I think it helps to be a good designer if you experience world in its diversity by yourself. I have always been a traveller, free spirit. Nowadays I identify as a digital nomad.
After finishing high school in Finland, I did hitch hiking around Europe and lived in eco-communities until I found buzzling life of big cities in the eighties. Then I lived in a rebellious squatting scene of south London and moved to New York to fall in love with a city. Run clubs, studied television production, made videos and had best job in Manhattan as a bike courier. I learnt Ventura, one of the first graphic design programs and did layouts to magazines, and posters.
In my late thirties I became a mother and encountered a need to have creative learning opportunities for children. I therefore started summer forest camps and piloted a free school. I also weaved hand colored bonchoes. I had a long period of unemployment, having a need to sort out my head and wrote a book about my trauma history. Digital era had reached media production whilst I had been a mother full time and I re-educated myself into the media skills and documentarism again and had my bachelor´s degree.
I started working with video, documentaries, web design and VOB e-books, which is a new platform created by me and my partner. As a “grown up” I did Workaway volunteering just to get back in touch with the world. Recently I had a documentary collaboration in Indonesia learning about peace making and strict Islam. My biggest challenge yet was to start a co-creating project with survivors of trauma and dissociation disorder as a volunteer. Together we produced a book and digital book with videos and created a community for producing more books and raising consciousness about complex trauma.
I believe this lifestyle has served me and my fellow workers well and benefited my customers as I can stay open minded better this way than just hanging around with other designers in closed circles…at least I hope so. I also believe in clear communication, listening first and being kind and I think it all comes with having enough of challenges in life.