Ep.97: Take your time to find your style with Alexandra Vuorio aka Kasvei

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Jan 24, 2018 •  Interviews

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Alexandra Vuorio, aka Kasvei from Finland. She is a self-taught digital and watercolor artist, most known for painting whimsical female characters connected with nature.

Get in touch with Alexandra

Key Takeaways

“Take your time to find your style. It will come to you!”

Resources mentioned

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Special thanks to Alexandra for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Alexandra Vuorio, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles

Hello, everyone and welcome back to the next episode of Art Side of Life where I chat with inspiring artists five days a week. My name is Iva and my guest today is Alexandra worrier, also known as Castaway, you will learn about her thinking process behind finding your own style. And being an artist.

Alexandra Vuorio

For example, when I was younger, I always wanted to like I wanted to be the best you know, and I didn’t actually understand that you can be the best of art you will always evolve

Iva Mikles

Aleksandra itself, though digital and watercolor artists from Finland, and she’s most known for painting whimsical female characters connected with nature. So please welcome Alexandria. And let’s get to the interview. So welcome everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. And I’m super happy to have my guest here. Hi. Hello. How are you?

Alexandra Vuorio

I’m fine. How are you?

Iva Mikles

Oh, good. Good, then I’m like we were talking about the Finland weather IV that no, it’s so exciting, because I still haven’t been there. And maybe you can share some of your stories maybe from childhood. How was it growing up there? And like creative outlets in your area?

Alexandra Vuorio

Well, I always live in the south of Finland. So the environment has always been the same to be to be precise. But I don’t know. It’s been it’s been good childhood. I will say I don’t know if I I do when I was little. I did. But I don’t really have like a lot of family members who is artistic. So it was like my own thing to do. But I was have the support. like growing up like everybody, everybody told me like, you’re gonna be an artist. I was like, well see. So yeah, it’s great. Well, yeah, what can you expect? I always lived in Finland. So I can like,

Iva Mikles

did you go to some like sketch clubs or something, you know, just to practice when you were like in high school or in that area? Or when you were still like, deciding where to go to study that was kind of like, pushed aside.

Alexandra Vuorio

Yeah, I went to art school when, like, after school while I was in preschool. Like, it’s a preschool. Probably when you’re like, eight 910. Yeah, so I went to an art school. And it was nice. I mean, I got to experiment a lot of like, oil colors and watercolors and just test different mediums. And but then we moved. And I actually didn’t go after that. In high school at all, I just do myself and I always did it. So it’s fine. But then after high school, I went to one year to study art. And I have also studied graphic design and photographic. Oh, yeah.

Iva Mikles

So how was a lot of grading? The deciding process? How was it you know, when you wanted to like, okay, it’s a graphic designer photography, or because we had these discussions with other guests as well, like, okay, so people can see their graphic designers a more safe choice for the future. Was it also in your case?

Alexandra Vuorio

No, um, I, I just wanted to study something that interests me. And like, I always known that I wanted to pursue art in like a career matter. So I just decided to study whatever feels interesting, because I didn’t actually know what I wanted to do like precisely I just knew it will be hard to let alternated and just waited for like for myself to grow up to that point of life. So I just studied and studied and studied, and it was nice. I liked it.

Iva Mikles

So we took kind of like the biggest decisions you had to do in order to follow your patient.

Alexandra Vuorio

It’s probably was the beginning of this year. That’s when I really decided okay, I want to do it like now or not actually know what just work to the point and do it in the near future. So I put myself out there in social media, mostly Instagram, and just was like, just try to try to get to the point that I felt safe about starting. And, and now I’m here just like a really short time away from starting my own business and doing this full time so

Iva Mikles

And so what is your plan for like future projects or upcoming projects? Are you planning to do some like art series? Or like even a coloring book or creating your own universe? Or how is it with your you know, like the art style? And what are you creating right now.

Alexandra Vuorio

I’m just going with the flow right now. But I do like the idea of maybe doing a children’s illustration book, in some point of my life, it doesn’t have to happen now. But some points in life, it will be nice to do something. And it doesn’t matter if I write it myself. But just to illustrate a book, I always wanted to do a book, I don’t know why. I think that’s a project I want to do. But otherwise, I just want to make a safe living that I I can manage. from it. I don’t have to get rich or anything. I just want to do what I love and stay home.

Iva Mikles

When you told your friends or parents like about that, okay, I want to take this seriously as my profession. Do you remember the discussion whether it was beer?

