Saara Katariina Söderlund is an illustrator and graphic designer, who lives with her husband and two dogs in Degerby, Finland. We asked her about her work and her love for birds.
What do you like most about being an illustrator?
“That I get to draw and paint. I’ve always drawn. Painting is something I rediscovered and started to invest more time in a couple of years ago. I completely fell in love with it, and now it’s an essential and natural way of expressing myself. One of the best things about the illustration process is doing research for projects. It’s so much fun to read up on a potentially completely unknown subject and figure out how to make it work as an illustration.”
Where do you work?
“I’ve discovered that I need both solitude and creative companionship, and I work best if these two are balanced. I work from home, but my husband is also a creative entrepreneur and has his office right next to mine. I think it’s a pretty ideal situation; I like to have my space and quiet, but it’s also very important for me to have someone to bounce ideas off and take coffee breaks with. I have a small and cozy home studio with a desk that I use for painting, another desk for my computer and a little couch for our dogs. Most of the time I stay by my painting desk, but when it comes to finalizing my work I switch to my computer.”
Birds seem to feature a lot in your work. Why is that?
“Birds are so fascinating: There are so many different species, and the spectrum of colors, shapes, patterns and sounds seems endless. I also find age-old mythologies behind birds interesting. In so many cultures they have been used as an explanation for countless questions. I love birdwatching, especially in spring when the migrating species arrive back to Finland. My favorite place to watch them is by the water, so I guess that’s why aquatic birds are the most dear to me, but actually I love all birds. I’m definitely a bird lady.”
- Saara’s illustrations can be found on her website.
Interview Jeannette Jonker Photography Saara Katariina Söderlund