Pauliina Holma’s illustrations ooze with a soft summertime haze. We are reminded of long afternoons spent lazing in meadows, and the cool feel of ocean waves splashing on the shore. Pauliina’s work is definitely dreamy; there is an added element of something not quite right but in a charming, curious, whimsical way. She sprinkles in that extra magic. “I think my characters are somewhat fragile but strong”, the artist tells us, “a bit shy and mysterious”. The illustrative lines are light, creating delicate characters that have clear Japanese influences. She depicts snapshots, moments of solitude and stillness. “I’m not good at telling big stories”, she explains, “for me, it is more natural to convey a certain feeling, since I am not very loud myself”.
Pauliina’s creative journey has been a varied one; she’s moved from art history and aesthetics to graphic design; then, after a stint of travelling, she fell right into the lap of illustration. The artist is affected by her surroundings. When exploring Asia, she was inspired by “the dark and rich colours of the flowers and fruits”. However, recently her work has been influenced by the “pastel coloured architecture of her hometown Helsinki”. There are soft pinks and baby blues, light peachy oranges and cherry reds. “Most of my inspiration comes from interior design and fashion. I am a sucker for antique shops, old stuff and beautiful objects”, she explains. We cannot help but detect a nostalgic sixties colour palette; yellows, greens and bright, bold floral patterns; like your stylish Grandma’s wallpaper. The images also swirl with the organic curves of psychedelic art, vibrant and optimistic.
However, not only is Pauliina’s illustration gorgeous but so is her website. We could spend all day looking at it and so should you. “I wasn’t sure if anyone looks at websites anymore since everyone uses Instagram”, the artist explains. “That’s why I thought it be nice to make an immersive world of my own”. With the help of her technologically minded boyfriend, Pauliina has created a surreal site that evokes the lightness of summertime; as you scroll down, miniature illustrations float by, and you feel like your falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. “On the site, there is a vague theme about childhood summers in the countryside: visiting my grandparents’ place in Ostrobothnia, the colours and the flowers”, she explains. If you click on a portal-like image at the bottom, you are transported into “The Rooftop”; a fantastical setting with an animated pool and a strange night sky above. There is an extra finnese of magic in Pauliina’s work, and it refuses to leave our minds.
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