Illustrator Riikka Laakso is adored for her playful, child-like, style. The Finnish born, Berlin-based artist has earned her Masters in Illustration at the Berlin University of Arts, and is currently a member of the German illustration collective “Parallel Universe”. She also publishes her own zines and books in small editions.
But her journey to becoming an artist began long before she moved to Germany when she was just a child. “My older [by eight years] sister Laura had a big influence on my development,” she shared with AIGA Eye on Design. “She’s an illustrator, too, and when I was a child we did a lot of drawing together.”
But though inspired by her older sister, it took her some time to come to terms with her artistic calling. Having first studied graphic design, she admits that she “did a lot drawing” during her studies, but was too shy to take it seriously. “After [receiving] my Bachelor of Arts, I moved to Berlin and that’s when I started to work hard on my drawing skills,” she says. “I was so happy about my decision that my euphoria helped me survive the difficult time after graduation when I didn’t have a real job. I worked on personal projects and, for the first time, felt free by drawing.”
Luckily, she followed through and now devotes her time primarily to illustrating. “It’s a challenge to tell a story or to translate an idea and, at the same time, give the viewers enough space for their own thoughts and interpretations,” she says about the artistic process itself. But it’s a challenge she happily accepts.
Here are some highlights from her Instagram page: