24 Dec 2011

Amazing anti-Christmas

As a fan of tacky pullovers, chocolate overdoses and other Christmas related things, I wanted to do something Christmassy on my blog as well. My epic plan of making a seasonal illustration failed due to lack of time, as my hunt for presents started only three days before the D-Day and I ended up spending most of my time running around the city, not finding the things that I wanted to find and ending up baking cookies instead. No matter how burned, home-made presents will always be found sympathetic by the receiver, hence they are the perfect choice for all us desperate last minute souls. Just saying.

But anyway, a long story short: no Christmas illustrations this year. My plan B might have involved Wham and a certain song called "Last Christmas", but lucky for you I ended up discovering some amusing Christmas animations made by Treat, a collective of 6 animators, so I'll share them with you instead. They are a nice example of how to transform a seemingly boring Christmas theme into something amazing - amazing in this case meaning robots, lasers and cool stuff like that.

PS. To anyone who received burned cookies from me this year: my apologies. I'll promise to invest on an egg timer.

16 Nov 2011

From the list of ultimate dreams and a call for contributors


For real. I've just let my pencils take a rest in the drawer and put on my fashion student goggles instead to finish my degree in Amsterdam Fashion Institute. So yes, my walls are getting filled with to-do lists and I'm back on a dark chocolate diet again (works really well if you need to stay up late, hinthint). But actually, I really enjoy it. Why? Because on my list of ultimate dreams there's a point for "making a book or a magazine", and that's exactly what I'm doing: making a bookazine.

The bookazine will be based on and inspired by the Free Fashion Challenge, an online project that challenged 15 fashion addicts to stop shopping for one year. It will tell the most compelling stories of the participants, gathering their successes, failures, tips, tricks and discoveries between two covers. The bookazine will be like a collective diary with a heart of a fashion guide and the inspiring looks of fashion magazines, showcasing the creative side of fashion outside the cycle of ceaseless consumption.

I'm collaborating with Laura De Jong, the founder of the Free Fashion Challenge, and together we're planning on publishing this bookazine with a small assignment book for doing your own shopping sabbatical. However, to make the bookazine the eye candy of the year, we will need help, and as a doodle devotee and an illustrator myself, who else would I turn to on that matter if not the community of illustrators! In other words, we're now looking contributors, so if you fancy getting featured, give us a shout at FFC.Publications@gmail.com

Find out more about the FFC publications here and psst, drop a hint to all your other illustrator friends as well!

28 Sep 2011

London Fashion Week

The fashion weeks are here again and I've got to say I've had a very fashionable Autumn so far despite spending most of these glamorous, fashion-filled days working from home in my pajamas and eating breakfast, lunch and dinner all from the same plate (if using a plate at all). All this made possible by a miracle called the Internet.

Next to working on fashion illustrations for Spot On Style, I've also gotten to do some drawing for Amelia's Magazine last week during the London Fashion Weeks. Once again, it was great fun and the crew of Amelia's definitely deserves a bow! Here's from top to bottom: Leutton Postle S/S 2011 and Spijkers en Spijkers S/S 2012


Tweeting with the writers and waiting for the catwalk pictures to drop in your email straight from the runway is always exciting, but another thing I really like about the Fashion Weeks is the shortness of the deadlines - it really pushes you to make decisions on compositions and such efficiently instead of pottering around and letting ideas rest overnight. And weirdly enough, working till the late hours to get a piece finished by the next morning and listening to odd midnight radio shows is actually one of my favourite things to do.

9 Sep 2011

Spot On Style

Fashion illustrations - goodness, I (mentally) drool over them! So, when Tatiana Blood, a stylist and a friend of mine asked me to create illustrations of that kind for her newly founded company called Spot On Style, I quickly wiped away the (mental) drool and said yes.

The briefing was to create visuals that would communicate a classy, elegant sense of style and make the company's website stand out. Other than that, it was all very open, so I grabbed my pencil and started doodling. Still got a few more illustrations to go, but here's the first one I made for the opening page:


25 Aug 2011

Nudes of the week #6

To correct myself, this is not about the nudes of the week - it's actually one single nude and a dog of the week. Why? You know how those life models are always sitting on a platform surrounded by pillows and draped fabrics? Well, in our class we don't really like those kind of props - we like dogs better. The one last week was called Muffy, a funny old one who parked himself on top of my bag that was lying on the floor once I had made the mistake of petting him. But he was a nice doggy, one of those who at times look as if they were laughing (although underneath he has a very serious face).
Both the dog and the actual model were as nude as they could be, so in reality no animals were tortured with ties.

