As a way of introducing yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I’m Ulla Thynell, an independent artist and designer based in Finland. I’ve worked as a professional illustrator for eight years now. I mostly make dream-like illustrations with fairytale, fantasy and nature themes. My main focus is currently on my personal artwork, and my own designs such as art books and other illustrated products.
Current city: Helsinki (Finland)
How did you make these?
I do a variety of different styles that are based on different kinds of tools and techniques that I use. I paint with watercolours or varied types of inks and I draw with pens or coloured pencils. I mix traditional techniques a lot, and some of my works are partly digital. Even when I finish pieces in Photoshop, I like to do it by editing and combining drawings and textures that I’ve first created traditionally.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Wild nature is definitely the most inspiring thing. Old-growth forests are an endless source of ideas, magic and piece of mind, and I try to visit the woods as often as possible. I also use my innate life as a fuel for my work – things like my dreams, memories, fears and hopes – but the way they sneak into my art tends to be subliminal, rather than intentional. My favourite kind of creative process is quite organic and intuitive. When I draw or paint, I get immersed into that world, and forget everything else. It’s the ultimate form of escapism.
What is the best advice you’ve gotten as an artist or the most important thing you’ve learned?
The most important thing I’ve learned is to follow and trust my own intuition in both my creative process and in my whole career. I’m talking about that innermost gut feeling. How to choose what to do and when to say no. Being stubborn and doing things my own way. That honest inner voice might become impossible to identify if you are constantly comparing your work or to others, trying to mimic what others do, or if you’re smothered by outside pressure and random opinions.
Where can people find you?
Find me on instagram! @ullathynell