Fifth Tower Interview~Artist: Hanna-Riikka Kontinaho

Fifth Tower logo

Hello all! A brand new interview today and, this time, I’m featuring an artist! She has done the artwork for my Askinar Towers Trilogy. Please say hello to Hanna!

Hello Hanna and welcome to the Fifth Tower!

Hello and thanks for having me!

What inspired you to become an artist?

I don’t actually know… I’ve just wanted to be an artist ever since I was little. I’ve always liked drawing, colors and details and I’ve just followed my passion.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

I have so many! I really appreciate all those famous artists, like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci etc. but I think I have learnt the most from modern artists. When I was younger I fell in love with the Swedish cartoonist Lena Furberg’s art. She has distinguishable style and yet she draws everything quite realistically. I also love manga art and my favourite mangakas are Kaoru Mori and Arina Tanemura. They both have a very detailed and plentiful style. And of course I have my favorites in Finnish art too, like children’s book illustrator Mauri Kunnas and Moomin’s creator Tove Jansson whose artwork has been published abroad too.

Where do you find inspiration for your pictures?

From everywhere! From beautiful items, from the nature, from life experiences, from music… Sometimes the inspiration comes in the middle of the night out of nowhere!

You’ve done a lot of work for author Rayne Hall, what is your favorite project that you’ve done with her?

03_Reading Cat

Hmm… I think my favorite has been the Cats with books -project. I like drawing animals and I know from life-long experience how funny they can be so it was nice to create those illustrations. Those pictures have also gathered a lot of good feedback.

01_Hiding Cat

You’ve been given the opportunity to design artwork for a book cover. How was that experience?

Book 1: Nexus of the Worlds.

Book 1: Nexus of the Worlds.

Oh, that was exciting! Kind of dream come true situation! My goal has always been to illustrate books, especially children’s books, so I was happy to get such an opportunity. I think that in a book cover design I can use all the knowledge and imagination I have.

Book 2: Sibling Rivalry

Book 2: Sibling Rivalry

Is there a room or a corner in your home that you use for creating?

I work wherever I feel is the best at the moment so I don’t have any specific place.

Do you listen to any music while you work? What kind?

Usually yes. Sometimes I listen to radio but most of the time I play my own music files which include lots of Korean pop and hip-hop and Japanese pop and rock. I’ve listened to Japanese and Korean music since high school so it’s grown onto me. I also like to listen to Spotify and its various playlists.

If you were given the chance to put your artwork on any surface (Taj Mahal, Sistine Chapel, the moon) Which would you choose, why would you choose that, and what would you design?

Wow, I’ve never thought about this! I think that any bigger wall would be exciting for me since I haven’t seen my work lots in public places. I would design something colorful which I wish would bring a smile to viewer’s face.

You were recently featured in your local newspaper. Unfortunately, most of us can’t read Finnish, can you translate it for us?

Article from a local town in Finland.

Article from a local town in Finland.

The title is something like “From an artistic girl into an illustrator”. I don’t know how to translate it any better. 😀

 Basically it’s all about me and how I’ve ended up being an illustrator. How I’ve graduated from the university of applied sciences and got important information for my career there, how there’s not that much job to do for an illustrator in my hometown and how I’ve found ways to self-employ myself via internet. The reporter wrote about Rayne Hall too, how meeting her online has helped me to gain more illustration projects and then she mentioned the project on your trilogy’s cover arts. In the end she mentioned my art blog  – which I hope will bring me more readers in the future. 😀

There’s one paragraph where they mention you too and it says the following:

“(Hanna-Riikka) Also received a contact across the ocean through Hall. Thanks to that, there’s the third e-book cover for Christopher Mentzer in the process.”

Do you have any upcoming projects?

At the moment I’m creating prize art for a contest that my friend online held last month but after that I’m not sure what I will be doing. I’ve been after one illustration project which relates to smart technology seminar. I hope I get that project! Otherwise I’ll have to create my own project to carry on.

When you are not creating, what do you do to get away from it all?

I play with my dogs, watch movies, meet a friend or chat and play online with my international friends. I also like to write a diary.

Thank you for your time!

Thank you!

Artist: Hanna-Riikka Kontinaho

Artist: Hanna-Riikka Kontinaho

Bio:  Hanna is a 25-y-o. Graphic designer from northern Finland. She has always been interested in arts which led her to study graphic design after high school. She graduated in 2012 and has been filling her portfolio with interesting jobs ever since. Hanna’s favorite media is traditional media but she’s grown an interest in digital painting recently and learning to be better at it too. When she’s not creating, Hanna plays with her dogs, having fun with friends or listening to her favourite music.

Hanna’s Website

Hanna’s Blog

Twitter Account

Thanks so much for stopping for this interview! I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Feel free to leave questions and comments here.

Happy Adventuring!



Cover Reveal!

I hope people actually read this article and have scrolled down this far. Below please enjoy the completed artwork for the third book of The Askinar Towers trilogy!!

Book 3: Always Darkest Before the Dawn.

Book 3: Always Darkest Before the Dawn.


6 responses to “Fifth Tower Interview~Artist: Hanna-Riikka Kontinaho

  1. Hanna, if you could redo the cover of any book which one would you pick?

  2. I’m not familiar with series of Unfortunate Events (I’ve only seen the cover of the movie) but seemed like it’d be a fun job to do! 😀
    Oh, Narnia would totally feed my imagination!

  3. Pingback: The Future is Bleak, but I’m gonna Buy Shades! | Tales From The Fifth Tower

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s