Just recently I found myself enamored by the mystical landscapes of Sami Suomalainen at the J. D. Carrier Art Gallery in the Columbus Centre in Toronto. Sami is a Finnish born artist, living in Toronto who paints what he dreams. His paintings are full of vibrant colours that make you feel happy but I will leave it up to you to decide. Scroll down to view just a taste of his work.
Sami Suomalainen's art is adorned by many including the President of Finland and the Govenor General of Canada.
This Christmas I became a proud owner of a few of his pieces and two weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Sami in the gallery. I enjoyed listening to his stories and learning how he was destined to paint. From his early years his father would tell him he knew how to paint before he knew how to speak. What better sign that you should be a painter!
I asked Sami a bunch of questions and one in particular was if he could give me and all artists out there a piece of advice, what would it be? And so he said:
"Be true to yourself, and believe in yourself. Don't try to imitate others, use your own personal creativity."
This is a great piece of advice. With all the imagery we are constantly bombarded with everyday on instagram, facebook etc how do we stay true to our art?!! How can we believe that our art is worth it? This is a question I'm sure many artists including myself have asked. The key word for me is to B E L I E V E. Believe that you have the talent, believe in your creativity, believe that if your work inspires at least one person it is all worth it. Lastly, don't be discouraged by others work, don't feel you have to create what they are creating, instead be inspired by them. On that note, I paint a lot of flowers for one because I love them and two it allows me to use all my colours. With Sami's work his use of colour with any type of subject inspires me to be more colourful in my art whether I paint flowers or not.
As an illustrator, Sami's whimsical style lends itself well to children's book. He has made a career illustrating for children's stories including those of Robert Munch, Mud Puddle.
Be sure to visit Sami's work at the gallery in Toronto or visit his website here.
Until the next post!
Love and Light,