Alexandra Vuorio

Um, it was actually my mom had told me like, do it now. I come from a family who owns sound business. So it’s always been really easy to get all the information and ask them. So yeah, but it’s, I still find it quite difficult to explain, like, where do I get the money? Like, how do I? How can I make like make? How do I make money from art? And but usually, like, all my friends they are? Well, they follow me on Instagram, they watch what I draw, and I think I’m good. So they’re like, Yeah, you’re gonna be fine. So I don’t know, it’s never been a real negative. It’s always been really positive. But then outsider people who I don’t know. So, they are like, how do you intend to make money? You know, on art? All the fashion people?

Iva Mikles

Because it depends if they are, you know, like in rd industry or they are not because then, you know, when you’re growing up outside of that, or you just don’t know how you can earn money that way, then you’re like, Yeah, you cannot live from it.

Alexandra Vuorio

Yeah, they probably have a really solid workplace. Who, what gives money? Like, what gives them the precise amount each month or something? So they don’t know. It’s? It’s an option, really. But it’s harder, I don’t find it. It’s gonna be really easy. I don’t know I want to do it. And I want to take that risk.

Iva Mikles

That’s good, too. Just to try because then you can regret you never tried, you know? Yeah. And what was like the best advice you ever received, maybe from your mom, or someone who inspired you?

Alexandra Vuorio

Um, just do it. It never, it never been, like, a question of, if I’m going to do it, it just win. And like my mom said, like, do it now just just do it. You’re yelling, you can. And I don’t know, I decided myself too. Because it’s really hard to get out a job here like in as a young person anywhere probably in the world. It’s, it’s difficult. And I want to work in something that I actually like. So I decided to do do it in my own business, instead of finding some part time jobs that I’ve actually don’t enjoy. So it’s all been really positive, to be honest.

Iva Mikles

Perfect. And so as you mentioned before, so how do you or what do you leave from now? What are your income sources like pursuing your passion and just like day to day life?

Alexandra Vuorio

Well, I was studying a business management course. And now I’m just in between like, I do get like amount of money each month from the state to because I’m I don’t have a work right now. And I’m just trying to get all the paperwork done so it’s not a problem. So yeah, we we get some support.

Iva Mikles

It’s good for like a transition when you are setting all of your your online shop and like social media and stuff.

Alexandra Vuorio

Yeah, isn’t a lot worth it, it helps. So I can do I can do all the pre work before opening up a shop. So every every like graphic design thing is like all my logos and, and stuff is already like been taken care of before. And I want to just do everything beforehand and just open like have a product too.

Iva Mikles

What about the online shops? Do you plan to have one on your website? Are you are opening like Etsy or society cigs or red bubble or these platforms?

Alexandra Vuorio

I’m thinking on in the beginning, maybe opening up Etsy or, or, or store envy. I haven’t really decided which one yet. But probably in the future when I have my customers so I can change to our own webshop.

Iva Mikles

And are you planning to go also for some events to network with more people? Or how do you do your networking or finding new paid projects?

Alexandra Vuorio

Um, I decided my own project at the moment, like I’m doing Inktober right now, and that will take my whole whole October but I think I will. I want I always wanted to go to a convent and icon and sell. And I haven’t done that, ever. So that’s something I’m looking forward to do and meeting other people and doing more collaborations to guess it’s I haven’t really done so much of them either. So I’m like, I’m kind of new here.

Iva Mikles

What are your favorite tools you work with when you’re creating your artworks?

Alexandra Vuorio

Um, I have to say watercolors at the moment. I did a lot of digital art before. And then I just decided that I wanted to do something like physical like have a have an artwork you can frame or sell or something. So I decided to switch to watercolors and now I’m stuck with them.

Iva Mikles

So what fascinates you about the watercolors that he’s like a physical thing you can have?

Alexandra Vuorio

I don’t know, I just like the feeling or idea to see it with a paintbrush and just can. So I can make all my colors myself. And, and I feel I feel like it’s it’s more fun to to make mistakes, because because if you do everything digitally, you can always go back you can always change everything. And you don’t really think everything through before you do. But then when you draw with watercolors or paint with watercolors, I’m sorry. You can’t really go back, you just have to go through with it. And I feel like I can be more proud when I’ve succeeded then with digital work. So

Iva Mikles

When you do digital stuff, do you use like Photoshop and Intuos or something like that? Or?

Alexandra Vuorio

Yeah, I use Photoshop and then I have seen it take 13 inch?

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And what about the watercolors? Do you have like a favorite brand of watercolors? Like these are the best ones I love.

Alexandra Vuorio

I do love my Michel Miguel. How would you pronounce it? They’re really pigmented? Yeah, so I do like them. They’re a bit different from what I You what I used before I used this WinStar Newton’s Yeah. Yeah. And I have them like five, six years. It was time to change them. But yeah, they’re they’re really pigmented and nice. Like, I do love them.

