According to Riikka Laakso, being a freelance illustrator requires problem-solving skills, not unlike mathematics. “The conceptualization process of my illustrations is what I enjoy most but at the same time can be most challenging,” remarked Laakso in an interview with Sense of Creativity. “Sometimes it almost feels like mathematics, as if I need to find solutions to questions which can be dizzying. Even so, it’s a great feeling and I love what I do.”
With minimalism and wit at the core of what she does, her illustrations, graphical and conceptual, tend to strip down complex social ideas to the bare essentials. As such, they provide a bridge between client and consumer, communicating a thought or feeling into shapes and colors. “The most fascinating thing about illustration to me is the ability to reach people instantly, on a primal level, and elicit a reaction,” says Laakso. “It could be a smile, feelings of anger or perhaps just triggering thought.”
Born in Finland, Laakso earned her Masters in Illustration at the Berlin University of Arts, in Germany, where she now resides. A member of the German illustration collective Parallel Universe, apart from her commercial work she also publishes her own zines and books in small editions. Show her some love on Instagram.