Tag Archives: illustration

Art Idol: Tea Tauriainen

Tea Tauriainen, Finnish illustrator, comics, art

Art by Tea Tauriainen at taloussanomat.fi

Today, a Finnish online economics and business related magazine, taloussanomat.fi, published a story about the future prospects of academics and other educated people in Finland. Naturally, I tweeted the best parts of the comment section (which I do often) but I think the best offering of the story was this illustration by Tea Tauriainen. I commented on this too and then a journalist at Taloussanomat, @petrikorhonen let me know that she has a blog called Mad Tea Party. And let ME tell you, it’s GOOOD! How? She makes comics!

First a little background…Tea was born 1988 and has a degree in media and graphic design. She’s originally from up north, Kuusamo (it’s not in Lapland which would give her bonus points but she’s from close enough) and lives now in Helsinki, working as a freelance illustrator for Taloussanomat.  She started doing the comic blog already in 2007 and basically makes them about her own life. This is why I like her. She writes about what it’s like to be a woman, a weirdo and a geek. Here are some of my faves. The comics are in Finnish but she gives English translations at the end of each comic.

Tea Tauriainen, Mad Tea Party, comics,

This is a variation of the many conversations I’ve had with my stylist friend about my home style. I like cozy and cute, he likes cold minimalism. He keeps warning me that this will happen.

Tea Tauriainen, Mad Tea Party, comics, Finland

Few months ago I downloaded the app Duolingo to spruce up my French. Those who have it know, that you sometimes have to repeat sentences on your phone’s microphone and then the app let’s you know if you pronounced correctly. Let’s just say sometimes it takes some effort.

Tea Tauriainen, Mad Tea Party, singlehood, comics, Finland

“Don’t do that”. I just died.

Her comic blog is HERE and her portfolio can be found HERE. There’s a comic book festival in Helsinki in the beginning of September and she’s going to be there. I’m now seriously contemplating getting her books. I need more hilarious bathroom reading. Yes. I’m one of those people who read in the bathroom. Don’t judge. There’s good lighting and ergonomic seating and in there, no one bothers you.

-Thrifty Finn-

Pinteresting vol. XXVI


Well, well, well. Long time no see, dear Pinteresting. Naturally I’ve been pinning like the pins were running out but just haven’t been in the mood of sharing them here. Anyhoo. Summer is gone, autumn is coming. I can smell it. I CAN SMELL IT!

Image via ohjoyblogs.com

Today really was Hello Sunshine-day. The weather over here jumped from incredibly hot to cold and rainy so the sunshine was a very welcome change. I also realized that I’m not very good at coping with sudden changes of temperature. Also, had to pin this because it reminds me of my quilt.

Image by kirstensims.blogspot.com

This image is a collage by Kirsten Sims, an illustrator. There’s a lot of potential in this print. I could see it as a novelty print for tops and dresses. Since the scissors are stylized, the pattern wouldn’t look too much like a crafty/quilting print. What do you think?

Image by fallfordiy.com

Who doesn’t love pompoms and tassels? My stylist friend said I need a nice collection of cushions to go with my brand new quilt. I bought two nice pink ones last spring (when the quilt itself was still a distant dream) but I’d like to combine them with a couple of homemade ones. I think this one would be quite nice. An perfect excuse to buy more embroidery floss and/or yarn.

Image by diycandy.com

Another DIY…I really like this idea. I could do three of them and pick the colours from the quilt. A yellow, pink and chartreuse. There is just one problem…I haven’t seen this type of paintings at the thrift stores over here for ages. Hmm. I have to look into this one.

To finish off my latest Pinteresting- roundup, here are some wise words AND beautiful wall art for you…

do no harm but take no shit, cross stitch, embroidery, thrifty finn

Image by decoratedskin.tumblr.com

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. You can find my Pinterest HERE.


Pinteresting vol. XXIV

Thrifty Finn, Pinteresting

Is it as sunny where you are as it is over here? I’m not complaining though. Only couple of more extra degrees and I can finally switch to using spring jacket. And how about your Easter plans? I have nothing, NOTHING to do. That’s what you get for being single and live hundreds of kilometres awat from your nearest and dearest. Well, my sister lives here and she said she will be dropping by on Sunday but it probably means she just wants something computer related from me.


