Hurrah! Eveliina Netti is Napa Agency’s newly discovered talent!

Absolutely thrilling news! Midst this dark and cold January, we added a bright new talent to our roster!! Napa Agency’s newest talent is a pattern design and line drawing master Eveliina Netti!

Eveliina Netti is a Helsinki-based designer specialized in patterns and illustration. She graduated from Aalto University in 2019 with a Master of Arts degree. Her playful and colourful style combines fairytale, humour and graphic aesthetics, drawing inspiration from everyday life occurrences and nature. Eveliina is particularly fascinated by stories and fairy tales, jazz music, the peculiar world of children, as well as floras and animals that often find their way into her illustrations. She likes to create an ambiance in her work by combining hand-painted surfaces, bold shapes, and bright colours. Eveliina works with a variety of techniques, both freehand and digitally drawing and painting. Her cheerful and easy-going attitude towards life is reflected in her working methods, making collaboration comfortable, straightforward and relaxed. She makes sure that projects are completed within the agreed timeframe, listening to the client’s wishes.

Eveliina Netti’s portfolio can be found here, ja Instagram-profile here.

Hi Eveliina! Nice to meet you and welcome to Napa! Who are you and how did you discover and get interested in illustrating? What was your first commission?
I am Eveliina Netti, a designer specializing in patterns and illustration, originally from Eastern Finland, now living in Helsinki. My family includes a wonderful spouse and two lovely small children.

I have been a keen drawer since I was a little girl, and I remember already in primary school I used to fill up my notebooks with illustrations: plants and animals in environmental studies, houses and events in history, and of course flowers everywhere. I ended up going to school with a visual arts focus, and when I thought ‘what am I going to be when I grow up’ I applied to University of Arts and Design, and that’s the path I’m still on, happily drawing.

At Aalto University, I first studied textile art and pattern design, then in my Master’s studies I turned my interest to illustration and storytelling. While still in school I worked as an in-house pattern designer for several years. After I graduated, I wanted to try entrepreneurship, and as a freelancer, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the most wonderful clients.

I can’t remember my first illustration assignment, but when I was still studying at Aalto I got to do my first big wall mural for a company’s office, and it was a memorable assignment that made me feel like, “Wow, can I really do this for a living?”.

Tell us about your typical workday as an illustrator – what is the first task you do in the morning and how does your day usually end?
As a mother of young children, my working day starts with morning porridge and a trip to the kindergarden. I then return to my office at home, make a huge pot of coffee and go through my emails and the day’s agenda with a to-do list. Depending on the project at hand, I design, sketch, draw, paint, build pattern repeats, design colorways, send some emails or do the obligatory business management stuff. The day ends in the afternoon when it’s time to get the kids home, after which there’s no time to think about work. Sometimes when I’m on a deadline, I’ll go back to work in the evening, but I always do my best to get the work done during working hours, and not let it take over the freetime, because it’s a slippery slope if you go down that road!

In what way your illustration style has developed during your career? What are the cornerstones of your artworks, what’s your stylistical go-to?
Looking at my own old work, I find that my style is evolving somewhat all the time, certainly with experience and trends, as well as my own new interests. In different eras I can see how different handprints and tools have inspired different styles, for example, the use of line drawing and painted colour surfaces in my style come and go. My most characteristic styles are rich and full surfaces, ink and watercolour surfaces and papercut-style cut-outs, bright colours, storytelling and playfulness, and of course everlasting flowers and plants!

You’re also a very skilled pattern designer – how does the creation process go with the patterns?
The process of creating a pattern depends on whether it is a customized pattern for a client, or whether I create the pattern just on my own. If it’s an ordered design, I first carefully study the client’s brief, brand and style, the purpose of the design, a possible collection theme, moodboard and colour chart. On this basis, I start brainstorming, possibly looking for inspiration images, choose the right technique and style for the collection and start sketching, either on paper or digitally. Once I have the elements of the pattern together, I start building a pattern repeat on the computer. I draw more, and test the scale of the pattern and the functionality of the repeat. I check the client’s opinion and finally I finish the pattern by cleaning up the repeat and making a few different colourways for the client to choose from.

If I’m making a pattern for my own collection, the idea often starts when I see something in nature or in the city, some exciting detail, which sparks the idea. In my patterns, my ideas often come from the repeat-style, I see in my head a certain surface and rhythm, how the image repeats, whether it’s empty, full, irregular or even. Other times I get excited about technique, I want to try a new painting technique or medium and through experimentation and ‘accident’ new ideas emerge. And there’s no pattern designer without flowers! Ideas so often come from nature, which is an irreplaceable source of inspiration.

