Heikala’s watercolor paintings certainly take one back to childhood storybooks that had scenes featuring characters in picturesque settings of vast landscapes, starry skies, forests, and much more. She does all this with such expertise as to make watercolor art magical.
The influence of Japanese animation and Finnish children’s book illustrations is quite evident in Heikala’s works. In fact, her inspiration stems from the artworks of other artists, animation, and nature. She shares on mymodernmet.com, “I have a collection of various art books that I seek for inspiration whenever I’m out of ideas. Japanese animation inspires my work greatly. The things that most inspire me are the background paintings and the way characters interact with their environment. I’ve visited Japan several times now and I often take reference photos to later use in my works.”
According to this artist from Oulu, Finland, there are other artists, too, that influence her works, such as Tove Jansson, who, without a doubt, is one of the best Finnish artists of all time, Rudolf Koivu, a Finnish illustrator, and painter, best known for illustrating books of fairytales for children, and Moomins, that played a big part in Heikala’s growing years.
Heikala graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from the Lahti Institute of Design in Mukkulankatu, Finland. However, making illustrations was her first love and she decided to pursue it in the right earnest and turned full-time in 2016.
Heikala prefers traditional mediums of ink and watercolor for her works, but also experiments with other mediums, like poster colors and markers. Her works are mostly woman-centric, depicting a single girl, sometimes with a cat. With her expert brush strokes, this amazing artist is able to tell stories that blend the mundane with the magical. It’s her use of colors and shading that gives an incredibly natural touch to all her illustrations that make them stand out.
Her art keeps Heikala totally busy. She not only frequents both local and international art conventions but also sells her creations, comprising prints, art books, accessories, apparels, enamel pins, bags, etc., online. She has an impressive following of over 1.2 million fans on Instagram alone.