One halloween party many years ago

I’m excited about Halloween this year. Sadly, I’ll be working the weekend, but the holiday brings some fun memories to mind. Quite a few years back I was living in London. We had this crazy big house with front and back gardens in North London. We were five university students sharing its 6 rooms. Our landlord was an old Jewish man who went by the name Mr K. He was a darling, but not so good with the home improvement stuff. At least he paid a Polish guy to do our gardening. Or more like, mow our flowers. Anyway, I’m getting sidelined now. I meant to share with you a memory from those years: a cool Halloween party we organised with my housemates.

All photos by my amazing photographer friend Lan Xu. Concept and styling by Anni Leppanen (me).




Character illustration – part 1

Characters, characters! They are everywhere. At least lately. I’ve just finished a two-week course on character illustration and last week I attended a weekend workshop on the same topic.

The mantra of the illustration course was to simplify. Meaning that not everything needs to look perfectly realistic – actually, characters should look pretty unrealistic to reach their full potential. Highlighting the character’s certain personality, power or ‘character’ can be best reached through adding something unrealistic to it. Such as making it an animal, distorting the proportions (adding a big nose) or having the character do something pretty absurd. My classmates have great examples in all of these categories. Some of their works can be found on the Graphic Designers Blog. It’s great to have such immensely talented classmates. In my next blog post, I will show my work from the course.


Characters, characters! workshop at Kaupunkiverstas

These workshops were organised by a talented group of young designers. A designer called Yasmin had put an immense effort into organising these workshops with her own funds and working hard to make it all happen. Kaupunkiverstas, our location, is a unique Helsinki city project, a sort of library space. Except, instead of books, it’s full of computers, 3D printers, a hefty Cintiq, laser printer and other pretty cool stuff. And their use is for free! There are a couple of guys working there to show you the ropes, so anyone can go in for a go. So far, the space is open for a limited amount of time. Hope they find a way to keep funding it!

Read more about Kaupunkiverstas (in Finnish). More information about Kohtaamispaikka@Lasipalatsi space.

Blog and info about Characters Characters workshop.


On Saturday, we drew characters and designed vinyl stickers. The theme was ‘Action’ and ‘action heroes or antiheroes’. ‘Action’ was also the theme for Helsinki Design Week this year. I made a flying dog (that people thought was a cat). I made a pink version for a bag and a smaller golden version for sticking to places like my laptop.



On Sunday, we continued with the stickers and also did some work on 3D-printed characters and customised our own DIY-Munny. Apparently these DIY-Munnys are quite a big thing on the internet – there are actual competitions for ‘pimping’ them.










Here are a few great designers that were presenting their work at the workshop: