Can you tell me a little about yourself?
My name is Markus Laakkonen and I'm an artist based in the city of Uppsala, Sweden. I've dabbled in most types of artistic expressions over the years, besides painting I've especially enjoyed experimenting with photography, creative writing and in more recent years, working with brass.
I've also been a lifelong gamer and try to find the time to enjoy a game or two whenever I can between projects and other commitments. Whether it is for inspirational purposes or simply for relaxation it's a great way to spend your free time, alone or with friends.
What kind of work do you do?
I like to view every project as an opportunity for personal and artistic growth. I've previously done websites, large print projects, book covers, stationery design, business cards, illustrations, etc. Nowadays I prefer to focus on my art in which I usually like to mix different art techniques.
I remain open to other requests as long as the project seems interesting enough to me.
Can you tell me a little about your work process?
I've almost entirely transitioned to a digital creative workflow and use a Wacom Cintiq Pro 24" for the majority of my work in Adobe Photoshop but you can still see me with a Moleskine or two during my travels; be it for writing or for drawing, it's still pretty darn special to use physical media from time to time.
When I'm not working digitally, I usually look for pencils, Staedtler pigment liners, Copic markers and a range of acrylic paints for my various projects.
What's your favorite thing to do artistically?
I prefer to do monochrome and greyscale art projects before colorful paintings, but it varies from case to case. I won't do something just because it's all the rage though, there are probably lots of other artists out there doing a better job at the latest fad anyway.
Where do you find inspiration?
Pop culture is definitively a huge source of inspiration for me. Also, humans are marvelously complex and it's hard not to be in awe of us as a species in the end, we have such capacity for both compassion, destruction and everything in-between. I believe there is much to be interpreted from interactions, perhaps especially from deep rooted emotions and bottled up feelings that stem from culture, heritage and environment that get people to react emotionally to things that probably shouldn't hold such power over them.
Where can I buy prints of your art?
Sometimes I have a small amount of prints, sketches and drawings that I'm willing to part with but never seem to get around to informing about publicly. At the moment I'm not offering any prints for sale in any online store. If you're really interested in purchasing something you can contact me, and I'll get you sorted out.
Can I use your copyrighted images?
Unless you're going to hang them on your wall at home for yourself to admire it's always good to seek approval before you do anything with someone else's art. Describe such things as how the images will be used (e.g. in digital- or print media), for what purpose you wish to use the art and I'll get back to you with an answer. Also don't forget to credit the artist where credit is due.
Are you available for hire?
I'm available, preferably for smaller and shorter assignments but not for those easy one-day projects that needed to be done yesterday.
I also like to do bespoke art pieces as well as to do collaborations with other artists when I get the opportunity and my schedule allows it.
How much do you charge for work?
It depends. How big is the project? What does the work entail? What kind of exposure would I get from the project? Is it a one-time gig? Will I be getting any royalties or just a single lump-sum payment?
A real passion project might as well pay pocket change, while some requests, whether for time constraints, political differences or budgetary limitations, are simply out of the question.
What do you like to see from a client?
A firm and clear direction from the beginning is appreciated and demonstrates that the client has thought about the project before contacting me. Mutual respect is super important. I don't enjoy working with people that changes their mind about the direction halfway through a project or that wants to micromanage my work — it'll only end up with wasting everyone's time.
Why does your website look different in […] browser?
Web pages are not printed media. I stopped believing that a website need to look exactly the same in every browser around the same time I stopped working with and supporting Internet Explorer 6 and began designing truly responsive websites. Some minor variations are to be expected when using web browsers from different companies as well as from different versions of said browsers.
My website is written using a number of HTML5 tags and semantic elements. Certain older web browsers might have issues with it. My recommendation if something seems amiss is that you update your browser and keep it up to date with the latest features, not only because it makes some websites look better, it also makes the web a little safer place. If something still looks really odd, do please tell me.