I have admired Anna Emilia's beautiful work for some time now. The Finnish illustrator, designer and artist has such a large and bountiful portfolio that you could spend a whole day looking at. Anna's stunning floral patterns, attention to detail and soft colour palettes have captivated a range of top clients for editorial work, book illustration and textile design.
After graduating I knew that I want to start my own company. It took a little while to get everything sorted, to learn how to begin as an entrepreneur, to fill quite many papers and to understand many new things. I took a course about starting a company for a few months that helped a lot. Through the course I also met people who could help. In April 2010 my company name was agreed and that is when everything started with my small and beloved company named after myself, Anna Emilia.
2. Can you give a quick insight into your working method? (ideas, techniques, etc.)
I paint with watercolours and usually my way of working is very spontaneous. For most of the flora paintings there are no sketches at all, for more complicated ones, with huts, houses, people and fauna there are some preliminary ones. Usually I do have the idea of the finished piece in my head and can just paint as long as it looks the same as in my mind.
3. What has been the hardest single obstacle to your life in design (apart from a shortage of time, which seems to be universal amongst creatives!)?
- (Sorry, I can´t think of any!)
4. How do you stay motivated? What inspires you?
The greatest inspiration is the nature. Having a walk in the middle of the day solves any problem.
5. What has been the icing on the cake for you as a artist/designer?
Even though every work is the biggest thing happening when I am working on them, I think the second prize at Mikkeli 10th Illustration Triennial this summer for my illustrations for the book "Casa di fiaba", published by Topipittori, has been a great moment. Every time when a new customer contacts me, I can feel it in my tummy. In a way it is every time like winning a small prize. Also, some lovely people who have sent me letters, even their own drawings, it feels very important and powerful the same time, causing a few tears when opening those letters.
6. Who do you admire (other artists/designers; other people generally) and what/who are your biggest influences, past or present?
I admire my friends who all are so creative in their own way and inspire me greatly.
My work space is at home, from my painting table I see today a very rainy lake with two swans swimming and an emerald green summer forest and a meadow behind it.
8. What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
When I was living in Iceland, I learnt that Icelandic people can do anything and everything at the same time. I think that is the best advice I ever learnt.