Iva Mikles

Okay, so what was the name? Mish Michelle? Michelle? Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah, sure, either. But yeah, okay. We can put it in the show notes as well. Yeah. And so, when you are like deciding on like the project you want to do you know, like in the future or what to work on? What is your decision process? Like? What is your motivation?

Alexandra Vuorio

If it’s well, really, when you when I get like if I get two projects, and one pays better, but isn’t really actually what I what I’m interested in. I rather take the one that pays lists. So I don’t know because it’s more fun to work on something that you really like to work on. And not just take every every work you get, even if it’s not something you actually want to do. But if I would have to I would probably do it. To be honest, if I don’t know, I don’t see myself as a matter of like, I don’t need to have a lot of money, I read it take the less amount to, to decide on the one that interests me more. And I want and I think, like if I get a project, and it’s a concept that I don’t really approve of, I don’t I don’t see the point why I should do it, because I don’t feel comfortable with putting it on my social medias or showing it or getting more customers that way. So it’s, it depends, really.

Iva Mikles

And when we talked a bit about the, you know, like the your artworks and how you create them, do you have like, the main inspiration, which you have, like, maybe the plants or you know, or maybe something strange as well, do you have something, you know, funny to share?

Alexandra Vuorio

I need to have inspirational environment to, to draw like, Okay, I don’t need to, but it helps a lot. Like I allowed to have my desk really tidy. So I clean it and like all the time. So I don’t know, I just love to have everything in its place, like really organized, easy to access and easy to start drawing. So and then I just love the idea of everything being bright and with the plants. So it helps me like I really want to sit on my desk at work. And, of course having a cup of iced coffee helps. Real Yeah, it’s like a real Instagram, like, nobody can see this. But me, but I love just having everything just so nice. You know? It’s weird, maybe. I mean,

Iva Mikles

Yeah, I also like to have like this bright place where you have like nice clean days. So you have actually, you know, like place to work and organize yourself. And so do you use like a planners to organize? Or do you like plan ahead for a week or month? Or how do you do that.

Alexandra Vuorio

Now I do have a weekly planner. So every Monday morning, I tried to sit down and just plan the whole week, just like putting more stuff throughout the week. And then I get so excited that I over planted and put a lot of like, stupid stuff that are that I don’t even really do. But I love the idea to just shrug them off. As long as I go like, Okay, I’ve done this nice next, you know, like, I love planning and pros and cons list and to do list. All of it. I just like it. But yeah, sometimes I just get a little bit sad because I put so much stuff in them just to have something to write down and then I don’t do it. It’s like, ah,

Iva Mikles

Not finished. Yeah. What about, you know, like, when you mentioned that your parents had a business or they have business? What is the best thing you learn about, like having your own business? Or what are you planning to implement in yours?

Alexandra Vuorio

Well, it’s easy to always ask like, about taxes, and all of this stuff that I really get to get, or bookkeeping, and stuff like this. It’s like, it’s easy to have a family member you can always call like, hey, how how was it I was supposed to do in this situation. So it’s nice. And yeah, so.

Iva Mikles

So the taxes and bookkeeping. There’s also something which usually are these, they don’t think about it if they want to start and he’s like, oh, yeah, I have to do this.

Alexandra Vuorio

Yeah. So it’s probably the the biggest things right now. I’m still like trying to figure out because I would love to do my own bookkeeping or love to do is as far as possible, because hiring a bookkeeper is, is expensive. So I can’t really afford that in the beginning. So it’s nice to be able to ask questions all the time. Okay, maybe not me in the middle of night like hey, hey, mom. What about this? Yeah, no, it’s nice. So they helped me a lot and it’s nice to be able to go everything through at the same time, like Yeah,

Iva Mikles

yeah, maybe I will call your mom as well. Like this The biggest problem that is like different in every country, which is kind of tricky, like, oh, maybe you live somewhere then you want to move on and then you have to figure it out all again. And yeah, find someone who knows how to you know, do it. So Anyway, but what about like the learning you said the about the starting your own business? Do you have also some maybe go to resources about art and like favorite art books or documentaries or films?

Alexandra Vuorio

I would say this one right now.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. Cool. taupe Jensen. Yeah. Yeah. So

Alexandra Vuorio

that’s the one I’m reading right now. And like, I haven’t gotten so far because I was when I read it, I was, hey, I need to draw now. Like I just read about her life how? Like about her love and career and everything? And I’m like, okay, okay, she’s so amazing. I need to draw right now. So it’s a good. It’s a good book. It’s a good, it’s a great book. So, and I think like, it’s hard to read, because I’m from Finland, and she’s from Finland. And everybody knows the moment so.

