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Monday, June 25, 2018

Talented Artist - Heidi Vilkman - Interview & Giveaway

Heidi Vilkman

About Heidi Vilkman


I am a Finnish born designer/maker, specialising in intricately crafted paper cuts and illustrations. All my work is made with love for our magical Mother Earth and every piece I sell is one-off and as unique as you or me.

I was born by a forest in Southern Finland and in my early twenties I move d to do an arts degree in Scotland, the nature of which left a big impression on me. I currently live in a small town in West Yorkshire, among sheep, green fields and enchanted forests, all great inspiration for my art. I love creating with my hands - and witnessing the magic of nature filtering through to my art for you to enjoy - so I really hope you like what you see - and what you purchase of course! :)

Have a look at my website: www.heidivilkman.com for more art creations, including my hand sculpted cottage, Elaman Puu.

Links

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I was born in South of Finland in 1970’s but moved to UK in 1997 to study a film degree. After my studies I stayed in UK, where I still work and live, with my two children. I visit Finland regularly though and have also hand-built a fairy-tale cottage there, next to my parent’s house, by the woods where I spent my childhood.


2) What’s the inspiration behind your work?

My number one inspiration is nature. I pretty much spent my entire childhood outdoors and in a forest, so those experiences left a deep imprint in my soul. All the stories, forest myths, as well as sounds and sights of the natural world still keeps inspiring me to this day. As do my children, who are my best (and sometimes hardest) teachers.


3) Where did you learn how to make art?

I have always loved creating. Since I can remember I wanted to be an artist and would obsessively draw and paint and make things, with anything I could find. I haven’t been to an art school, so basically I have just learnt by doing, experimenting and exploring, mainly by having an extremely curious mind.


4) What does your work place look like?

I work from home and my work space looks messy, mostly. My mind is filled with so many projects
and ideas that my organisational skills are often left lacking – or just simply can’t keep up with what my hands are doing….

I don’t currently have a separate studio space, which is something I have had in the past.
Working from home can be both a blessing and disguise. I love that I don’t have to ‘go anywhere’ to be in my creative space but having said that, there can be a lot of distractions about when I am trying to focus on my work (my 5 year old daughter being one of them!).


5) You make Magical Art Inspired by Forest and Fairytales, where does your love for magic come from?

From my own childhood, from nature, from the fantasy books I read in my youth, from classic fairy-tales. It’s all mixed together inside my head and comes out as weird and wonderful concoctions of art, with a bit of magic sprinkled in. I suppose internally I am an eternal child (who never grew up), and in my art work I am trying to look at the world through the eyes of a child, just like when I still was one. I really want to find the little sprinklings of positivity and magic in life, particularly at these times, when the world is so often full of depressing news.


6) Can you tell a bit more about how you started your store?

I started my Etsy shop about seven years ago, when I was mainly making jewellery. I had done a portfolio course in silver-smithing and wanted to try out selling my creations online. After a very slow start, the shop eventually took off and has been getting busier over the years. I have quite dramatically changed my mediums and product range/s since my shop’s early days, but my love for making has never diminished. After all those years, my shop has grown, I have a number of return customers and as we speak, I am closing to 2000 sales. All this, on a bad day (yes, I have those too), makes me feel that I must be doing something right.


7) Materials are important to you, how do you select them?

There are two main criterias, which are: quality and environmental credentials. In some ways, I feel bad about adding to huge amount of ‘stuff’ in this world, so I try to look at my own environmental impact and footprint when making and offering products for sale. This means using FSC certified paper and recycled materials where possible. My packaging is made with recycled materials and the plastic used is biodegradable where possible. But quality is equally important, which is why I test my designs on many materials and suppliers, before deciding on the final outcome.


8) How do you capture the atmosphere of the image you have in your mind and turn it into a matching design?

Haha, I wish I knew how to explain that. A lot of the time, I have an idea in my head, and then I just start making, guided by my intuition. It’s a bit like brainstorming on paper, whilst trying not to get too attached to the idea in my head (they never come out exactly like that so there’s no point). I also do a fair bit of research on internet on how to make a particular piece into a sellable product (because making is just the first part of the journey). This is a very much an ongoing learning curve in understanding what works for my business and what doesn’t. I suppose after all the years of making, I have developed my own style, which always comes through whilst working. I have tried ‘changing my style’ or copying someone else’s, just to see if I can do it, but it never works. One’s own inner voice and vision is so important, it really enables my creations to happen in the first place.


9) What's your favorite fairytale?

I am not sure. I was regularly read fairytales as a child, and I particularly remember Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen’s stories. Also Astrid Lindgren’s books, although they are not fairy tales per se. My favourite fairy tales are probably ones I made up by myself, when I was growing up, because they are a mixture of those classic fairy tales and my own dreams and experiences (about the magical natural world).


10) What are your plans for the future?

I am hoping to get back into making ceramics which I have also trained in, and very much love. In regards to my Etsy store, I am going to have a bit of a re-vamp next year and changing the products I offer, probably focus on my own website a bit more. Personally, I want to start licencing my art work and working as a designer on a freelance basis more than I do now, because it will shift the focus off from manufacturing and selling to actually designing and creating – as this is what I love and am good at. It would be great to leave the marketing and selling to those people, who view it as their passion.

In 10 years time, I would like to be living in a tree house in the woods, running creative workshops for people. Nature in itself can inspire each and every one of us; it is totally abundant and limitless - and I would like to be able to inspire that amazing creative feeling inside people, and share the love I feel for the natural world through making.

Giveaway

Notebook Bookmark 

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a Woodland notebook and an owl bookmark from Heidi Vilkman.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

21 comments:

  1. The quality and design look amazing. Unique, fun and lovely colours too.

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  2. OMG! I love the owls!Everything is gorgeous!

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  3. I really love your works! They are fantastic: brava from Italy.

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  4. So many fun animals and designs! I like the peacock cutout!

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  5. Lovely artwork, I love your bird items.

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  6. Your stuff is so cute especially the birds.

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  7. Such pretty art. And a hand-built cottage in Finland sounds so nice!

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  8. Your artwork is extremely detailed and exquisite, much like how I like/try to do my own artwork! I really love the beautiful designs and illustrations!

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  9. Very clever and creative. Well done.

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  10. I absolutely love this art. The Owl is fantastic and one of my favorite animals.
    twinkle at optonline dot net

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  11. Wow, you are so talented! Your work is absolutely beautiful!

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  12. So many beautiful items in the Etsy shop. I particularly love the writing paper and notebooks.

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  13. I love your red squirell prints! SO detailed!

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  14. the bookmarks are sooooo pretty

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  15. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

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  16. I adore your work! Everything on your etsy shop is just stunning.

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  17. Thank you for all your wonderful comments :)

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