Sanna Annukka is a British print designer and illustrator with a Finnish heritage, living in Brighton, England. She has been part of Marimekko's creative community since 2008. Her work expresses love for nature and folklore - this year has brought us the beautiful Svaale and fascinating Njalla patterns.
"My artwork exists because
there is a story to tell."
— Sanna Annukka
Sanna Annukka was born in Brighton to a Finnish mother and a British
father. Her childhood summers spent in Finland still have a significant impact
on her work.
"I fell in love with the serene Finnish forestscapes. The smell of pine
needles and pine sap, berry picking and fishing under the midnight sun in
Lapland. I would happily spend time listening to the gentle lapping of lake
water against the 'laituri' jetty. I
was privileged to have this experience during my childhood - to establish a
bond with nature at such a young age. I'm also a believer of keeping old
traditions alive and the power of storytelling. That's why my work often
reflects my Finnish heritage."
For Sanna Annukka, being an artist is a continuous adventure and a path of self-discovery.
"There are wonderful moments when I can bring to life what exists in my head. There are also frustrating times when the process is not so easy. Being an artist, you need resilience, strength and enough curiosity to continue through the creative blocks and the self-judgements. Over the years, I have learnt to trust the process, accept the difficulties, embrace the mistakes and above all - not take things too seriously! The moments when you let go and create is a bit like allowing the universe to flow through you - and that can feel magical."
Belonging to Marimekko's creative community is a great honour for her.
"I'm a pattern obsessive, so there is no better company in the world to work for when it comes to pattern. I love Armi Ratia's way of thinking and her ambitions with Marimekko. It's so brilliant that her spirit lives so strongly within the company. As a designer, my goal is to help continue that good spirit and contribute to bringing joy to everyday lives."
Sanna Annukka is empowered by being outdoors in the countryside.
"There is no better tonic than heading to the countryside for a good dose of fresh air. A forest walk or bike ride always helps to refresh and recharge the mind."
The Svaale (Arctic fox) print features a charming fox - an important animal in Nordic mythology - as its main motif. By using simple shapes, the designer wanted to capture the character and charm-like potency of the animal. She drew inspiration from old Eastern European embroideries where animals were often quite abstract in their representations.
Forests with all their fascinating textures are an endless source of inspiration for Sanna Annukka. When designing the Njalla print, she was intrigued by moss, leaves and berries found on the forest floor as well as lichen-patterned tree trunks. The name of the print is the Sami word for a small storehouse built on top of a stout wooden pole.