Amelia’s Magazine | Meet Essi Kimpimäki: Featured Artist from That Which We Do Not Understand


Essi Kimpimäki is a Finish illustrator who will be featured in my upcoming 10th anniversary limited edition artists’ book, That Which We Do Not Understand. You can also buy her wonderful work as a limited edition print featuring real gold leaf: visit my Kickstarter campaign here to find out more. Essi relocated to Scotland to study at the Glasgow School of Art. She creates textures through the use of ink, rollers, watercolour, paint, sponge and pencils, before scanning her work into Photoshop where she plays around with the colours and arrangements. Shamaness (above) is her contribution to my book and is inspired by ancient Mesoamerican civilisations who believed there was a strong connection between the spirit and visible world. The jaguar was a protective spirit companion for shamans as they moved between the realms and the bird is emblematic of the ecstatic trance state.

strawberry by essi kimpimaki
How did you research the themes for Shamaness, and what was it in particular that appealed to you about the ideas you chose to illustrate?
I have always been really interested in different cultures, of both past and present, all around the world – the further away the better! I find it fascinating how differently people perceive the world we all live in, and especially the more abstract ideas in life, the things we do not fully understand. In my opinion, the old civilizations usually had the most interesting ways of seeing things, which is why I looked at the ancient Mesoamerican cultures for this project, and the way they saw and experienced the connection between the spirit and visible world.

morocco by essi kimpimaki

The colour palette is amazing, where did you find inspiration for such a bold scheme?
Thank you! I work pretty intuitively when it comes to colours; I like using bold colours in my work in general, and I suppose with this one the bright colour palette came naturally with the exotic location deep in the jungle. I also wanted to create a stark contrast between the shamaness and the dark background of the night-time jungle.

How did you find out about the open brief and why did you decide to submit?
I think I first saw it on my Twitter feed. I have admired Amelia’s Magazine for a long time but never had the chance to even try to contribute to it, as it wasn’t in print anymore at the time I discovered it. So when I saw this opportunity, combined with the inspiring theme, I obviously had to give it a go!

deer by essi kimpimaki
What are your favourite subjects to draw and why?
I’d say my favourite subject to draw is definitely faraway places. There are so many places in the world that I’d like to see (but I’m pretty sure I’ll never see them all unless I win the lottery..), so I guess researching and drawing these places is kind of like alternative travelling to me. I don’t overly enjoy replicating an existing place right down to the comma, but I rather try to create an image that will hopefully convey the atmosphere of the location to the viewer.

Sketches for children’s book.

You also make your own screen prints, what do you love most about the process of creating art this way?
I currently work mostly digitally, but definitely want to get back to screen printing soon! Working digitally is faster and more cost efficient, but it’s just a completely different experience. When screen printing, you get so much more involved in the process, you are actually creating something tactile with your hands. I also find that screen printing can be pretty stressful at times; when things start going wrong, they really do go wrong, and you can’t fix it as easily as you can with Photoshop. But I guess this also adds to its charm! You can also end up with happy accidents that actually make the work better and more interesting. And seeing and feeling the lovely texture of the finished print definitely makes it all worth it.

You are originally from Finland but now reside in Glasgow… why did you decide to study in Scotland and what has kept you there?
At least at the time there weren’t really any illustration only degrees available in Finland, you had to study graphic design as well, which I wasn’t interested in. I also just wanted to live abroad again (I had previously lived and worked in England for a few short periods), so returning to the UK was an easy and natural choice for me. Because of the high tuition fees in England, I ended up looking at art schools in Scotland, decided that Glasgow seemed like a nice city, and that’s pretty much how I ended up here. My intention was never to stay here after graduation, but I guess things rarely go as you plan! I have my friends and boyfriend here now and I also find Glasgow an inspiring, exciting and friendly city to live in. If only it was located somewhere sunnier, though…

How much of an inspiration does your homeland remain, and how do you think your Finnish roots affect your approach to work?
I honestly don’t know; I’m not aware of actively being inspired by my homeland, but then again, I guess these things often happen subconsciously. Unfortunately I can’t remember where I read this from, but someone wrote that due to our location, Finnish culture is a mixture of West and East; more ornamental and romantic aesthetics from the East, and minimalistic and graphical approach from the West and Scandinavia. I think this is something I can relate to regarding my own work, so maybe that is where my roots show.

