Elina Warsta (b.1979) is a graphic designer and illustrator. She works in a small design company called Solmu, established together with her husband. The couple lived in Helsinki, but decided seven years ago to move to a city called Kokkola, on the west coast of Finland. There they work and live in a 200 years old wooden house. The days are filled with work, spending time with their three children and renovating the old house.
When illustrating books for children, Elina goes through the text many times. While reading, the world between the lines comes to live. “The challenge of illustrating picture books is to create something, where the text and the illustatrations work together seamlessly. So that after reading the book, you can’t really remember, was some detail in the text or in the picture.” . When I illustrate for children, I try to go back to my childhood’s reading moments, what was it that impressed me and what were the things that I loved about the books or didn’t like at all.. Said that, I also think it’s important for me as an illustrator, to try to understand the world children are living in today. It is a very different than the world I spent my childhood. I want the illustrations to be natural part of their world. I follow the children’s culture, mostly with help of my own children. It’s so interesting to follow their reactions to the text and pictures while we are reading.”