Pol Solsona is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and photographer who was born in Barcelona but who now works in Helsinki, Finland. His eclectic work varies from art direction, identities and print and web design to illustration and photography, and anything else he finds himself doing in between. We chatted to Pol to find out why he loves working in his neighbourhood in Helsinki, what he does for fun and why he appreciates the accidents that can come with working in a creative industry. Read on!
Where do you work?
At the moment my home is my studio. It is located in Kallio, which is probably the area with the most drunk people per square-metre in Helsinki, but I consider it to be one of the nicest neighbourhoods in the world nevertheless. Kallio has everything I need and it’s easy to disappear – you can ride your bike to a beach and take a swim in the sea without anybody else there.
In general, Helsinki is like a small village, quiet and relaxing. I like the melancholic Finnish mentality that you can’t find anywhere else.
How does your working day start?
The first and last thing I do everyday is choose music that will get me in a perfect mood. Then I make coffee and pa amb tomàquet (a breakfast that reveals that even after more than three years in Finland I’m still Catalan). I eat while I go through my emails, then I take a shower and plan my order of business. After that, I move to my desk and start working.
How do you work and how has that changed?
My work is based on a combination of intuition, experimentation and a set of rules. After finding out the clients needs and considering their target I usually have a clear vision of which elements to use in that project. The best part is playing around with those elements. I appreciate accidents that occur in the process, there’s something unique in them. Sometimes a fluke doesn’t work in that particular project, but I might find a way to use it in another later on.
A while ago I worked in an advertising agency and before that in a few smaller studios. At the time I did freelance work on evenings and weekends. After becoming a full-time freelancer I work just as much. It seems I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic, but I love my work. It gets me excited and most days it makes me feel like a kid.
Where would we find you when you’re not at work?
If I’m not working I accidentally come up with excuses to work a bit more. I book concerts, work on a new zine or play around with apps to find other ways to communicate visually. When I want to disconnect myself from work and the computer I take a walk to my favourite record store or go to the sauna, which is one of the best inventions of humankind. Sometimes my housemate gets me to do something random, like yesterday when I bought my first pair of cross-country skis. Besides these surreal choices, you can find me on the basic city tour with friends visiting exhibitions, gigs and parties.
Would you intern for yourself?
Maybe. As long as there’s coffee.
- The wacky, zany and eccentric world of illustrator Egle Zvirblyte
- Maziyar Pahlevan’s monochrome portfolio is full of typographic experiments
- The cut glass assemblages of graphic-turned-3D designer Juli Bolaños-Durman
- Photographer Mico Toledo documents the defiant protestors of Standing Rock
- Kevin Umaña’s abstract paintings portray a musical symphony
- The delicately ornate, but very cheeky sculptures of Liv and Dom
- Wolff Olins and zigbee launch the “first open-source brand for the Internet of Things”
- Too Fast To Think: why switching off unlocks creativity
- Graphic Design Festival Paris reveals 19 sport-inspired posters by Hort, Julia, Spassky Fischer and more
- FKA twigs teams up with 17 year old photographer David Uzochukwu for new Nike campaign
- Special Projects on why, sometimes, design is best kept simple
- Brian Finke captures the glitz and glamour of the Ms. Senior America beauty pageant