Iva Mikles

So maybe her name wrongly How do you say her name? To the answer? Okay, so that I studied abroad. Okay, two very handsome. Good. So I will put it on the read two books. And do you have also like other favorite resources maybe to learn from as well online? Or is it mainly books?

Alexandra Vuorio

I don’t really. I don’t know, I’m just, I’m just going with the flow. I’m just drawing, if I don’t know how to draw something, I draw it wrong. I don’t care really, like, our proportions are often really wrong. I don’t really care because I, I see that art doesn’t really have rules. It doesn’t have to, like, the legs. If you draw legs, they don’t have to be as long as on a human being. I don’t see. It’s important to me. So I just draw as I want. And I have like a difficulty because I don’t have good like picture memory. So I can like, imagine things before I draw I’m like more if I just start somewhere and it will evolve along the way.

Iva Mikles
So how does your process look? Like do you do if you do a character do you have the whole sketch or you start and more as you said like with the flow like you maybe you start with a leaf or a head and then it kind of creates the shades? Or how do you work with your art process?

Alexandra Vuorio

I usually start with the head I don’t know what if I just decided that okay, I’m gonna draw human fine girl a female or a man I just start with the with the head and and I roughly try to get some what posts like, in which way the body is gonna turn or in which way the the face is gonna turn. So I just start and I usually use color pencils and then afterwards I worked out the details. I don’t know I just Yeah, but it’s that’s that’s why probably why I draw so much humans and girls or females because I can’t draw anything else at the moment. I have a really difficult to join men men you know, it’s nice. Then if I draw animals I try to look up some reference to Pinterest or something because it’s not something I know how to form without help. So yeah, Pinterest is a great way I pin it all the time stuff that inspire me in some ways I just love the idea to late night just fixture Instagram of Pinterest take to Pinterest and just pin everything and then give some with an emotion or inspiration so.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, I do that as well I have like this like I don’t even know how many pins and boards I have like okay character design animals I have like dogs cats foxes. So it’s just like so many references. And so when you mentioned as well these the inspiration or approach to learning or kind of come up with the different styles so how do you approach the learning process if you think like, okay, now I have to improve the anatomy or I have to improve the the male drawing or do you focus on like the female drawings and this is what I’m good at and I want to just go that route or you are trying to improve all the levels or just the one you are good at? Because different artists have different approaches.

Alexandra Vuorio

Yeah, I understand. It’s it’s more of like a feeling like if I feel like I want to, to expand my knowledge. So I do it like but in in a more Um, non stressful way, like, I don’t see myself just okay, I’m gonna do a huge illustration of a man because I don’t know how it’s more like, Okay, I’m just gonna try it out, we’ll see, then if it’s smaller, like, I still have a really difficult time to drawing hands. I don’t know why. And I just should sometimes sit down and draw on rehabs. But I’m, I’m more like, I’m trying to include them in my art. And, okay, if it doesn’t look great, fine, I will, I will improve while just keeping them in my art, like using them and just don’t. Because before I always just hit them behind some things, I didn’t have to draw them.

Iva Mikles

I think people do that.

Alexandra Vuorio

Now I’m trying to always include them from time to time, so I can improve and like I’m trying to keep it fun enough to, to always just sit down. Okay, I have to get good at good at this and just draw this specific thing. Like I’m trying to more just use it and slowly ease into it really?

Iva Mikles

Is there something you wish you knew before you started to, like, take this seriously and professionally like advice to young self before we were like deciding what to study and all of that?

Alexandra Vuorio

Well, for example, when I was younger, I always wanted to like I wanted to be the best you know, and I didn’t actually understand that you can be the best at art, you will always evolve, you can be like, I can see myself like a professional artist, because you you will always learn new things. And it’s a good thing, because that’s why we all are so unique. Because if we all could be the best at art, we will always all do the same thing, probably. So that’s one thing, and maybe that it takes, like, making art is like from the heart. Okay, that’s right. So, I mean, I wish I known how much of your mental health is on board. You know, like, if you if you’re not feeling really good that day, I usually can draw. Yeah, you will, you will always have to be so happy in a good mood or neutral. If you’re sad, or just under the weather, I can see myself drawing, because that’s the last thing I’m trying to do. Or wanting to do. So that’s one thing too, that I wish I known. And I wish people would talk more about about mental health if you’re an artist, because we all struggle with stuff like that.

Iva Mikles

Like absent artists. It’s actually really interesting because if you think about like, a lot of people are saying when you are like musician or making songs when you have like a heartbreak, or you have really hard time, then you create better art, you know, like songs and all of that. So it’s actually really interesting to think about like, Okay, how much does it inspire you actually to draw or create like music? Or? Yeah, what is the artistic inspiration?

