Interview: Anna Pirkola

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Name: Anna Pirkola

Where do you live: Helsinki, Finland

Known for: I’m an interior stylist, designer and blogger.

Currently working with:
Right now working full time as interior stylist for various companies and magazines. Obsessed with listening to music, making wall hangings, spending time with my family and dancing (ballet).

When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
When I was kid, I used to organize and decorate my parents’ house, so I guess it all starts from there. I graduated as a textile designer, but my six years of studying included a lot of interior designing. After that I started working for magazines and I guess it just grew from there.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
Tough one. But if I have to pick just one, it definitely has to be near the sea, so let’s say Helsinki. Stockholm would have been great too, or Melbourne, or New York, haha…

How would you describe your creativity?
I’m quite spontaneous and ideas just keep on popping in my head. Nature, everyday life, people, music, different cultures, you name it, you can pretty much find inspiration everywhere.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
Almost 10 years ago when I graduated.

What do you do at the moment?
Can’t be happier being part of this new Finnish interior magazine called Asun, founded by former Deko-magazine’s head editor Ulla Koskinen. Just finished shootings for issue number two. Also happy and very honored to have my wall hangings in an exhibition in Gallery Lokal in Helsinki. Lots of new exciting projects coming up.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Trust yourself, do what you love and be patient.

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
Clear space with a lot of natural light, plus good coffee and Macbook.

What is your favorite film?
Haha, I think I have to say “To have or have not”. Such a classic and old-school film. We used to watch it so many times with my sister when we were younger. She’s a really big fan of all those old films.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
My big sister who lives Brisbane, Australia.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
No rush anywhere, a glass of good wine, piles of magazines or a good book you just can’t stop reading.

What is luxury for you?
Just to live everyday life with my family, and all those little things like a picnic in the park or bike ride to the nearest forest.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
Just a week ago I got such a great compliment when Asun magazine’s head editor saw our newest work for the magazine and told me that she expected something awesome, but this was beyond that. Of course it felt really good. I think that people should say compliments more often to each other and not only work related, about everything.

What do you fear most?
The world is a scary place. Watching the news it’s easy to think that how come we can even still be alive. People are so self-centered, but I guess that comes in our genes. But according to the question I’d say that my worst fear is that something bad would happen to my family.

What is a happy life to you?
Healthy and loving life with my family and the dearest near me.

What does a regular day look like for you?
Our younger daughter usually wakes up before six so that’s pretty much when the day starts. Then coffee and some breakfast and after that it’s time for kids to go to their daycare. It depends of a day if I’m going to the photo-shoot or back home to check the emails and start planning next shooting. After four o’clock it’s time to pick up the kids and start having some quality family time with them. On evenings I might do some weaving or just read a book or watch a film and hopefully before 12 pm we are in the bed ready to get even some sleep before it all starts again. Luckily I happen to love it!

Tell us about your dream project.
The best thing for the stylist is when the client trusts you completely and you get almost free hands to design the shoot, do something different and original.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
Can’t really name only one, just talented people with a view. As a woman I look up to other women who are strong and just do what they love.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
One thing is that I’m very pedantic and strict and want everything to be done just as good as it ever can. But at the same time I want working to be fun. Believe me you can easily put these two together.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
My family.

What inspires you?
All the things that are surrounding me. It’s really hard to pick just one or few things, it can be my  friends, music, the world itself, kids, nature, good restaurant or even a floor of a hardware store, you name it.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
There are so many. When I was 15 years I read Peter Singers “Animal Liberation” and since that I’ve been a vegetarian so that really changed something. But there are so many good classics in the world, “How to kill a mockingbird” is of course one too. Haven’t read the sequel yet, but really looking forward to do that.

Follow Anna on Instagram @annapirkola
Read her blog  and check out her website

photo by Katri Kapanen2 photo-by-Katri-Kapanen photo-by-Katri-Kapanen1 photo by Juho Huttunen photo by Juho Huttunen1

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