Tag Archives: artist

How an industrial site developed into a thriving artist community

2017-08-10

Inside Finland’s quirky artist haven reads the headline of the recent article in Travel and Leisure magazine. The article is a fine account of a success story of a beautiful village, Fiskars, in southern Finland. Originally, Fiskars was a manufacturing site, because of a river and rapids that produced energy for factories. Today, the village is a beautiful place where more artists would like to live and work than there are apartments and houses available.
Fiskars, an artist village in Finland
The Travel and Leisure article describes the rapid change of the village:

“When I moved here in 1995 the village was dying,” Widnäs recalled as we sat around her dining-room table drinking coffee. “The knife factory was the only thing still in operation. But three years later, I arranged an international ceramics exhibition, and we got a lot of publicity. It made other artists and designers very eager to move here. They saw we were working together — and working like hell.” Widnäs also explained that at first, there was confusion around the new identity of the village and its connection to Fiskars, the business; some people thought the artists were working for the company. “Fiskars owns the buildings, but that’s it. We make the town alive.”

Fiskars village, Finland, Scandinavia, Europe
The commercial product brand Fiskars is still associated with scissors, knives and other products, but the company doesn’t have anything to do with the village anymore, except as a real estate owner. Corporate headoffice is located in Helsinki, and manufacturing takes place in several sites across the world.

For travelers who stay in Helsinki, and want to get out of the city for a day, Fiskars is an excellent destination. It is about one drive from Helsinki. Summer weekends are busy because Finns like to visit Fiskars on Saturday and Sunday. The popular things to do are: have a picnic, shop at boutiques, walk along the river, explore exhibitions, have a cup of coffee or a meal at a restaurant. Playgrounds for children keep them busy as well.
Fiskars village, South Finland
If you have time and energy after visiting Fiskars, I recommend the coastal town of Tammisaari (Ekenäs). The old town center is well preserved, even though houses are mostly made of wood. Very nice and neat old town to explore. The town recently adopted an ancient name of the area Raasepori (Raseborg). Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, and it is the coastal area where Swedish can be the dominant language in many communities.

On the way, you may spot a place called Billnäs, which is also an old industrial village. It is also developing to something else, but time will tell what it will be. Today, antiques shops is perhaps the thing Billnäs is known for.

More about quirky destinations, and above all, the quirky culture and customs of Finns can be discovered in the book The Lighter Side of Finland. Finland is changing, and the book has recently been revised and updated. It is the 6th edition that is available now.

Classic books get modern cover designs by the Creative Action Network artists

2016-01-25

Classic books, like War and Peace, Pride & Prejudice or Moby Dick have had so many cover designs over their lifespan that no one knows every design that exists. Every time a book is translated to another language or a new edition is printed, a new cover that reflects the trends of the times may have been created. Now, in the era of ebooks, a group of artists has decided to recreate covers for classics.

Creative Action Network launched Recovering the Classics campaign in 2013, and invited artists to contribute new cover designs. The goal was to get new covers for 100 old books that are still being read as ebooks. The campaign was more popular than the organizers expected. More than 750 artists and designers contributed.

book cover, by abdul rasyid

Design by Abdul Rasyid


book cover, niasha kodzai

Design by Niasha Kodzai


book cover, roberto lanznaster

Design by Roberto Lanznaster


book cover, kirsten mischler

Design by Kirsten Mischler


book cover, becki kozel

Design by Becki Kozel


View all the new book cover designs here where you can also purchase your favorite designs as posters and t-shirts.

Since books are digital products today, and can feature motion pictures and animated images, why not animate the book cover as well? That’s what Shannon Palmer concluded, and created a couple of animated book cover designs for classics. Here is the new, animated cover for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein:

Via Wired.

Making Art out of Old Books

2015-02-25

In many places, second hand books have so little value that people try and give them away, but sometimes even it won’t empty bookshelves at home. New forms of art are constantly being developed, and one of them involves old books. Some artists cut books to form new objects, some stack them to create sculptures, while others paint on them.

Ekaterina Panikanova

Ekaterina Panikanova, who comes from St Petersburg, has invented a unique way to use old books in art. More samples of her work at her home page.

Ekaterina Panikanova