Finnish illustrator, Saara Katariina Söderlund, is known for her detailed work, which often focuses on the natural world, showcasing her love for both flora and fauna (with a special interest in birds). Her artworks are made using gouache, with the occasional colored pencils.
“I’ve always drawn,” said Katariina in an interview with Flow Magazine, adding that painting is something she rediscovered later in life. “I completely fell in love with it, and now it’s an essential and natural way of expressing myself,” she notes. “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.”
According to Katariina, her work process requires both solitude and creative companionship. “I work best if these two are balanced,” she stressed in the interview. “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.”
Living in the countryside, she spends her free time embroidering or running around with her binoculars and watching birds. “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,” she says. “Most of the time I stay by my painting desk, but when it comes to finalizing my work I switch to my computer.”
Below are some highlights from her Instagram page.