect and my day job is in hospital design. However, my true passion lies in my artwork which is rather varied from small sculptures and miniatures to drawings and paintings. I also occasionally teach painting or architecture. My wife and I also wrote and illustrated a couple of children’s storybooks, which we’d be happy to share with you later.
ST: You two are very creative in more than one ways. It makes sense that Illustration Challenge comes from two people who like a good challenge! Where are you located and what are you up to these days?
Kirsti: I come from Finland, got married to a German and now we live in Berlin. Freelancing and internet makes me flexible so I don’t have to care about country borders. At the moment I’m one month away from giving birth to my first child, so that will be my biggest creative project so far!
Mikko: I’m currently based in Finland but through my Thai wife I also spend some time in Thailand. Now both of us have commitments in Finland so that’s where we’ll stay for now. Hopefully we’ll get a change to go and live in Thailand in the near future. That would allow me to pursue my artistic career as well. My next big artsy challenge is to build a diorama for the annual Dinosaur Toy Blog contest. (I’m a huge fan of dinosaurs.)
ST: Congratulations on the the little one coming your way, Kirsti! Mikko, you must keep us posted on your dinosaur diorama. You yourselves are involved with other competitions and now tell us what is Illustration Challenge and how can we get in the loop? Is it for everybody? How do you find your participants or how do they find you?
Kirsti: Illustrationchallenge.com is a platform for whoever wants to draw more! It is free, easy and without any obligations, we just wish to keep the creativity flowing! I have posted links to some forums that have connection to illustration and we have found followers from twitter and facebook. Participants come from all around the world, and they all have their own approach to the challenges. That’s what makes it fun!
ST: Illustrationchallenge.com is all about being inspired by creativity and giving somebody a reason to create. What inspired you to make a platform for this?
Kirsti: To be very honest it was born out of being a little lazy. I love drawing, and had a dream of becoming an illustrator. But I never seemed to have the time to take my pencils out. As a designer I work well under deadlines and I thought that I should take the same approach to illustration. At first I thought of setting up a blog, but ended up making it an open platform for everyone. I just thought it would be much more fun to see what other people came up with the challenges!
ST: Sometimes we all need a little push and why not encourage each other with creativity questions?! There’s a deadline soon coming up. Can’t wait to see all the illustrations related to Life on Mars! What prompted you to think about this topic?
Mikko: Well – my wife, Fon, is to thank for this challenge. She helped me come up with some ideas for the challenge and Life on Mars seemed rather inviting a topic. It’s not only a great song but an intriguing question – with billions of stars out there we surely are not the only ones, are we?
ST: I’m prone to believe that there are universes waiting to be discovered, but I wonder what other Scribblers think. Check out the creative responses to Life on Mars here. What is your personal connection to illustration? Before working as a team, what did you two do individually? I’d love to know about your path.
Kirsti: I have illustrated for book covers and such for a long while but a year or two ago I realized it was getting more serious than that. Illustrationchallenge.com started as a side project, as I wanted to have free hands to play with ideas and search for my style. For a long time I had a problem finding my individual voice and I got a little frustrated with the thought of having to have a “style”. With illustrationchallenge.com I just decided to try to be versatile and try out as many styles as possible. The most important thing was that I decided that I won’t be critical of the outcome, I would just create something, whatever it was, every week. At certain point some ways of illustrating felt more “me” and I started to explore them. I still don’t feel I have to have a certain style but rather do something that feels like my own thing. Illustrationchallenge.com has been a great way to discover myself and to create portfolio pieces.
Mikko: As I have two kids and a career as an architect, I thought this challenge was great for me because it forced me to draw. Otherwise, I wouldn’t make the time for it.
ST: What was your favorite toy or game as a child?
Kirsti: I loved to play in my own imaginary world. I think sometimes to the point where other kids found me a little weird. I remember often having an imaginary horse galloping by my side wherever I went. If we traveled by car I imagined my horse galloping next to the car window.
Mikko: Dinosaurs! Me and my best friend used to build miniature worlds around dinosaurs, and we also built towns and cities inhabited by imaginary characters.
ST: If you could be a shape what would you be? I’m guessing maybe Mikko will pick something dinosaurish
Kirsti: I would like to be shaped like a barbababa. The pink one.
Mikko: I would be a yellow triangle. Don’t ask me why.
ST: You two are full of surprises! Any last tips on creativity?
Kirsti: Be brave! Don’t be too critical of you drawings. Explore, try different things, don’t be too serious and do what makes you happy. Most of all, keep on doing it!!
Mikko: Just have fun. I think that is the most crucial thing.
ST: Thank you Kirsti and Mikko for sharing with us! Ok, Scribblers, now let’s get cracking on our next picture for http://www.illustrationchallenge.com!
Check out the books Mikko and his wife, Fon, have made at
Fon and Mikko made these books as Christmas gifts for their family and friends. Thanks for sharing them with us too!