To make matters worse, I had a fit or seizure or something few weeks ago and decided to do Herkuton Huhtikuu, which means Treatless April and back then I didn’t realize Easter would be in April. So I can’t even get Kinder-eggs to cheer me up. Why? Why don’t I ever think these things through? Anyhoo, here are some of my latest pins…

Margaret Berg: Poppies

Illustration by Margaret Berg

Isn’t this wonderful? I don’t usually go for this type of floral illustrations, I’m all about granny florals but there’s something very charming in this. The illustrator Margaret Berg is originally from South Africa and lives now in the US. Her style is very commercial and by the looks of her portfolio, she has done some TV and movie work ie. retouching images, poster work too.

strawberry mascarpone yogurt pie

Image via Dessert for Two

My treatless April hasn’t been easy. Even with 17 days of no candy, cookies, ice cream, chips or anything like that, my cravings haven’t lessened. Just the other day I tweeted that as soon as May 1st is here, I’ll be stuffing my face with chocolate and any other sweet thing I can get my hands on. Basically, not a day goes by when I don’t pin yet another pie or cake recipe. And someday, I will make them ALL! Oh, and the delicious thing in this picture is Strawberry Mascarpone Yogurt Pie. I’m weeping as I’m typing it.

Carrie Strine Lattice Quilt

Quilt by Carrie Strine

Originally I pinned another picture of this quilt but as I went to get the original from the site, I spotted this horizontal one over there. If you remember, I have a quilt in progress too. It just that I haven’t gotten any further than cutting the pieces. Well, not even that, since I moved to a new apartment and got a new, bigger bed, I have to cut more pieces to get a big enough quilt to work as bedcover. At this rate I’ll be done 2020 and probably not even then. Anyhoo, this quilt is called ‘Latice‘ and it has the sunny, retro vibe I’m looking for. I may have to add some pink to my quilt too.

Pineapple Crush Drinks Recipe

Recipe by Fetepress.com.au

Didn’t I post drinks last week too? I just realized that not being able to eat chocolate is not as bad as not being able to get some wine. You see, in my eternal wisdom, I decided that alcohol is also banned this month. How stupid am I? The. Worst. Easter. Ever. This delicious recipe is called Pineapple Crush and I think it’s going to be my ‘go to’ drink this summer.

Now, you may understand that I might be little bit on the edge with no sweets and alcohol to keep my mood on a pleasurable level. The following T-shirt captures this situation, oh heck, my entire personality quite beautifully:

thug life shirts, delicate flower, fucking lady

T-shirt by Thug Life Shirts

YEAH! What they said!

Thrifty Finn- A delicate flower and a fucking lady

Edited to add…My sister just called me and told that she will be bringing her computer because some mumblemumblemumble. I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT!





Inspirations! Who? What? Where?

mika ihamuotila, marimekko, rovio

Image via MTV3.fi

I had my alarm clock on this morning so I could watch the Ihamuotila-interview on MTV3. I couldn’t get my eyes open. Thank heavens, there’s social media and I found abundant of links to the clip. The gist of the interview was that Marimekko and Louekari deny all the accusations:

Where’s the line between plagiarism and inspiration? “Looks like traced through baking paper”

In today’s Huomenta Suomi, the host Jesse Kamras showed Iltalehti‘s image to Marimekko CEO Mika Ihamuotila. Below is translated version of the original transcript found in here.

Kamras: This mystical Barcelona-bag and Maija Louekari’s Moments-print, yeah, there’s a picture in Iltalehti from 1960’s. By photographer Markus Lepo of Esplanadi. You could almost say it’s traced through baking paper so where is the line between plagiarism and inspiration?

Ihamuotila: It usually is, sometimes you move in a gray area. Sometimes it’s like a line in water, sometimes it’s hard to say. But usually it’s quite clear if it’s original inspiration, which is no where near any other work, so then you talk about a work of art that’s individual and original. -But this piece, you brought up right now, is it from today’s paper? It’s incomprehensible. That’s Maija Louekari’s one of a kind and original description of Esplanadi. And then some spanish bag manufacturer copied that and now Finnish press is claiming, based on a rumor that that (ours) is copied from that.

