Hilla Semeri is a 20 year old illustrator and graphic design student based in Helsinki, Finland. Her younger years were spent in the city of Lahti, where she graduated from high school in a specialised art class. Whilst most of her friends embarked on fine arts degrees, Hilla craved something different. Instead, she chose to study graphic design at Aalto University Helsinki, a decision she is glad she made.
Drawing and painting have always been Hilla’s true passions, so it is unsurprising that she opted to pursue a career in illustration. Having grown up as a shy individual, she found drawing to be a more desirable means of expressing herself than communicating verbally. Despite having many interests in diverse fields, illustration was the pastime which she dedicated the most time and energy to, and used it to make her ideas and feelings visible.
We asked Hilla to give us an insight into her creative process, which she told us tends to start off simply with paper and a pen.
Sometimes she has a clear vision and achieves exactly what she had in mind, but most of the time many preliminary sketches result in several drafts. She makes use of traditional tools such as watercolours and varied markers as often as possible, but admits that at times it is more practical to work with digital media. In terms of personal approach, she reckons that at 20 years old she doesn’t want to get stuck on any particular style , but instead hopes to experiment with an array of techniques and materials. For her, the true highlight of this job is that she can leave her handprint on visual culture and see how others react to it.
With regard to inspiration, Hilla told us how honoured she felt to be surrounded by such talented friends, who continuously inspire her to work harder. She feels especially motivated to create something spectacular upon seeing their ‘unique and beautiful creations.’ As well as this, she referred to herself as a ‘pintrest and tumblr addict,’ who devotes endless hours to browsing art blogs online.
Taking a look at her extensive series of bold and vibrant works, she told us that one of her personal favourites is ‘Poison’ (aquarelle and ink, 2015.) Against the backdrop of an aquatic themed sphere, Hilla features herself and her tears, which have perhaps have come as a result of consuming the ‘poison’ in the glass. This is a favourite as she feels it exhibits her style perfectly.
With regard to current plans, Hilla is enjoying working on a mythology themed wall calendar, and by the end of autumn hopes to have mastered Abobe Illustrator.
“I will feel very lucky if I can someday make a living out of my dearest hobby.”