Recently I went to Finland to shoot a small clothing collection designed by Jarna Tikkanen. She is a true artist, fun to be around with and knows how to live life. Here are a few photos from the shoot that should give you a little overview of what she does. Interview-style Jarna answers some questions about her day to day business and background. Here we go:
How much time do you spend on painting these days?
Jarna: Sometimes I get this crazy feeling that I simply have to paint, even if it’s 3 in the morning. I have to wake up and start painting. I get this feeling about 3 times a month and usually I paint for myself only when feel like doing it. Of course I also paint orders.
Your family runs VillaWool, a knitwear company. When did you first get involved and how does your work for VillaWool look like today?
I got involved at a young age, when I was about 10 years old. I always used to do beanie designs and 14 years later I still do. In the 2010 collection I made one hat that comes with an individual embroidery, no two beanies are the same.
How do you come up with so many ideas if every hat is different?
When I started to stitch the embroideries my head was almost exploding from ideas. By the 400th hat things did get a little more complicated. But the world is full of things to get ideas from, like if I’m stitching an anchor I already get the next idea - boat, fish and so on...
What kind of influences does living in Helsinki, one of the most livable cities in the world, have on you?
I love Helsinki, its beautiful landscape and silly people. But to be honest - the art here is crappy, it´s the kind of art that nobody wants to put up on their wall. I like to make art that you really want to look at. Helsinki has the most influence on me when it comes to clothing design. I design very Scandinavian looking clothes that are simple, comfortable but also interesting.
You seem to have a lot of patience. Is that essential for the type of design you do?
The patience appears in the way I do things. In my T-Shirt line every Tee has a print that I have painted by hand. I´m not afraid of big projects.
Please tell us more about the T-Shirt line you did and the idea behind it.
I did a T-Shirt line as my thesis for school. One day it hit me like a thunder, T-Shirts are art, you can carry art on you. I designed T-Shirts with a painting on them, I did each by hand. One Shirt shows a tiny business man next to a very large tree, it characterizes the power of nature. When you think you are a "big shot" you still are tiny next to a 300 year old tree.
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