Surface Pattern Designer & Illustrator

I am Heidi Vilkman, an illustrator and surface pattern designer. My art is influenced by my Nordic roots and the folktales and mythology of nature around me and in my soul.

I have always loved and made art, since I was a little girl. The act of creating marks, colours and stories on various surfaces and materials, contains the magic I see in the world, ready to be assembled together in various, often surprising ways. There is something truly wonderful about taking an idea in one’s head and turning it into a visible thing – a creation of the mind, fuelled by imagination, made concrete by fingers, and tools, whatever those may be.
So what is surface pattern design?
For over five years I have been selling my own products, including cards, gift wrap and stationery, printed with my own designs. For some reason, until about two years ago, I never considered that this type of design was called ‘surface design’, or in the case of repeating patterns, ‘surface pattern design’. Yet, the world is full of surface design, and it is the form of design, the majority of us see every day around us. Whenever there is a design on a surface, this indeed is called surface design. So, in effect, surface design means ‘design applied to a surface’, including: packaging, fabric, stationery, homeware and pretty much any product that we commonly see, buy and use. The term ‘surface pattern design’ refers to a repeating pattern within that design.

Read More

Summer Rain

Summer rain is falling on the Finnish woods, sometimes accompanied by sunshine, at other times a bit of thunder and lightning. I don’t remember such a wet August for several years, although it pales in comparison to what I am used to in wetness, i.e. English Summers…
I made an extra trip to my native country and cottage in early June, eager to apply the linseed oil onto the top layer of my earthen floor, so that I could finally stay in my cottage in August. Linseed oil takes a good while to cure and since I applied four coats to the floor, I gathered it would be several weeks until it was dry and hard enough. I knew I would still have to apply wax coat on the floor if I wanted it properly durable and water repellent but that could wait, until August.

Read More

Where did the years disappear? (I am still here.)

I can’t quite believe it has been so long since I last updated this blog – it’s not like I have been asleep for two years, far from that – I suppose the opposite is true; so much has happened that I haven’t had the clarity of mind to collect, reflect and write down coherent thoughts….Not sure how many of you still follow the blog but in some ways I owe it to those who do, to keep the story going, because the story is ongoing – like with any living craft, natural building is not something with a definite end, the building lives and breathes and changes along with Nature and its seasons, so there will always be something to make, mend or figure out.

Read More

Icing on the Cake

I landed in Finland on Tuesday night, during a heat-wave. This beautiful Northern landscape which enjoys long daylight hours in any case, is now a hot, sunny haven. Well, not a haven for everyone (are we ever totally happy about the weather?) but I personally would choose hot sun over…

Read More

Autumn Winds

Whilst November rain is licking the windowpanes of my chilly London flat, I think about my little cottage by the edge of woods, wondering how the Autumn winds and freezing Finnish nights are treating my earthen baby. Even though the Fall in UK has been busy for me, making all…

Read More