Dear Londoners,

There's no denying the fact that sometimes not living in London makes me really, really sad. But to the ones luckier than me, here's a tip: The Big Draw's Big Splash. Go on, click on the link and go doodle with Quentin Blake, make a fashion zine with Nina Chakrabarti and become the best bubble writer in the world.

And here are some happy news for all the starving artists: it's all for free!
*NB: Okay, so apparently I fell pretty hard for my own advertising...Just booked a bus trip to London, hence attending and feeling less sorry for myself not living there. Anyone else coming? :)

5 Aug 2011

Case of the mystery box

This mystery box that was waiting for me at the studio forced me to jump around a little! Filled with some of the postcards I made for Drawing Room a while ago, I felt like a proud parent (or a postcard maniac with a mental sparkle in my eyes) turning these babies around in my hands and fondling their shiny coating. They turned out just perfect! And no, this is not just proud mommy talk...or maybe just a little bit.

Now all I need is to do is to get some stamps and start sending these dolls and ponies around the world. If you like them, just digitally tap my shoulder and one day there might be a horse waiting behind your door. :)

3 Aug 2011

Nudes of the week #5

It's back to business with the pink socks and weekly nudes! I admit I'm very much slipping from trying to improve my actual life drawing skills into playing around with colours and focusing on the oh-so-interesting details like socks. But oh well - at least I'm having fun.

27 Jul 2011

Nocturnal project

Emmi's ABC
PS. I don't think I have ever heard the 6 o'clock morning news on the radio before. Now I have -how exciting!

18 Jul 2011

Nudes of the week #4

You know those things that you always find when searching for something totally different? My water-soluble wax pastels are one of them. They've been hiding in my drawers untouched for about 4 years, so yesterday I decided to take them out to play with me and some nude models.

I quite liked messing around with the colours and water (to the point where I started hurrying through the sketches just so I could start adding colour on them sooner!). Now I've placed the pastels on the top of the pile on my desk, so the next time I'll remember to use them won't hopefully be in another 4 years.


5 Jul 2011

Wait up, I still wear clothing

Fear no more, for even though the lines I've been drawing lately seem to have been focusing on nudity, this blog shall not be turning into a nude beach of illustrations. Despite the weekly nudes, I still wear clothes and - for your information - do so every day.

To prove my point, here's a piece I made for Gemma Correll's What I Wore Today a few weeks ago. I got that dress at a swap party from a girl who after having suffered from stripe syndrome was finally ready to let her inner zebra go: in fact, the French sailor shirt in one of my earlier posts used to belong to her, too! And now that I got started, I might as well mention that the bag is my grandma's old, and those extremely uncomfortable but cute shoes were found at a flea market a few years ago.
What I Wore Today by Emmi Ojala

4 Jul 2011

Nude(s) of the week #3

I'm about to show you something that
a) does not look like something I drew and
b) is not drawn with a pencil of mine.

Why? Because yesterday, someone actually taught me how to draw life models. Did you know, that the body is 7 1/2 heads high and the torso from the waist up can fit three heads on top of each other? I didn't, but now I do. I also know that all these facts and trying to put them in practice whilst drawing really made me feel like I never drew before. I also had to ditch my pencils and draw with a thing called graphite, and that actually was the first time. As if this wasn't enough to put me out of my comfort zone, I had to do this all in big scale on a huge paper, which is one of my greatest dislikes. I learned so much, but deep inside I just wanted to dig out my little sketchbooks and draw puppets with abnormally large heads.

Nude of the week vol 3
Though I've got to admit, I got quite enthusiastic about playing with the water soluable graphite.

27 Jun 2011

Nudes of the week #2

nude of the week 2

...and again the week kicks off with the nude of the week and some fancy knee socks! The proportions and the positioning of the left leg keep on bugging me, but considering the amount of minutes I spent on drawing the sock instead of getting the proportions right I might have to forgive myself this time. Besides, who cares about proportions when there's a pink sock involved!

22 Jun 2011

Sneak peek!

Here's a little sneak peek of the latest work I've done for Drawing Room. I'm almost there with the entire deck finished, just on time for those rainy summer days when you're stuck in a cottage somewhere in the middle of the forest, the only entertainment being either staring out of the window, filling in crossword puzzles or playing cards. That said, I vouch for playing cards.
Playing cards preview

20 Jun 2011

Nudes of the week


I figured that whilst being busy with finishing the techno-insect illustrations, I should let the cyberspace know I'm still alive by throwing in some nudes from yesterday's life drawing class. Happy unclothed Monday evening everyone!

PS. I'm not big on drawing faces, but yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave one of the models a nose. Impressive, no?

