a passion for the past.
It’s funny how one idea can lead to another. I received a set of enamel coffee mugs for Christmas from my sister in Sweden in 2018. On it were nice illustrations of buildings from Uppsala, which I loved. Six months later, in the summer of 2019, I was visiting friends and family in Finland. As I walked the streets of Helsinki — like I had for all the years that I lived there — an idea struck me: Wouldn’t it be nice to draw these wonderful buildings using Adobe Illustrator?
So in August 2019 I started out trying to draw one of the Jugendstil buildings in Helsinki — for fun and enjoyment, as well as to see how it might look. I found it relaxing to watch TV and draw at the same time. I drew one. Then another, and another. And yet another. I got into a groove and ran with it.
Jump forward 10 months: I left my job, moved country and the world went into lockdown because of “the virus” of 2020. And now I had 40+ buildings drawn (50 if you count the string of Huvilakatu houses separately) and I have written a first draft of a book telling the story of these magnificent buildings. This is what happens when my mind starts pulling at proverbial threads.
While I was polishing the book and continued illustrating, I thought: why not build a website? Why not compile a master-list website all about the literally hundreds of Jugenstil buildings in Helsinki? (I have so far counted 527 buildings.) A website would be a nice way for people to discover and explore all of these wonderful buildings in a simple but comprehensive way.
And here we are. It is a work in progress but I hope you enjoy looking through the site.
If you like what I do, then please follow, like and share on social media. And do consider getting my book or my artwork. Or simply get in touch.
PS. A special thanks to M.J.H for all the brilliant photos.