What are you working on at the moment.. can you give us any sneak peaks?
I’m actually preparing for the Christmas period at the moment; folding cards, cutting cardboard, packing prints, sending out orders. I have just received my Christmas cards and a few other new prints from the printers, ready for the Christmas market I’m attending next month. In addition to this, I’ve been doing some very early sketches of the main character cat for a children’s book that me and my friend are working on!

Don’t forget to visit my Kickstarter campaign if you like Essi’s work. Her print is for sale right here. Read about the creation of the print on her blog here. 50% of profits (after print, packaging and shipment costs are met) go to the artist, so if you like what you see, go support her!

Categories ,Essi Kimpimaki, ,finland, ,FInnish, ,glasgow, ,Glasgow School of Art, ,illustration, ,illustrator, ,interview, ,Kickstarter, ,Mesoamerican, ,scotland, ,Shamaness, ,Spirit, ,That Which We Do Not Understand

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Amelia’s Magazine | Amelia’s Magazine 10th Anniversary Kickstarter Campaign: That Which We Do Not Understand

Amelias Magazine TWWDNU Kickstarter header
Amelia’s Magazine is 10 years old this year, and to celebrate I’m going back into a print!

I’m producing a limited edition gold foiled artists’ book and an exclusive series of A2 limited edition art prints with real gold leaf. Find out more in the video below:

Amelia Gregory at work 2014-AmeliasMagazine
This is where I work at my home just off Brick Lane in East London.

Amelia’s Magazine has continued as a web only magazine since I stopped making it in print, but remains a labour of love since I do not currently take any advertising or sponsored posts. Therefore, in order to realise my dream I am raising money through the Kickstarter crowd funding website. This is a very exciting and nerve-wracking time for me, because I must raise the entire amount of money in order to receive any of it. I therefore need to raise £12,000 (or more) in 24 days and I would love your help in doing so.

Ver Sacrum by Cristian Grossi. This flashing gif shows how the gold leaf might look on the fine art print.

How you can help:

Please share the campaign amongst your friends on social networks, via email and of course by word of mouth. We are using the hashtag #TWWDNU. It is especially important to drive traffic at the start and encourage Kickstarter to promote the campaign within the Kickstarter community, but every little share counts whenever that may be and I am very grateful for your time and effort.

Please choose one of the Kickstarter rewards for yourself from the campaign page. Pledge for rare back issues, books, hand screen printed t-shirts, postcards and of course the limited edition book and art prints. The book will not be available in many shops and I am offering rock bottom prices to early bird bidders to get the campaign rolling.

Shamaness by Essi Kimpimäki.

A bit more about this project:

That Which We Do Not Understand 10th anniversary artists’ book:
The book features art and creative writing about That Which We Do Not Understand, a theme that will explore the many ways in which humans seek to understand the things that they don’t understand in their lives, inspired by my personal experience of two late miscarriages. The book is being printed on high quality recycled paper from Antalis by Principal Colour in Kent and features gold foil on the cover and gold spot printing throughout. The final publication will be beautiful and inspiring, full of thought provoking contributions that question and celebrate the miraculousness of life. The book will bring contributors’ work to a large audience, and better still, artists will receive 50% of profits from sales of the fine art prints, which will be made in editions of 10.

Tribal Cumulus by Mateusz Napieralski (Gust of Wind).

The artworks and writing for the book have been found through an open brief on the Amelia’s Magazine website, which many of my readers will have already seen and perhaps even submitted to. The deadline has now been extended for Kickstarter, and closes on midnight (GMT) on Sunday 16th November so you can still submit work, but please do it sooner rather than later. The book will be designed as the campaign progresses and if everything goes to plan it will go to print in late November, and you will receive your copy in good time for Christmas. The launch party is planned for Thursday 11th December at Tatty Devine’s shop on Brick Lane, and the prints will be on exhibition until the end of the year. Any unsold prints will be available through the East End Prints website.