What’s your work environment like? Name the first five things in your field of vision now!
My new oak standing table (love it!), lots of green plants, a ceramic flower on the wall, a big water glass and a half-eaten Geisha chocolate bar.

Share with us the three most inspiring accounts you follow on Instagram. Who should we follow and why?
isabelle_arsenault is a well-known Canadian illustrator, especially for children’s books. I’ve been following her for a long time, and her sketchlike but deliberate penwork is so delicate, ambient and comforting that I always want to return to browse through her work.
sanciarose, I only recently discovered this British illustrator’s account, and I love her bold and relaxed approach, her combination of large shapes, sketchy surface fills and strong colours. Her style is also humorous and nicely consistent.
soleyandthebear, I like the style and use of colour in the works of this London-based illustrator. I also find perhaps some sympathy with her style.
seasonpapercollection, I can’t help but mention the fourth one too, oops! This is not a single artist, but an absolutely wonderful company page. A paper shop that always delights!

What else do you do apart from illustrating? Tell us some of your hobbies?
At the moment, in my free time, I mostly play with my kids <3 They are 3 and 1, so I’m living the busy toddler family life, and I love it. So there’s not so much time for my other interests right now, but when I do have the time, I love to go for long walks in the woods, do yoga, listen to a lot of books and podcasts, weekday evenings we cook with my husband and watch an addictive drama series together. I like listening to jazz, going to the cinema and having a drink with my friends. I also love to travel, but in this situation in life and the world, I’ve had to take a break. Someday again!

What has been the most challenging and coolest illustration assignment so far? And what would you like to work with next? Dream client / project?
I do quite a lot of different things, and it’s hard to pick the coolest one, but I’ve been illustrating a lot of patterns for children’s clothing for Reima during the last few years. It’s been really fun and also cool to walk around the kindergarten yard when half the kids are wearing my designs in their winter overalls. I’ve always felt my work is more of a design than fine art and I love the idea that art and illustration can be used everywhere and is available to everyone. My paintings can be used while playing on a snow pile. For me that’s the dream.

My next dream job would be to get into public art, designing murals for schools or libraries and such.

What is your advice to all beginning talents in the illustration field? And do you have any tips for your new clients who are planning to commission illustrations from you?
Everyone has their own way of doing things, but here are a few general tips for beginner illustrators:
Observe your own work process to identify which habits work and where you have a good drive and a potential pitfall. When you know your process well, you can schedule your work better and avoid unnecessary frustration.
It pays to be sharp and professional with filing and scheduling. Name your files systematically and obediently, always on the same principle and in clear folders. And don’t let the deadlines get too close.
Collect yourself a bank of materials, different painted surfaces, different brushes. This can be digital or physical, but these can be useful for sketching and for your final artwork.
Read a lot and follow the world.
Feel free to experiment with different sketching methods. Go on a sketching retreat from time to time, where you can go a little crazy and discover new things. And don’t be afraid of white paper! Pour your coffee on it and go from there.
Share ideas and talk to your colleagues!

And to the illustration commissioner:
Be open and clear about your hopes and expectations.
At the beginning of the work, let’s agree together on a clear framework for the commission, so that we are on the same page about what is expected of the collaboration.
Check out the Illustrators’ commissioning material provided by the Illustrators’ Association, it has good basic tips for a smooth collaboration!
It’s all in the asking. 🙂


Record: Impossible to say, I listen to all kinds of music mixed here and there, make lists and mix new and old. Maybe more of the old than the new.
Book: I Just listened to Markku Haussila’s All the Beautiful Flowers (Kaikki Kauniit Kukat) as an audiobook. Impressive, moving and funny.
Superhero: Momo (from Michael Ende’s Momo) An all-time favourite <3
Movie / TV series: Hmm… all-time favourites include The Sopranos and The Office. Right now, my husband and I are watching Fargo, and the first season in particular is great!
Museum/exhibition: I was in Paris recently, and saw Claude Monet’s Water Lilies -series for the first time, and the stunning panoramic display of the works at the Musée de l’Orangerie. It was a very impressive space.
The city: Let’s say Paris, as I’ve just been there and it’s a lovely city.
Favourite flower: A mixture of small meadow flowers, whose names hardly anyone knows. The ones that grow in the forest floors, meadows and on the cliffs.

Thank you for the interview Eveliina! So happy to have you in our gang of illustrators!

Eveliina NettiKuvittaja