meet the illustrator: anna mäki-jyllilä
Writer: Emma Ranne
ILLUSTRATION: Anna mäki-jyllilä
Me and Anna met up on one of this autumn’s stormiest afternoons up until now. While the trees were bending in the breezy autumn storm we snuggled up with some hot tea and coffee at cafe Blossom to hide from the cold. We had a cozy discussion about current inspirations, summer memories and spirit animals. I had a lovely time getting to know this young lovely illustrator talent:
Heya, Can you please shortly introduce yourself?
I’m Anna, 19 years old and I’m from Helsinki. I really love drawing and writing which are both ways for me to express my thoughts and ideas. Besides that I enjoy reading a good book and watching movies. Lately I’ve been loving to tune into my home and build a space out of it that feels like my own. I like to see my home like a kind of art work, a collage of things and pieces that are meaningful to me. Also I recently started my 2nd year at uni studying architecture.
Oh that’s really cool, how have you been liking that?
I’ve been enjoying it a lot! Of course there are some elements to it that are not so fun, but for most of it I’ve really liked it. My interest for architecture has just been growing during the past year.
What are you most excited about this autumn?
I have some ideas that I want to explore more through both drawing and writing. This past summer I’ve been thinking lots about what the things are that actually feel of importance to me, and what it is that I in the end want to devote my time to. After the first year of uni, I realized that I needed to find a balance where school work wouldn’t consume all of my time. It’s easy to get lost in that world, especially since the things we study actually are very interesting and exciting, but I think it’s really important for me to have time for my own projects as well. I’ve been playing with the idea of maybe publishing some more of my work, and to explore new channels for doing so. That’s really been inspiring me lately.
What is one of your favourite qualities about yourself?
Hmm, I have always had a need for trying to understand things. I’m curious about learning about the worlds of others, to gain more knowledge about different concepts. I love to explore things in my thoughts in order to understand them better. I’d say that’s one of my favourite qualities about myself.
Favourite summer memory:
I just had a thought about this the other day to be prepared to answer since it’s the classic question to be asked whenever seeing someone after the summer, haha. One really good memory is an evening on which I cycled to the sea along a new route to meet at the harbour with a good friend of mine. It was lovely to see the familiar city from a new perspective. I had some chocolate truffles with me that I had brought with me from my trip to Italy, and she had brought very sweet fresh plums since it was right at the start of plum season. We talked and talked and I got a lot of new ideas. It was a very beautiful evening.
What is your relationship to drawing?
It something that I’ve always been doing. Sometimes more, sometimes less. These days I feel like whenever I haven’t been drawing for a while I start to feel a bit lost. It’s an important way for me to express things, to think and to feel feelings. To me drawing is for a big part about trying to organize and express feelings you couldn’t do with words. If writing to me is to think with care and thought, drawing would be feeling feelings with care and thought.
A book that everyone should read:
I recently read H is for hawk by Helen Macdonald, which I really think is worth a read for most of us. It explores the relationship between us humans and the nature in a really captivating way. It’s all about how we people tend to value the nature through ourselves. We either aim to benefit from it in one way or the other, or we give it value because we see it as something beautiful. The book is a good reminder for us to see the nature as something worthy and valuable on its own. It’s its own world and beautiful even without our valuation for it.
An inspiration of yours:
My friends inspire me a lot. I’m also inspired by things and places, and the thoughts that people bind to them. I love the idea of how memories, that in a way are so fragile to be forgotten, can be kept alive in small concrete pieces.
What is your spirit animal?
Ohh that’s a difficult one, but I think I’m going with hedgehog!
Be sure to have a look at more of Anna’s art on her Instagram-accounts
@annamakijy and @artisteanna