TWWDNU front cover collage meteors, meteor showers
Cover art prints:
These are A3 sized and will feature the cover image from That Which We Do Not Understand in abundant real gold leaf on the special shimmering gold cover stock that we are using for the book cover. I have not yet designed the cover art but you can be sure it will be eye-catching and amazing (see my inspiration above): think meteor showers and 10 Years on top of the Amelia’s Magazine logo encased in a flaming meteor… Grab a piece of Amelia’s Magazine history, and get in early to take advantage of my amazing early bird deal.

Mater Gaia by Niall Grant.

Fine art prints:
I have chosen five artists for my first round of fine art gold leaf A2 prints: each has created a very beautiful and very different piece of art that will be printed up as an archival quality giclee print with hand applied REAL GOLD LEAF highlights by Harwood King. There will only be ten of each artwork available at the amazing price of £180, so make sure you order yours early and don’t miss out.

The Empress by Daria Hlazatova.

Pot Luck prints:
I am also offering prints at the cheaper price of £140, which must be purchased sight unseen – these are for those of you who trust my taste and are willing to take a bit of a gamble! The more pledges I receive the more prints will be produced, so I look forward to sharing those choices with you as they are made.

TWWDNU example images1
Example artwork from That Which We Do Not Understand (clockwise from top left) by Laura Wilson, Adam Corns, Sarah Tanat-Jones and Dorry Spikes.

TWWDNU example images 2
Example artwork from That Which We Do Not Understand (clockwise from top left) by Emma Farrarons, Maia Fjord, Sarah Parris and Yoko Furusho.

You can see sneak peaks of the artwork that is being created if you follow the #TWWDNU hashtag on twitter and instagram. Please do take a peek at more of the goodies below, then click on over and support my Kickstarter campaign page here. Thankyou so much!

12 exclusive postcards featuring a range of print processes (foiling, glitter, pearlescent ink) for only £5.

Rare back issues for only £10.

Beautiful hand screen-printed t-shirts at the rock bottom price of £25: perfect Christmas presents.

My two illustration books in a bundle for only £30, currently retailing for £23 each on Amazon in the UK.

Categories ,#TWWDNU, ,10 Years, ,Adam Corns, ,Antalis, ,Brick Lane, ,Creative Writing, ,Cristian Grossi, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Dorry Spikes, ,East End Prints, ,Emma Farrarons, ,Essi Kimpimaki, ,Gust of Wind, ,Harwood King, ,illustration, ,Kickstarter, ,Laura Wilson, ,Maia Fjord, ,Mateusz Napieralski, ,Meteor, ,Meteor shower, ,Miscarriage, ,Niall Grant, ,Open brief, ,principal colour, ,Sarah Parris, ,Sarah Tanat-Jones, ,Shamaness, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,Ver Sacrum, ,Yoko Furusho

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Amelia’s Magazine | Red Lines: an interview with Danish musician Hannah Schneider

Hannah Schneider by Essi Kimpimaki.

Danish born Hannah Schneider comes from an illustrious musical heritage: her grandfather was famed violinist Alexander Schneider, a member of the celebrated Budapest String Quartet and her mother was a violinist with the Royal Danish Theatre. Coming from such a background it is unsurprising that Hannah is a ‘melody fanatic’ with an ear for a good tune and an innovative arrangement. Red Lines is her third album, a glorious miss mash of electronica and classical influences. Here she answers some revealing questions…

What are you up to today?
Right now I’m enjoying the last rays of sun outside on a café in Copenhagen, so right now I’m doing very well! I’m working a lot these days, getting ready for my album release, so a little break is very much appreciated.

