Helsinki creative studio

In Conversation With: Linda Vuorenvirta

Linda Vuorenvirta is an illustrator and the fourth creative featured in our miniseries

`They Call It Creativity´

We wanted to get to know her a bit better and asked her some tricky questions.

Linda Vuorenvirta.jpg

MP. Who are you, what do you do, what turns you on?

Linda. I’m an illustrator from Helsinki, Finland. I love to design and draw characters and bring them to life in any way that I can. Mostly that means through illustration, animation, and occasional costumes. I’m turned on by amazing narratives and believable world-building that I can totally lose myself in.

MP. Why do you do what you do? 

Linda. Because if I didn’t, I’d have this big ball of ideas in my head that could never come out. I’d probably explode.

MP. If you knew you were going to die in 2 months, how would you spend your remaining days? 

Linda. With my parents and the rest of my family. I hope I could also go skydiving, visit Tokyo, Toronto, and the French Riviera, and eat my weight in desserts. That might be a bit of a stretch though - the first bit is the most important.

MP. What is the toughest problem you have faced and how did you solve that problem?

Linda. The toughest problem that I’ve faced in my life has got to be my ongoing battle with mental health. I haven’t exactly solved that problem, but I’ve gotten help along the way from both medical professionals and people like my parents, who have always been an indispensable pillar of support.

MP. How do you deal with stress?

Linda. Decompress by talking to a loved one, and probably have a glass of wine.

MP. How would you answer, with one sentence, what is creativity? 

Linda. Being free to come up with ideas and solve problems without restrictions.

Because if I didn’t, I’d have this big ball of ideas in my head that could never come out. I’d probably explode.

MP. Who was influenced you the most?

Linda. I’ve had a few really wonderful and influential professors in college (undergrad and grad). In undergrad college at the Art Institute of Boston, my animation professors who taught drawing and production were really helpful. In grad school here in Helsinki (Aalto University ARTS), the head professor of the program I was in was great.

MP. Describe a day from hell. 

Linda. Wake up and realise that I have to leave my safe home to go to an office for eight hours. Do the grunt work for boring projects led by a pretentious art director. Get harassed on public transit by a creepy man who doesn’t realise that I definitely don’t want to talk. Have a super disappointing dinner, lose my work to a Photoshop crash, and have trouble falling asleep. Have several panic attacks throughout the day.

People sometimes think that people doing creative work aren’t really working.

MP. Where do ideas come from? 

Linda. Anywhere in the universe. If you pick up on something with any of your senses and it stays with you, it can turn into an idea.

MP. Tell me a myth about creative people and tell me why it is a myth? 

Linda. People sometimes think that people doing creative work aren’t really working. I’ve seen comments like “You’re drawing all day, that’s fun for you isn’t it? That’s not real work.” Yes, I love drawing, but if I’m working on a commission for someone, it’s a professional transaction. I’m not just hanging out, lounging in bed, and doodling idly. Creatives of all types love what we do and we get joy out of it, but it’s just as legitimate as being a builder, a stockbroker, a customer service representative, or anything else.

MP. Would you rather: 

A) Be in a small cabin with two friends on a remote island listening to the blistering storm and falling trees outside, and not knowing if you were safe there. 

B) Be on a huge stage with a group of strangers, in front of thousands of people, covered in glitter, feathers and the biggest wig you can imagine. 

C) Alone in a infinitely big forest that has no sound, except the sounds you make.   

Linda. Probably A. Although C is also nowhere near as frightening as B, which I definitely wouldn’t want. 

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