In myths of the Saami people in Lapland goddess Sarahkka is part of a group of three goddess; Sarahkka, Juksakka and Uksakka. They are all daughters of Madderahkka, the goddess of the earth. Juksakka is the goddess of hunt and protector of boys, Uksakka is the guardian of doors and entries and protector of childhood.
Sarahkka is the protector goddess of women and girls and goddess of giving birth and midwifes. Pregnant mothers honoured her by leaving her porridge as sacrifice and when was time to deliver the baby midwives invoked Sarahkka to protect the child and the mother.
I have Saami ancestry and I greatly enjoy painting characters from the myths of the Saami´s. For this painting I used different techniques to create textures. I also did lots of research on the baby´s cradle. It is called "komsio" and it has traditional Saami weaving.
You can purchase the original painting here.
Posters, tshirts, notebooks etc can be found here.
Some of you may already know I have saami ancestry from Finland and from Sweden. For those of you who don´t know the saami´s are the first nation people of Scandinavia and northern peninsula in Russia.
I have been studying saami folklore and mythology for the past couple of years. It started as a wish to connect more with the culture. We Finns tend to be a quite mixed bag mainly with Finno-Ugric, Baltic, Slavic, Saami and Scandinavian/nordic roots.
The name of Juksakka means "the bow women". Saami culture had strictly divided gender roles and Juksakka was the protector of boys and men and the goddess of hunt. You can see many of her symbols in this painting. She has the bow and arrows. Colors in her shawl are traditional colors of the saami and can be found from the flag of the saami land. All images in the shaman drum are typical shaman drum motifs. Juksakka and her two sisters Madderakka and Uksakka were often painted to the bottom of the drum and there they are.
Still today reindeer herding is a big part of saami culture and back in the days herding happened in the mountains and the herders lived in kota (tent).
Original is painted with watercolors and can be purchased here
Stickers, posters, mugs etc can be found here.
All together I made three illustrations inspired by Diana Wynne Jones´s Howl´s Moving Castle. The book is lovely. It takes place in an imaginary land called Ingary and also in Wales. For those of you who don´t know I´v lived past four years in Wales studying children´s book illustration and yes, I am from Finland originally.
Strange thing life isn´t it. You´ll never know where you´ll end up.
This is a scene in the book where Sophie is exploring the moving castle and strange potion bottles in Howl´s dirty bathroom caught her attention.
Prints from these illustrations can be found here.
This was one of my favorite illustrations projects I´ever did in university. I absolutely loved painting this piece in particular and adding all the little potion bottle labels. There is watercolor, colored pencils and paper collage.
Here´s an illustration that I am insanely proud of! Last winter one of my projects was to do illustrations based on Diana Wynne Jones´s book "Howl´s moving castle". It is a lovely book and I remember reading it as a child and now I had to read it again. I´m afraid I was a bit too haste so I´ll probably need to re-read it again in Finnish at some point. Anyway the story is about a young lady called Sophie Hatter who gets turned into an old woman and she ends up working for a wizard named Howl.
There is Ghibli animation made of it but I haven´t seen it yet (it´s on my list). I just found out that Christian Bale is Howl´s English voice...why I can not imagine anyone else doing his voice. What it comes to illustrating not seeing an adaptation usually works as an advantage because then you are not conclusively thinking about a film.
this is a scene from the book where Sophie finds a mandrake. It took place in an alcove so I spent quite some time on Pinterest looking garden-like alcoves (welcome to day in the life of an illustrator).
Watercolor and mixed media illustration. You can find prints and all kinds of other goodies from my store.
My wizard Howl became a mixture of Jack Skellington and Lucius Malfoy. In the book he could change his looks.
Here are some close-up details.
As some of you may know I just recently graduated. Now I got a degree on children´s book illustration!
It was hard work but I did enjoy it.
If you know anyone who is looking for an illustrator or if you are looking for an illustrator and like my style don´t hesitate to contact me. I am also taking commissions. I hope to add a commission price here to my page within next couple of weeks. Should have done it already but I am freaking busy.
I´ve been painting lots of unicorns lately. Unicorn of the enchanted forest is my personal favorite. Watercolors on acid-free watercolor paper. Greeting cards, posters, stickers and other goodies available here.
Here are more details from the painting.
I finished a new painting! part of a series of unicorn artworks I did in artschool recently. This one is known as the Crystal unicorn. Watercolor and acrylics on acid-free watercolor paper. (c) Niina Niskanen
T-shirts, posters, stickers and other products available in my Redbubble store.
I made a little video of some of my favorite witching hour/Halloween/Samhain/Kekri paintings.
I finally finished the Rusalka painting. Rusalka´s are slavic water siren-demons. According to some sources there are spirits of ladies who drowned themselves because of a broken heart.
She is accompanied by Zmei, Slavic dragon.
I was inspired by medieval bestiaries. Back then people believed that many of the mythical creatures existed..in far away lands of course.
I´ve always thought rusalka´s were really cool..and really creepy. Watercolor on acid-free watercolor paper. Posters, cases, t-shirts and other good stuff available in my Redbubble store.
Here are more pictures:
Pronounced as Nee-na.
Artist, illustrator, writer, watercolorist and a folklorist. Gryffinclaw. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea and period dramas.
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