COLLABORATION WITH MARIMEKKO
Kustaa Saksi is a Finnish artist and designer based in Amsterdam, specialising in graphic storytelling through patterns, textile art and installation. Graduating in 2000 from the Lahti Institute of Design, he moved to Paris where he worked as an illustrator for many years. After relocating to the Netherlands, Saksi started experimenting with different types of weaving techniques, and discovered his passion for textiles.
Combining organic qualities with uniquely detailed textures and rich colour palettes with experimental material use, Saksi’s works have been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and in galleries worldwide. Saksi has produced commissioned artworks for companies such as Issey Miyake, Lacoste, Nike, Marimekko and Swedese.
FROM PRINT TO PRODUCT
A recent brand collaboration with Finnish brand Marimekko involved the design of a range of prints and homeware. “They let me work quite freely and I was able to deliver a collection that matched both our interests,” says Saksi. “I think it’s important that the brand’s values and aesthetic are somewhat similar or compatible with my visual world.”
Working with screen printing techniques meant a certain set of restrictions in terms of detail and colour use, particularly when designing for clothing. “It is important that the repeats work well with the cut patterns,” says Saksi, who worked closely with the Marimekko design team throughout the project. “The final colour combinations also have to work with the rest of the collection – so good communication with in-house designers is obligatory.”
DON’T BE A COPYCAT
While it’s natural to be inspired by the work of practising artists and designers, widen the net to find references from architecture or photography or books – anything that sparks your own ideas will make it more personal to you. “I think it’s important to develop a strong, unique visual language that is not based on anything other than your own skill and experiences,” advises Saksi. His own abstract works are often inspired by visions and dreams happening in the borderland between sleep and waking.
Merivuokko (sea anemone) and Meriheinä (sea grass), textile prints, Marimekko SS15 home collection