We are very pleased that talented Leena Kisonen answered our Profile questions. Leena is an illustrator and designer at Kauniste,  a company making beautiful hand printed tea towels inspired by the Finnish kitchen linens from the 60s’ and 70s’.

Leena is currently studying at University of Art and Design Helsinki on her Master’s degree in graphic design. Her edgy paper cutting technique is very characteristic of her designs. Leena’s textiles totally have that Scandinavian feel we love, with a fresh, distinguishable and playful touch.

Where did Kauniste started?
In Helsinki’s old working class neighborhood called Vallila, in 2008.

How would you describe your style?
Feminine with a clumsy twist

Favorite material to work with:
Paper & scissors

Any special projects at the moment?
We are working on our long time dream of offering hand printed meter fabrics.

Best thing about being an illustrator/designer:
Having the advantage to work with beautiful things.

You, in three words:
A coffee addict, an aesthete and very nice

What inspires you?
Might sound a bit boring, but the everyday life is my biggest inspiration, I just try to look at it with fresh eyes. I have a strong visual memory and I often base my work on colors, shapes and details I’ve noticed in my surroundings.

“I’m at my most creative when…”:
Travelling

Best thing(s) about Scandinavia:
The whole open-minded way of life and the minimalistic design

Favourite designer:
The late Swedish illustrator, Olle Eksell.

Best design piece you purchased?
The HAY Loop bed, it’s perfect in its simplicity.

Best ‘secret spot’:
Lenin-park in Helsinki for summer picnics.

On your wish list:
A holiday in Japan, a beautiful home of my own and an Eames rocking chair.

What can’t you live without?
My loved ones.

Scandinavian tradition(s) you love:
Eating korvapuusti (cinnamon rolls) and drinking Glögi (a hot, spicy drink with wine) when it’s chilly.

Favorite travel spot:
Berlin in Germany and Cracow in Poland.

You, in five years:
Bigger and better.