The essentiality of freedom
When speaking with Matti Pikkujämsä, it does not take long for the value of freedom to come up in the conversation. From the liberty of a freelancer to choose the projects that inspire him, to finding inspiration from anywhere and anything, it is clear that to Matti, rigid structures and definitions appear stifling. This desire to evade boundaries carries on to his self-concept. – I trust that my style is strong and recognizable enough that I don’t have to limit myself to one particular look or method and can, instead, explore new avenues fearlessly. Still, the heart of it all remains the same. I started out with illustrations for magazines and children’s books, and that’s where I’d trace the nostalgic and somewhat naïve feel of my works, Matti says.
To Matti, inspiration can appear from completely unexpected sources. – I’ve found that I’m easily inspired, and that inspiration can strike completely out of the blue, Matti reveals. To satisfy his curiosity for new avenues of inspiration, Matti collects anything from books to Pinterest boards. Inspiration is not bound to the medium for him – a new idea for a magazine illustration can begin with a fabric pattern.
Like his inspiration, Matti’s relationship with Lapuan Kankurit originates from an unexpected source. The acquaintance was made through a common friend from Japan while Lapuan Kankurit was looking for a new sauna product design. Thus were conceived both the MIESTEN SAUNA and NAISTEN SAUNA designs, as well as the 10-year-long working relationship between Lapuan Kankurit and Matti. – I enjoy working with them tremendously. Lapuan Kankurit places a lot of trust in their designers, allowing me to work freely, which I find essential. I’m also free to focus on the design itself, as I can count on the quality of the product from the start. I’m proud that I can call them my clients, says Matti.
Matti’s newest design for Lapuan Kankurit, VERANTA, found inspiration in the atmosphere of a grandma’s home, with ceramic vases filled with hand-picked flowers, together with the graphic style of 40’s and 50’s. – I wanted it to be familiar yet exciting, combining elements of old and new. I challenged myself to make blackand-white feel colourful, to make the viewer imagine colours in the design, Matti describes.
As for the future? Unsurprisingly, it has a lot to do with freedom. – I’ll keep finding inspiration in the new things Lapuan Kankurit comes up with – their innovations are endlessly exhilarating. Besides that, I wish to continue working freely, not knowing where I will end up or what I will end up making. I think it’s a very comforting thought, not knowing. Turns the future into a great, big adventure.
Text Jenna Suomela Photo Teemu Silván