Kamras: But if you lay the Moments-print on top of the image, it’s one on one but is, is it inspiration?

Ihamuotila: For goodness sake, history of the world is filled with amazing but abstract works, based on views. And that is completely original and in my opinion very fabulous, that Maija Louekari’s original piece.

Well, I received a link here in comments and on Twitter, to this blogpost from 2011 and specifically to this picture:

esplanadi, markus lepo, marimekko, louekari

Image via mikasavela.tumblr.com

Yup. I’d say that’s definitely the original. The photo is by Markus Lepo and can be found in a book from 1960’s. Mika Savela says in his blog that the book’s name loosely translates as “Helsinki and it’s people”. He then proceeds to discuss about how it is cool that this image and the city life in it, “trickled down” through decades and found their way into various products:

mika savela, marimekko, hetkiä

Image via mikasavela.tumblr.com

You should go and read the full post HERE at mikasavela.tumblr.com. He writes in English.

So what does this mean to the copy claims? Well, it still could mean that the photo was made originally into a print by the spanish company. Marimekko’s defenders say that every designer have lots of inspiration pictures and after a while they blur together and so on. I say it’s entirely possible that a Spanish  designer bought copy of the book on some holiday to Finland. I have my share of vintage photo books from abroad for exactly this reason. They are cheap and they are cute.

It’s also possible that Marimekko did the print first. However, we have an iffy beginnings story. In yesterday’s statement we saw sketches of city views but we didn’t see the original concept board/images they were based on. In such, using vintage/retro tourist images for a basis IS a fun concept. However, now it’s too late for Marimekko to say that it was their original intention as they didn’t say so originally.

Marimekko’s defenders have jumped on the poor woman who brought up the similarities between the bag and the Marimekko-print. Questioning her background and whatnot. I’ve responded to them and I write it down here too: It doesn’t matter what her background is. She can be drug addict, disease-riddled prostitute but it doesn’t change the facts if the bag is older than Marimekko’s Hetkiä. Even if it turns out that Marimekko was copied, still, all she did was that she brought it up and even then, it’s good for Marimekko because then they can start legal proceedings against the Spanish company.

Now, all we have to do is found out the manufacturer of the bag. Then this will be solved. (Well, not for Marimekko. They have serious problems with their creative, business and communication processes).

Thrifty Finn- Loosing Twitter-followers faster than I can type Marimekko :D

P.S. I will be back to regular blogging soon ;)



Marimekko Released a Statement

marimekko, louekari, plagiaatti, Helsinki

Edited to add: Original inspiration picture has been found. You can see it HERE.

Marimekko released a statement about two hours ago regarding Hetkiä/Moments-print. For those who don’t know, last night someone came forward with this bag on the left and said she bought it in Barcelona in 2001. The Marimekko print on the right is from 2003. Marimekko’s statement is as follows:

YLE published on their website on Wednesday 25.9.2013 that recent allegations regarding Marimekko, reminded a so far anonymous person about similarities between print designed by Marimekko designer Maija Louekari in year 2003, Hetkiä/Moments, and a purse she possibly bought in Barcelona on her holiday.

“I confirm that Hetkiä/Moments is my design. I took part with it in a competition organized by Marimekko and University of Art & Design Helsinki. The bag bought in Barcelon, seen in the news, in my opinion is the copy. I’ve seen the bag myself (often), after the print was produced by Marimekko and been wondering about it’s similarity. My Hetkiä/Moments-prints inspiration came from Helsinki streetviews. I drew the view in the city center from a point where you look towards Fabianinkatu and Pohjoisesplanadi. This Helsinki view is can also be seen in the nameless’ source’s bag from Barcelona”, says Louekari.

“Maija Louekari won a competition organized by University of Art & Design Helsinki and Marimekko for young designers with her Hetkiä/Moments print in 2003. Louekari’s print collection of various city views appealed the jury. With the win, Hetkiä/Moments, was selected to be produced and launched as part of Marimekko’s Spring 2004 home decoration collection”, says Marimekko’s creative director Minna Kemell-Kutvonen.

As part of statement is a scan of Louekari’s competition piece from 2003, and today 26.9.2013 taken photograph from Helsinki, the corner of Fabianinkatu and Pohjoisesplanadi, which was the inspiration for Hetkiä/Moments.

