This summer we have been begun to work with two designers, out of which we will now introduce Noora Hattunen, a surface- and pattern designer, illustrator and a children’s book author from Joensuu.
Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is Noora Hattunen, I’m from Joensuu. The city of Joensuu is the capital of North Karelia, which is a region in Eastern Finland. Joensuu means “mouth of the river”, and indeed we have a river running through the center of the city. In my opinion the river is the heart of Joensuu.
Describe yourself as a designer
I’m weird like the mad Hatter’s tea party, and versatile as a seven-headed dragon with each head different color and different nature. I’m punctual but unsystematic. I love colors and I need music when I’m working. Most of my designs are drawn by hand, using ink pens. I process the lines, add colors and put them on to repeat with computer. Sometimes creative emptiness captivates me. At that time, there is just empty mind and empty paper. It’s the most disturbing situation what can happen to a designer, especially when the deadline is only a few weeks away. But then the inspiration strikes like a tidal wave.
Do you have an idol?
I have many role models, but especially illustrations by Camilla Mickwitz have influenced me already as a child. Also, I highly admire classic pattern designs of the great William Morrison.
What is typical for you as a designer?
Chaos, in my mind and in my office. Usually I have too many ideas and too many projects at the same time, so it kind of feels that my mind is going to explode. My office often seems like after a bomming, sketches here and there, pencils, books and everything else in disorder. I like to call it controlled chaos. My mind reflects the reality, or is it just the other way around? When inspiration strikes, it’s more than common that I work many days in a row, without even stepping out of my house. Strike while the iron is hot! Good tools are important to me. When I’m sketching I need quality paper and good pens.
How do you get inspired?
I get inspired by nature and it’s different phenomena. Weather, colors, animals and plants. Sometimes I get inspiration from fragrances, memories or from my family history. Actually I get inspiration from this whole amazing world. Life here and now and time before we exist inspires me. But mostly I get inspiration from my mind. It’s my most important tool.
What is your favourite thing to design and why?
I’m pattern and surface designer, so I like to design on any kind of material and for any kind of use. I like to design patterns for bedlinen, interior textiles, wall papers and other paper products. I like to design patterns for kitchens and offices, also for hard material products. Animal and nature designs are close to my heart. Also I like to create characters and imaginary worlds. Everything is possible in imaginary world, there are no rules or regulations and no one will say how it has to be done. When designing that kind of illustrations and patterns, I feel free and I feel like I can express myself truly. My works are always colourful and happy. We need more happy things in this chaos!
Are your designs out somewhere for the big audience already?
I have a company called Zirpus Design, which is a one woman’s business. Its main focus is in surface and pattern design, and illustrations. My company’s range of products includes different kind of paper products (postcards, posters, notebooks, exercise books, memory games) and home products (trays, coasters, trivets, cutting boards), which are available at Karelina -webshop. All products are designed by me and they are produced in Finland. You can find trays with my design in the restaurant of The University of Lapland. I have also written and illustrated my first children’s book which will be published later this year.
At a Finnish webshop Käpynen, you can find clothing fabrics designed by me. Käpynen produced my peacock pattern in two colors, turquoise and purple.
What are your wishes for being one of the designers at Patternsfrom Agency?
I expect new opportunities, I look forward to get to know new people, I expect new social networks and above all I expect that my pattern designs have access to whole world with Patternsfrom Agency and thereby to people’s homes around the world!
How does the future look like in ten years or so?
My illustrations and pattern designs are so popular that I’m drowning under my workload. People have my designs at their home, on many products. I have written and illustrated at least 10 children’s books.
What is your favourite pattern in current Patternsfrom Agency -collection?
Northern birds, enough crazy and plentiful pattern!
Full designer profile of Noora Hattunen is available here.