11 Jun 2011

Visually Appealing Things

So this is my theory: most people like Visually Appealing Things*. Some of these people are also capable of producing such things. These two qualities combined make up an individual with an urge to contribute to spreading nice stuff around his environment. Hence, he/she takes every opportunity to make sure that the population of Paint- and Power Point-made designs reduces, whilst the amount of Visually Appealing Things grows. Result: a prettier world, a more satisfied individual.

*definition likely to be subjective

A while back, my dad asked me to help him out with T-shirts he wanted to print for a nerd club he and his friends formed already before flat screens and laptops existed. They're all computer guys and their club is called TMK, which stands for Tikkakosken Mikrokerhoilijat (translated it would be Microclubbers of Tikkakoski, Tikkakoski being the place where we used to live in Finland). My "briefing" was to create a logo for their summer tour around the Netherlands, and my dad insisted on having some tulips in it to highlight the fact that the tour was taking place in the Netherlands, the land of tulips. (He also suggested having a leaf of cannabis incorporated, but after my mum gave us a strong "NO" from the kitchen we decided to settle for tulips). I was already drowning under my to-do lists and wasn't quite sure whether I would have time for a little side project like this, until my dad said the magical words: "If you don't have time, I can also just quickly put something together with Power Point." Now, referring back to my theory, my mission was to not let this happen!

This is the result printed on a T-shirt after one morning of sketching and photoshopping. The flowers give the shirts a bit of a feminine flare, but I'm sure the microclubbers are men enough to handle that. Cheers to my dad, the TMK Summer Tour shirt and not using Paint nor Power Point!

Note: I always, ALWAYS, use the word "nerd" with a positive connotation.

6 Jun 2011

Dear whoever,

If you ever happen to be in London, you should pop in The Vintage Emporium café. It's the loveliest little café/vintage store fusion on Earth. And if you're the kind of whoever who likes drawing, make sure you go there on a Wednesday evening, because then you get to gather around a table with other artsy people and draw the centerpiece, which happens to be a nude model. I used to go to these sessions whilst living in London last year, and next to my friends, scones and coconut filled naan bread it's one of the things I miss the most in that city.
But back to Amsterdam and life drawing business: I've made a comeback and started going to life drawing classes again. For some weird reason, I find it really relaxing, drawing something that is supposed to look realistic whilst my illustrations usually rely heavily on my own imagination.
life drawing by Emmi Ojala

25 May 2011

Chanel nro. 5?

"Just drew a perfume bottle with tarantula legs - might have ruined the glamour of fragrances for good."


That's what I tweeted last week, and now that itsy bitsy spider perfume has some nice (..?) hairy legs and a bit colour on its cheeks as well. I like!


19 May 2011

1 May 2011

What I wore today

Last week, I ran into this super nice blog called What I Wore Today. Yes, I know there are plenty of blogs with pictures of random outfits of random people, but this one is different: it's a blog and a flickr group for those who don't like posting photos of themselves on the web, but do like drawing. Hence, no typical fashion blogger poses here, just heaps of illustrated outfits drawn by different people.

I love the idea and the way Gemma Correll, the brain behind this project, has put it all together, and today whilst idling my Sunday away the itch to contribute got too big.

So before I start jabbering: ta-daa!

What I wore today by Emmi Ojala

PS. I kid you not, everybody seriously thought I was French. Oh mon dieu, what a cliché!

28 Apr 2011

Bit of bugs

FYI, I quite like drawing insects! In an "eeeew, look at that" kind of way, googling inspiration images is also a lot of fun.

Here're some tech-bugs in progress, the friends of the ant-face featured in the previous post. All of these guys are part of a project I've been working on to illustrate an entire deck of playing cards for Drawing Room. 52 cards means the same amount of these creepy-crawlies, so I guess my room will start buzzing soon.

bugs by Emmi Ojala

14 Apr 2011

Geeky greetings!

Here's one of the guys I've been playing with for the past few days, sending geeky greetings to you! I'm working on a project that involves drawing a lot of technological characters, so most likely this one won't be the last to come and say hi. :)

(He has a face of an ant, doesn't he?)

11 Apr 2011


The day you realize that your level of happiness is directly proportional to the number of bulldog figurines you own, you might as well

a) question your sense of style
b) start calling yourself a crazy bulldog lady
c) be happy about the fact that if you all of a sudden choke to death, your face won't be eaten by cats. Instead, it will rot safe and sound with porcelain dogs, which is a lot less nastier.

I know this doesn't have anything to do with illustration at all, but I need to channel this ridiculous amount of excitement over that white dog (left) I found at a market today to accompany the doggy (right) I already had.

Just look at them - aren't they perfect together?

10 Apr 2011

Attention, birds!

