Taking inspiration from the wildlife, Jonna Hyttinen, the artist better known as Scandygirl, shows animals how we all should see them. She uses a decorative style and dynamic compositions to create powerful, magical creatures that need our respect and admiration. Read the interview below and fell in love with her art that we consider a tribute to nature, wild animals, and endangered species.
Where do you live and what does your workspace look like?
I live in Lapland, Finland. My workplace is one-room flat in the center of Kemijärvi (a small city in Lapland) So far it’s big enough space for me to work in, but I think I might need a little more space in the future haha!
What was your journey from being a beginner to becoming a world-renowned, successful artist?
I’ve always been interested in art and have always drawn on off my entire life. I had a few-year break, but in 2014 when I was going through some rough times I found my old watercolors and started to paint just for fun and to get my mind off the things that made me sad at that time. I noticed that painting made me happier than ever before and I almost painted every day. And then, one day, I decided to create an Instagram account for my art. Did not think at this point that it would eventually be my full-time job. I didn’t even think about the possibility of selling my art until people started to ask do I sell my art. And that’s pretty much where it all started. When I graduated from the University of applied sciences(I’m an IT engineer) in 2017, I immediately put up my own business and have been a full-time artist ever since! It’s still hard to believe I actually do art as my job and that finding those old watercolors back in 2014 led me to this point!
Where do you take your inspiration from?
I take my inspiration mostly from the animal and the natural world, recently I’ve been super interested in mythical creatures and creatures mentioned in old folklores. Hence, I’ve been doing a lot of mythical creature art lately!
What does your artistic process look like?
I usually start my process by sketching my idea in Photoshop. I usually do not have the full idea in my head, just fragments of it. Once I decide this is something I’d like to try painting, I start sketching the idea on watercolor paper. Usually, backgrounds and all the little details come to my mind during the process. I never know what I end up with when I start haha. I just go with the flow!
What are your passions, other than creating art?
I really like to hike in the beautiful Finnish Lapland nature! I also like cycling and now that we have a baby bike trailer for our little one (almost 6months old) we’re able to do cycling trips with her, which I really enjoy too! I was also really passionate about going to the gym, but since I got pregnant that kind of ended + pandemic closing gyms and other places. I’m starting CrossFit very soon and I have a feeling I’ll like that too!
If you could choose one artist to grab a coffee with – who would it be?
Probably @jojoesart or his sister @pixie_cold, both seem like wonderful people!
You have thousands of followers on Instagram. Do you have any tips for beginners on how to work on your presence in social media?
I really didn’t think my Instagram would have this many followers someday. And to be honest, the most important thing for me is to be able to do what I love, and that does not depend on the number of followers I have, even though of course it may have an impact on sales. I know a lot of small accounts can also be super successful when they have the right audience! My tip would be to focus on subjects and things you love. Go with the style you’re most comfortable with, draw the things you like to draw, and enjoy what you’re doing! I also think TikTok might be the best place at the moment of growing your business. At least I’ve seen a lot of small businesses flourishing over there! I have an account too, but haven’t posted anything yet, maybe someday 🙂
Which of your works is your favorite and why?
I think I really like my whole “mythtober” series which I did last year. It was about mythical creatures all around the world. I enjoyed learning about every creature I made during that series. I’m also usually quite slow on creating new art, but somehow I almost manage to put a new painting out there during October/November, and I like the flow I get into. I usually learn so much when I do paintings within a day and have seen enormous improvement always after those kinds of challenges!
What are your plans and dreams as an artist?
At the moment, I only hope this is something I’d be able to do for many years still, maybe even until I retire. But who really retires from art if it is your passion? I have a strong feeling I’ll be doing art as long as I can! So, my only dream shortly is to continue doing what I’m doing now for a very long time!
On a scale from 1 to 10, how excited are you to take part in Limited Edition Displates? 😉
10000/10! These special Displates look so stunning in real life and I’m so honored to have my art turned into these special posters which all of you can enjoy for a very long time since they’re printed on metal! 😊