Like many of the people I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with on the Nordic Notes blog I first discovered the incredible work of artist and designer Teemu Järvi while on my travels.
For me, if you could capture the spirit of Finland in a single item, it would have to be one of Teemu’s beautiful yet striking ink drawings.
Using traditional tools, Teemu creates so much in just a few expressive strokes, and it is these drawings that are then reproduced as posters, prints and textiles for design lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.
Having the opportunity to find out more about his creative journey as well as his artistic inspirations has been an honour.
Here’s what Teemu had to tell me:
How did your creative journey start, what inspired the direction your career would go on to take?
My background is originally in interior architecture and furniture design, which I did as a profession for 15 years.
During this time, I created many concepts and products for Finnish, as well as international companies, but in 2012 I decided to take a break.
It was during this time I established Teemu Järvi Illustrations, a company that is solely based on my lifelong love for nature, outdoor hobbies and freehand sketching.
Describe a regular day in the studio, what does this usually involve?
As a small company I spend a lot of time on the operational side of things as well as the creative. This means that when I do have time in the studio, I want to give it my full attention.
We are currently expanding our paper collection, and working on new products has been super exciting and fulfilling.
For me, being in nature is the only way to get truly inspired so I spend as much time as possible at my small cottage in the wilderness of Lapland. It’s far away from everything and whatever the season I am always surrounded by the native animals and plants I love to draw.
Talk us through your latest designs, what have they been influenced by?
My latest poster collection is inspired by an Asian printing method called ‘gyotaku’ which was traditionally used for documenting the fisherman’s catch.
This ancient practice is such a fascinating way to record memories and experiences out in the wilderness. With gyotaku ink is applied directly on to the natural subject and then rubbed on or pressed against paper to create the picture.
It allows me to capture fish and plants extremely delicately, repeating even the smallest details such as individual scales and stems.
At a time when the modern world is feeling under immense pressure, how does your work soothe and celebrate a slower approach to life?
For me a walk in the woods helps combat any stress and anxiety I may have. The Japanese call it Shinrin-yoku, or ‘forest bathing’, and it is a recognised method for preventive health care.
Breathing the forest air and listening to the sounds of birds and the wind blowing through the trees will calm you down, help you focus and improve how you sleep.
There is a silent message in my illustrations that I want people to feel happy and grounded when they see them, and thereby I hope people will respect nature even more.
Where are your prints, products and textiles available from? How do people purchase your work?
Teemu Järvi products are available in over 100 stores around the world. From leading artistic destinations such as the Design Museum in Helsinki to the incredible Manufactum store in Berlin. While we may not be in the UK yet, you can find the entire collection in our online store.
Save 20% at Teemu Järvi Illustrations
Thank you so much to Teemu for chatting with me, I am looking forward to seeing the new products due for release this summer.
Teemu Järvi has kindly offered Nordic Notes readers a 20% discount on all items purchased from their online store. All you need to do is enter the code ‘NORDICNOTES’ when prompted at the checkout.
Please note the discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and valid from 20th April 2020 until midnight on 3rd May 2020.
Teemu Järvi Illustrations kindly gifted the products featured in this post, but all words and opinions are my own.
Image 3 courtesy of Teemu Järvi, all other images by Nicola Capper.