Once again, pigeons. Having been a bit worried about their diet lately, I sketched a Pigeon Health Awareness poster whilst sitting in a park today. If someone wants to sponsor this campaign, I'll promise to make "Fly high, keep your cholesterol down" and "Eat seeds, drink fish oil" posters free of charge.


7 Apr 2011

Toy Story

Not sure if Bratz dolls were inspired by pin-up (their lips certainly hint more towards Botox), but it goes without saying that if Toy Olympics existed, those modern barbies would get the highest scores in flirt. We at Drawing Room thought this was a little unfair and - being big fans of old school toys - decided to show it's not only the Bratzies that can compete in the seduction category.

Hence, introducing to you my latest illus: innocently kittenish toys, soon to be printed on postcards. Was so much (nostalgic) fun drawing them, made me want to find my own good ol' collection of My Little Ponies and put them in a glass vitrine. On a royal velvet pillow.


29 Mar 2011

Notes on spring and pigeons

Not much news from my headquarters lately, I've been busy trying to synchronize work with getting an overdose of vitamin D. So far, it has resulted in living on tea and working through the nights after all the sunny hours well spent on chilling outside. Today I actually managed to burn my cheeks, which is clearly a hint from Spring suggesting that I should either go hardcore with my SPF 50 sun block or spend more time indoors, drawing. Spring has a point there.

Talking about spring, the pigeons in Amsterdam seem to be in the mood for it, spreading their bird love all over the parks. Like Big Time. It's quite a lot of fun to watch, though I don't think pigeons chasing each other will ever reach the same level of sweetness as the animal love in this animation by Julia Pott.

6 Mar 2011

"Stop talking and breathing for a couple of seconds."

Pretty much anything looks fascinating through a microscope, but I've just discovered something that beats even dead flies 6-0. A microscopically tiny but monumentally cute animation:

The story about the making of is so unbelievable that I could even describe it as jaw-dropping. Yep, big words for a teeny-weeny animation, but seriously: the guys who made this should be awarded a Nobel for their patience.

5 Mar 2011

Saturday stuff

I feel tempted to start with a comment about the weather, but I'll just briefly mention the colour grey and leave it like that. I've been sitting on the floor (undeniably the best place to draw), working on a project I started this week at Drawing Room. I'm interning for them now, so I get to draw a lot, all day and every day, which is just perfect - worth of a hooray, hurrah and a yey!

Saturday Stuff

Also, this miniature fashion model with her pie cup stand went online today together with the DAKS catwalk review on Amelia's Magazine.

That's all the Saturday news and chitchat. The pencils from my floor office are calling now, so back to work I go!

27 Feb 2011

London Fashion Week


The good thing in not being able to attend Fashion Weeks is that

a) you won't be totally exhausted afterwards
b) ......ummmm, can't really think of anything else.

Anyway, I took part in spirit last week during the London Fashion Week by doing some illustrations for Amelia's Magazine . I've never drawn from catwalk pictures before, but it turned out to be really great fun! Obviously, also good practice in drawing shoes and hands, which at times tends to give me grey hair (note: this is not the reason why the limbs got chopped off in one of the images).

I contributed only to a few reviews, but if you want to browse through some really nice stuff, there's plenty of illustrations to awe at. Particularly liked the work of Erica Sharp here.

19 Feb 2011

Of course, Henry The Horse

I've been locked inside for two days already, thanks to my dear friend Flu. After having carried out all the compulsory Being Ill Activities (including quality time with vitamin C, drinking tea and watching bad reality TV shows), I thought I could just as well be productive and draw something.

So, in between all the sneezing and coughing, I finished a piece that's been lying in my drawer since a film called "Across The Universe" urged me to draw my own version of one of the legendary Beatles-characters, Henry The Horse. That was almost a year ago, so I owned my forgotten horsey an apology: thus, he got a pair of Dr Martens and his own dance studio. See, he can waltz but he's quite a ballerina, too.


14 Feb 2011


I am Emmi and this is the first portrait I've ever made of myself. I think it sort of looks like me, but just in case it doesn't, this is who I am:

I am an apple addict (referring to the fruit now, although I do love my apple MacBook as well), a fashion student and an aspiring illustrator. I love everything that involves holding a pencil in my hand and greatly dislike DHL trucks, folding sheets and playing Monopoly. I have extremely pale skin and eyebrows so blond that most people would probably be surprised to know I even have them. But I do.

I also have a fascination with brown wrapping paper, a tendency to overuse the word "cool" and a neurotic relationship with a huge tea mug that my cousin brought from Prague. I collect people's shopping lists and other random notes lying in the streets, even though I know picking up dirty things from the ground isn't really what mums encourage us to do. But anyway, I'm sure a historian from the future would thank me for doing it

This will be my digital sketchbook. Hope you'll like it!