When I was a young girl, I used to fight a lot at home about my chances to become an artist when I grow up. I shouted and screamed: “I will become an artist, no matter what!” After long and hard talks about my future, I already had chosen not to change my mind. One of my favorite poets once had said that the he didn’t choose this cause, the cause chose him. I lived by on those words, like many others by him.
I was always writing even as a child. My first submissions I send in to teenage magazines with short stories in them when I was 12. They were never published, due to the lack of maturity in the content and general coherence, I guess. But I gave it a shot. Since then I have had dozens of journals to write about my daily life in, many, oh so many, blogs online and have gotten published in both e-zines and print magazines.
I guess what I wanted to say when shedding the light to my past as in becoming an artist, is that this road was never easy. First my family questioned how I would make a decent living for myself – and then I had my talents questioned by early no-reply-rejections to my writings.
But my grandmother kept me interested in language and writing. She read real books for me when I was a kid and always encouraged me to keep on typing on the computer these sad little stories I made up. I got straight A’s in essay and fiction writing and eventually also graduated from high school with almost full scores on Finnish language and literature.
Since then I applied to several universities and art schools in this northern country. I was rejected by more than 10-15 schools. To my disappointment I started to realize my drawings skills weren’t that great, never alone my painting skills, and that I didn’t (despite owning a camcorder in my late teens) couldn’t edit videos or make them really. I was only writing more poetry when I found all this out.
I moved to UK to study Performing Arts and dropped out due to the launch of my debut poetry collection. It was not reviewed too much but got me confident about the future as a poet. I no longer had to be awkward about writing because I had finally a book out there in libraries and book stores.
It took me a long time to get over being a debut poet. For years, I attempted to write new manuscripts of poetry and even typed in a novel manuscript. I found myself writing a movie script (which is now in post-production to become a film) and my new book is about to launch any week now. Despite all this I am currently aiming for a real daytime job in some organization: office work would suit me just fine and keep me going with all the routines involved in every day living.
Sometimes I let myself dream that my upcoming book’s translation to English would be accepted by some American/British publishing house, I would get to tour abroad, I would get more attention to where it always has hurt the sweetest: to my poetry. I dream about finalizing this movie, getting it to fly across the globe for festivals and screenings, and that eventually I would be able to hold a photograph/installation exhibition, on top of the one photo exhibition I had in my home village county hall a good amount of years ago.
All this shouting and screaming and wanting to be something has led me to a good start. I admit to have had taken some time – maybe more than the average artist would – to get things officially going time and time again with various projects – but I am excited to see what the future shall bring me. I bet it will be full of rejections but also great triumphs.
Now days when I don’t really meet that many artists in my every day life, I want to always remember and thank those who I have met during my journey. There are great human beings, colleagues and aspiring young people I have discussed with, collaborated with and spend some of the most beautiful nights in my entire life with. Due to the move to an another city or due to all of the moves I have made in my life, due to quitting dancing and focusing on writing, due to health issues or ending relationships, I have found only rarely these people around me. But what teenage wannabe didn’t spend their growing up years talking about indie rock, surrealism and Wittgenstein’s philosophy vs. Foucault’s?
In this time in my life I don’t shy away anymore from liking mainstream productions, pop poets or major bands. Hey, I went to a Miley concert, I went to a modeling course, I tried learning business as well, I think Harry Styles is a great inspiration as an artist for many and The Greatest Showman should have earned an Oscar. I like to think all artist, be them world famous or only little known are equal and do share the most intimate, in-depth part of the artistic process: making something from what seems to be nothing at all.
This is me cutting the edge in a vintage dress and
a Tank Girl-inspired hair cut circa 2003.