Hello hello this is Juha. I'm an illustrator and a designer based in Helsinki, Finland. I have 10 years of experience from illustration, graphic design, UI/UX design and video game industries. My practice combines design thinking with artistic experimentation, and I often explore new technologies in my work. Ethical and ecological values are important to me, and I hope they are for you too. Right now I'm looking for new projects, so feel free to contact me if you have an idea where we could collaborate!

juha@juhakoivusalo.com

Professional Skills

  • Illustration
  • Animation
  • Web Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Virtual Reality
  • Storytelling
  • Character Design

Tools that I mostly use

  • Procreate
  • Procreate Dreams
  • Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher
  • Figma
  • Blender
  • Quill
  • LumaFusion

A Brief History of My Career

In 2014 I started my own design business during my second year of studying in Muotsikka (Lahti Institute of Design). My first client was Pretax, who then became Accountor, and wanted to update their website banner to match their new brand identity. I charged 50 euros for it.

In 2014 I also joined Frozenbyte, the Finnish video game development company, first as an unpaid intern, and after a few months as their in-house marketing artist and designer. I worked in their marketing team until Summer 2016 on games such as Trine 3, Splot and Nine Parchments. 

In 2015 I was asked to teach book binding in Muotsikka. I worked there as a part-time teacher until 2018, for both the bachelor's students and the open UAS. I still like to bind my own sketchbooks.

In 2016 I graduated from Muotsikka and started my design career at Redandblue. I worked there until 2024, creating websites, visual identities, illustrations and animations for numerous clients such as Ruosniemi Brewery, Music Finland, Kone Foundation, Scanfil, Coala and Maaseutuverkosto just to name a few. Over the years I saw the transition from Photoshop to Sketch to Figma, and also got to witness first hand the growth of a small family business into a medium-sized development agency. 

In 2016 I was chosen by Sanoma Pro to collaborate as an illustrator on their upcoming math book series Milli. I made a deal with Redandblue to work on the project through them, so that I could create the illustrations while also working on other design projects. I created over a thousand illustrations for 8 books in total, plus worked on various marketing materials as well.

In 2017 I was asked by Procreate if I wanted to become a moderator in their community forums. Since then I’ve been helping other users with their iPad, Procreate and digital art related questions on a voluntary basis and made sure the community stays friendly and spam-free. 

In 2021 I went on a study leave to pursue a master’s degree in visual communication design in Aalto University. During my studies I got fascinated by the potential of virtual reality for illustration, so I took all the minor studies in virtual reality that I could fit in my study plan, and decided to research simulator sickness in VR illustrations as my thesis.

At the moment I consider myself as an illustrator with a strong background in design and a passion for new technologies. I place ethical and ecological values and accessibility over financial gains and growth. I have experience in large and small projects and can work both in a team and as a solo designer. I'm an iPad art pioneer and VR animation enthusiast. My areas of expertise are illustation and animation, accessible website UI/UX design, visual identities and all kinds of visual narratives. 

 

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Find me and other illustrators at finnishillustrators.com ↗

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Illustrator & Designer

juha@juhakoivusalo.com