Nakyma Helsingin Fabianinkadun ja Pohjoisesplanadin risteyksesta

You can download the original images from the statement HERE. I will now try to argue why I still think this is very much of an open case.

Skannaus Maija Louekarin kilpailutyosta vuodelta 20033

If you look at the page 1 of the scan, you can see cityscapes of many European cities. I can for sure recognize the one from Holland and the one with narrow, curved street looks like something from Paris. And I should know, I lived in the previous one for years and the latter, I’ve visited 5-6 times already. In one picture there’s even japanese/chinese writing. But all is good still here, they say in the statement that “various city views”, they didn’t specify Helsinki.

In a closer look, the page is A4 in size (even if it was A3) but there’s a lot of detail per image. It says that it’s a scan of Louekari’s competition piece. So I’m assuming that she scanned her sketches and then printed them out. Which means this is a scan of a scan. Then in the middle, there’s an odd cut-off point which looks like that there was two separate pieces of paper on top of each other when the scanning was done. But I can’t tell was this done in the original, competition version or in this second scan. Then on the bottom there’s a piece of paper with text “Printti: Kuvia kaupungista”, laying on top of the paper/sketch. Again, cannot tell if it’s in the competition piece or added for this scan.

Skannaus Maija Louekarin kilpailutyosta vuodelta 20032

On the second page we see two sketches. As they stand on a blank background, I’m assuming that two separate images were imported into this page. Again, I cannot tell if this was done in the original competition piece or for this proof scan. However, here we see the words Sade1 and Printti, Eteläespa.

marimekko, louekari

Now on the third page we see three prints: Sade, Eteläespa and Terassi. On previous page we see the name Sade assigned to the Eteläespa but here we can see a print with people carrying umbrellas, the second is Eteläespa and on the bottom Terassi. In this scan we basically see three sketches that have been scanned  and cleaned up in Photoshop and then some attempted colourings. A personal comment…I remember when I started learning Photoshop for printing in art school. This is exactly how my colouring went when I didn’t yet understand how tools worked. I’d randomly click on my sketch and the go “ooh” and “aah” when something design-ish appeared in the screen.

Now, Marimekko and Louekari states that the view is from Helsinki and took a photograph this morning to prove it. However, where do the other sketches come from? Did she travel to those places herself and took photos and then used them for sketching? The sketch style in itself is not original, there wasn’t an art student at that time who hadn’t dabbled with don’t-lift-the-pen-technique, myself included. Which places were inspiration for Sade and Terassi?

Then the questionable print…Marimekko and Louekari states that this is from the corner of Fabianinkatu and Pohjoisesplanadi. However in the competition piece (of which we now know only that it’s a scan of a competition piece that Marimekko says is a competition piece) it states the name Eteläespa. Which is a nickname for Eteläesplanadi, the SOUTHERN opposite of Pohjoisesplanadi. Then more problems, the scale is wrong. On Pohjoisesplanadi cars aren’t that close to the sidewalk NOR the area of Esplanadi where the benches actually are. Something else missing too, the hustle and bustle seen in the sketch. But guess where they ARE situated like that? And where there is movement, and hustle and bustle? In Barcelona. On La Rambla:

barcelona, la ramblaWhat else I got? I don’t want to sound like Matlock but my friend just called. We had the following conversation:

He: I don’t think the print is about Helsinki
Me: How come?
He: The car in the pic. It’s a japanese model that wasn’t sold in Finland at all. It was popular in Central and Southern Europe though.
Me: ????

Here we have Marimekko and Marimekko’s designer saying the print isn’t a copy. Trying to prove it with a photo taken this morning, in a location that doesn’t match the “original” print name, and with scans of pages we cannot verify when they were made/printed, of sketches we cannot verify where the sketches came from. Memory? Photographs? Whose photographs?

Only when we can check the manufacturer of the bag that started it all and the date it was made, we can definitely say if Hetkiä is an original piece or not. Right now, with the shaky lines, it looks like it was traced through ON a very uneven surface, very quickly.

Thrifty Finn- Nearly missing gym because of this

P.S. If you know the person who told YLE about the bag, please let her know that I’m interested in the company name. She can contact me via thriftyfinn(at)gmail.com