You’re the designer

“Longest way round is the shortest way home”, wrote James Joyce, and Debbie Millman with her story illustrated the sentiment aptly. In her keynote speech at the Huiput Creative Festival in Helsinki Millman focused on rejections and walked us through her career – and the worst day of her life. You could say on that day she got a handful of rejections all at once, and then some. She put it to words well how easy it is to disguise disappointments into feelings of other colours, even if it’s only for yourself. Luckily things turned out well for her, but it didn’t happen fast, and that was the most important message I was left with. To not try to peak quickly. “If it takes you long to reach it, perhaps you stay there longer”, she suggested.

Lauren Currie urged us to recognize our privilege and use our power. She asked how many of us have a domain with our own name. A lot of hands were raised, including my own. “You are in control of your digital footprint”, she addressed, and I liked the notion, obvious as it seems. I thought about my very own digital footprint, the portfolio website I just updated: it has been existing since summer 2012. Before that I had a blog with my name. I’ve been digitally around a third of my life – with my real name.

David Carson showed us a lot of images and told a lot of jokes. I appreciated both (deeply!). Have the designers gotten lazy? He asked not long into the presentation. With all our software it’s easy to rely on guides, grid and all that help they bring. But you can’t give out the power or the responsibility: You’re the designer. Designer decides the gap between columns.

“Never snap to guides” is a notion I picked for my Instagram post. I don’t think I have, but I’ve often thought I should. Just, in general. I have often described my layout designing as “moving elements around on a spread”, referring to my non-existing knowledge on layout grids and all. Nevertheless I think the layout designing I’ve done is good.

“Your wave is coming”, Carson said. Not only said, he had written it down. In a nice way, and I followed. What a lovely sentiment. And I don’t even surf.

Five years

I started this blog in January 2015. I wanted to have a platform of my own to do something, to post something. I have done so and enjoyed.

In preparing my own portfolio update recently I updated this blog first. Whilst testing out themes I created a compilation of illustrations I had posted here 2015-2020. All of them were created with the idea of publishing them on a free platform where not a lot of traffic was happening. I liked what I saw. I realised what I owed to this blog.

Perhaps from now on I will take a different course here. I might do something, post something, a bit more. Since 2015 I’ve cut down eating ice cream but I still love the name – and the Blondie song.

Motorcycle Stories

Alongside my very dear book project ”The Baron” I drew some other motorcycles as well during last year. You can say I kinda fell for them ❤ Especially in the old race motorcycles there’s such simplicity and beauty. And the thought alone to be illustrating motorcycles for kids charmed me… I could use all the color palettes I wanted, I could illustrate all the tiny bits with as much fun as I only could!

Pirita Tolvanen Motorcycle Stories 02 Ducati 02

This Ducati from the year 2002 is one of my favorites. It just keeps charming me!

Pirita Tolvanen Motorcycle Stories 03 Red Pipe
Pirita Tolvanen Motorcycle Stories 04 Raisu 78

Yes, it was a small and cute one ❤

Pirita Tolvanen Motorcycle Stories 05 Yamaha

Revolution counter! How’s that for a word!

The Baron: Work in progress 1

Pirita-Tolvanen-The-Baron-Tires-Colours

I’m working on a book on motorcycles (and drivers, especially one!) and it’s turned out to be a specifically delicious theme for me to work on. So I’ve ended up doing different kinds of work-in-progress stuff just for the fun of it!

Cogwheels Pirita Tolvanen The Baron