Alexandra Vuorio

Yeah, for me, it’s the same. Because I draw with feeling like, if I’m happy, I draw happy stuff. If I’m not as happy I draw atlases happy stuff. It’s simple like that. And then again, I’m trying more to wake and some kind of emotion to the viewers like I’m trying, like, what I’m offering is more like, like, I don’t really mind what kind of emotion my illustration gives as long as to give some kind of emotion. But so that’s more like my thing. And probably a lot of other artists as well.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And so what how do you motivate yourself if you have a down day or like you bad mood, or what do you do?

Alexandra Vuorio

I clean that’s probably my thing. And I’m just, I’m not trying to force myself to make art. I’m trying to guess i net a lot of long ago, I took a lot of projects, and it stresses me out a lot, stresses me out a lot. And I found it that it doesn’t motivate me to draw if I have too much to do, like it feels like I have to do it. I don’t want to do it, but I have to do it. So for me, it’s more like taking that break doing something else doing something else that interests me or just not making art at that exact moment and wait for me actually won it. Do it, like not forcing myself so it can be a really long positive experience instead. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

And did you have something like a like a difficult moment of your art career so far? Or like the worst moment, you know? And what did you have like a takeaway or learning from the time?

Alexandra Vuorio

Yeah, a couple. Couple of years back, I actually had a year I didn’t draw at all. And I’m not sure why. But then again, I still was trying to find my own style. And I feel like I only now found it only now now found it. So all the time beforehand, when I’m trying to just figure out what is my thing? What, what is my medium? And I was really scared that I had to choose like, one medium, or one thing, one creative thing to do, and I just decided why I will do them all. I don’t care. So yeah, like I don’t, I don’t really think a lot about the past, before I found my own art style. Because it feels like I was I was trying to find a style that there was more interested, interesting for other people than for myself. And it’s wrong, like, okay, it’s wrong, but it’s not the fault of yours. That’s smart. Yeah. I don’t think that that inspires me to, to as well. And not just trying to find a style that other people like and

Iva Mikles

yeah, because then you don’t put your heart in it and your passion, just to create everything.

Alexandra Vuorio

Happy it came now like

Iva Mikles

And what about the future? Like some of my last questions are about the future? How would you imagine yourself in like, five to 10 years when you can just do whatever you want your dream scenario, and you cannot fail? And this is what you can do?

Alexandra Vuorio

That’s a really difficult question. I mean, well, I hope I can still do it. Like, I hope I can make ours that. I wouldn’t be happy if, like, if I just could do that, and nothing else. I don’t I can see myself that far into the future. But I hope I have moved somewhere bigger and have my own work room. That’s probably my like goals right now to get my own. Yeah, that will be awesome.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, in my last question would be like far, far in the future even more difficult. What would you like to be remembered for in like, 100 years?

Alexandra Vuorio

Well, I will probably dead by then. So

Iva Mikles

Maybe we will be like robots? You don’t know?

Alexandra Vuorio

Yeah, who knows, maybe I will live? Well, I would want to be remembered by some kind of inspirational person by or that my art still inspires other people, beginners, or just other people trying to find their style. That would be awesome. I wouldn’t be happy.

Iva Mikles

Definitely. That’s really nice. And before we say goodbye, maybe you can share like last key takeaway or advice, and then we’ll finish.

Alexandra Vuorio

Take your time, really, I’m speaking now to, to all those who are still in the beginning phase, not with art, but just not not have found their own style. So that would be to just don’t rush into it. Just the style will come to you. I find that helpful. If you can just force yourself finding that style, it will come eventually. And just not trying to stress about followers or social media or because I don’t see that. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have. It doesn’t make anyone better or less better. So that would be to just take your time. Really?

Iva Mikles

Definitely. Yeah, just don’t stress and just enjoy the process. Because you know, like we are still learning as you said, and just Yeah, keep it calm and positive and just Yeah, inspire each other and help each other. So thank you so much for being here. And

Alexandra Vuorio

Thank you so much. It has been so awesome.

Iva Mikles

And thanks everyone for joining in. See you in the next episode. Bye hope you guys enjoyed this interview. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you. So go check it out. If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review on iTunes hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Art Side of Life podcast, because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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Ep.75: Kerby Rosanes on why you should never quit drawing!

Ep.75: Kerby Rosanes on why you should never quit drawing!

Kerby Rosanes is a Philippines-based illustrator who works mainly with ordinary black fine liners to magically illustrate his “doodle” world and Animorphia.