One of the great joys of living in a walkable city, is discovering the hidden treasures along the way. Meandering through streets with no set agenda, while enjoying sun kisses on bare shoulders amidst a tepid summer day is the stuffing of dreams. It was no surprise then, that on a day similar to this, I discovered Matti Pikkujämsä’s Atelier. Though listed as an illustrator and graphic designer, his work is nothing short of pure art.
Look familiar? Perhaps it’s because he has created illustrations for Finland’s premier newspaper Helsingin Sanomat as well as Image magazine, design house Marimekko, fashion label Samuji and also textile brand Kauniste. Not to mention receiving numerous accolades, most notably the State Award for Illustration in 2015. Even lighting designer Timo Niskanen commissioned a personal portrait as a calling card for his company Himmee – a testimony to how delightful Matti’s creations are.
In spite of these accomplishments, on most days you’ll find the man himself furiously sketching, or perfecting some last minute detail in his main location. The Atelier, just moments away from Punavuori’s busiest street is nestled among popular record shops. These days work takes him both east and west, as he has recently completed short stints in Japan and New York. But if you can, do stop by his space. You’ll find yourself relaxed from the jazz pouring out overhead, and charmed by the his amiable temperament. There you can arrange for a personal portrait, or choose a print to go.
Can’t make an appearance? No worries! You can easily browse his online store, where you’ll find original illustrations for sale. My personal favourites include: Swimmers, Vauvaperheen Aamu and Propaganda. Normally using acrylic on paper, the compositions focus on everyday subject interactions in a variety of contexts. These keen and oft-times witty observations led to a new concept, one which Matti personal advocates. Conceived with Antti Ervasti and Elina Rehmonen, A Cup of Therapy aims to create awareness and support for mental health issues, through use of good humoured illustrations. The results are just darling, and best yet, 10% of proceeds are donated to mental health progress.
You can follow him on instagram (@mattipikkujamsa), where you can take stock of new originals, prints or make a direct inquiry. Just in time for the holidays too, finding the perfect piece for a budding art collector, or celebrating friends and family, it’s a sweet option for years to come.
Atelier Matti Pikkujämsä; Laivurinrinne 2, +358 40 501 0434, holvi.com/shop/mattipikkujamsaTips & Perks
Street Parking / Online Store
Price – moderate originals range from €110 – €240, whereas prints are normally €30. Portraits vary according to the number of subjects, but usually start at €85 for one person.
Atmosphere – relaxed, casual. However the small quarters, with ample art supplies and live work make this location a no-go for curious little fingers.
Age appropriate from 5 years
Stroller access – limited strollers are not recommended, as the space is small and lined with precious works. I recommend coming without the little ones to meet Matti personally, and from there communicate through other mediums to complete the process.