How does Red Lines differ from your previous two albums?
My new album Red Lines is very “open” towards people compared to my last album. On Me vs. I (2012) I looked very much inwards, and worked with themes that were very personal. On my new album Red Lines I guess I’m looking out on the world and opening up a little more. This album is very much built by the different songs, more than an overall sound – I felt a great freedom in giving each song what it needed. Also I have gone from a “one-woman-army” who produced it all myself, to working with the two Danish producers Andreas “Maskinen” Sommer and Lasse Baunkilde, and of course that has changed the process a lot. I guess you can also actually hear a little more of a masculine sound mixed with my dreamy and feminine vocals. I like that mix. The songs have very different themes, and I have been inspired by everything around me – from a gripping Chinese contemporary art exhibit at the Hayward Gallery in London, to a lonesome walk in a storm in the Danish countryside. Since my last album, I had a baby girl, and I think that influences my writing a lot – not in the sense that the songs have all become lullabies or talks about diaper change, but more in the sense of the strength and empowerment it has made me feel to be a mother.

The album features quite a lot of synths and electronica, who are your influences in this area?
I’m quite the synthesiser geek – I love old synths, I often hunt small Casios down on flea markets, and spend a lot of time experimenting with synths and pedals. I also write most of my songs on keys/synths, and have production ideas just as fast as melody ideas. On this album we were inspired by the sound of the movie Drive – this 80′s cinematic, synths driven sound- but also very much by one of my great heroes Kate Bush.

There are a lot of classical musicians in your family, how do you think this has shaped your approach to music making?
I think very much in orchestral arrangements, I always have lots of strings, and my brother (cello) and sister (violin) always find their way into the productions. I think it is very much in my blood, thinking in classical melodic structures, and I still listen a lot to classical music.

Hannah Schneider by Carly Watts for Amelia's Magazine
Hannah Schneider by Carly Watts.

You have been described as a ‘melody fanatic’, is this where you start with your songwriting or if not, where do you start?
I love that description – makes me sound like a crazy-person – I think it refers to my great love for melodies that catches you- I try to work with that in my music. I have an extremely broad taste, and love very different kinds of artists, but the common denominator I think, is strong melodies. A tiny bit of melody hummed by someone can be so haunting, sad, interesting and lovely, and I’m fascinated by the structure of melody.

What’s the music scene like over in Denmark?
A lot of great artists right now, and a lot of strong female acts, setting the tone. I think that what we lack in size, we are starting to gain in originality – it seems there’s a “nordic sound” evolving these days..

Out of all the tracks on the album, which is your favourite?
I think the first track on the album, Butterfly Lovers, sums up the album very well- I wrote it with one of my favorite collaborators Kim Richey, in London last year. It was just a great process of writing – we had been to a Chinese Modern Art exhibit at Hayward Gallery on the Southbank, and there was this very scary and gripping lady who did a performance on this old Chinese myth about two lovers who cannot have each other, and the vibe of this story totally set us in motion.. I also really love the song Dreaming Kind – my tribute to the sensitive kinds of people (very much like myself) and the song Everything, that’s basically a happy song about realizing that the facts aren’t as grave as they seem..

If you could bring back one musician from the dead to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
I think I would have a whole festival of dead people!! But to name one, it would probably be Nick Drake – I think he’s absolutely gripping, and he died so young that he didn’t get to do a lot of records – I would love to pick his brain and see what we would come up with!

What’s the maddest thing a fan has ever done for you?
Travelled all the way to the US to see a show !

hannah_schneider-cover artwork
What are your forthcoming plans for the UK with this new album?
I just played a show in London, and I really enjoyed it – hopefully I’ll be back soon to play some shows – we’re working on a couple of opportunities right now. It is my first release in the UK, so in a sense I start all over- it will be fun to build up an audience from the ground- I love performing and working on my live set.

Red Lines by Hannah Schneider is out on the 27th of October on Lojinx in the UK.

Categories ,Alexander Schneider, ,Andreas “Maskinen” Sommer, ,Budapest String Quartet, ,Butterfly Lovers, ,Carly Watts, ,Chinese Modern Art, ,copenhagen, ,Danish, ,Dreaming Kind, ,Drive, ,Essi Kimpimaki, ,Everything, ,Hannah Schneider, ,Hayward Gallery, ,Kate Bush, ,Kim Richey, ,Lasse Baunkilde, ,Lojinx, ,Me vs. I, ,Motherhood, ,Nick Drake, ,Nordic, ,Red Lines, ,Robyn, ,Royal Danish Theatre, ,Synth

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