On the small island of Lauttasaari just outside of Helsinki lives the Finnish artist Reeta Ek. With her degree in textile design from Aalto University, her art is characterized by surfaces and patterns: “I became very interested in old wallpapers and textiles and specifically those with repeating patterns. However, I have always been fascinated by the creative process — especially sketching,” Reeta tells. “Designing textiles is mostly filling up the surface. Sketching gave me a way to free myself of the rules I had been taught.”
During her studies, she immersed herself in the creative process and developed a unique working style in which she created a cross-section between sketching and digital processing. “Using different tools and techniques I create elements and surfaces in ink. Afterward, I work with the colouring; matching, and adjusting until I reach the effect I searched for.”
When sketching, Reeta uses black ink and black acrylic paint to create shapes. She purposefully keeps all elements black, as it is easier to scan, but: “Black also lets me concentrate on forms and rhythms,” she adds “Though my sketches are all bland, colours are essential to me.”
Nature at your fingertips
Reeta shares a studio with multiple other designers and creatives. It is also situated on Lauttasaari, and she can see the ferries going to Estonia and Sweden from her windows.
Taking advantage of the surrounding nature, Reeta enjoys walking when she is in need of new input. She explains that she gathers inspiration consciously and unconsciously throughout the day and that walking is a way to organize all the impressions. “Inspiration is a strange thing. It usually comes when you least expect it, and it can be a tiny thing that leads you forward.”