My Corners: Jenny Suihko

Age: 28
Graffiti Artist
Profile: jenny
Instagram: @princessperch

On Style
“I make characters, not letters. I prefer cute and colourful creatures, like My Little Pony and Pokemons. I’ve also created some characters of my own, like a tiger in the Konemestarinkatu underpass. Right now I’m having ideas of all kinds of animals that I’d like to make. Some people said that I should also make letters or I’m not a real graffiti artist. I tried it once, but I didn’t like it. Why should I make letters if I don’t want to? I want to paint characters and creatures because I like them and I enjoy doing it.”

A Funny Incident
“I had been interested in doing graffiti for a long time, but it was too much to try it all alone. Then one day I had to call an exterminator to my apartment. On my walls I have a lot of pictures that I’ve made and the exterminator said that they remind him of the works of a friend of his, Nina Kuu. He said that Nina was having a workshop on using inks. I was really interested in inks so I signed up. In the workshop I talked with Nina about graffiti and told her that I was interested in doing it. Some time after that I was selling my paintings in some block party like Kallio kukkii. I was on my way to Karhupuisto park and passed by Geezers and I saw Nina’s works on display. I decided to pause for a moment and take a good look, while a couple of graffiti guys came out. They started talking to me and asking if I was a dealer since I was carrying big bags. I laughed and said that they’re for my art and I showed them some of my pictures. I said that I want to learn graffiti painting and the other one asked me to come with them and that they would teach us. That was it. The other guy, Antti, started teaching me. It was pretty difficult at first and my ponies ended up having too small heads. But nowadays I can do them quite well.”

Female among Males
“There’s a lot less women than men in these circles. Maybe it’s because graffiti was illegal in the past and boys enjoy that kind of stuff more. I don’t get any kind of a rush from doing illegal stuff. There should be more girls. It would be nice to go and paint with a girl sometimes. But the painting groups have given me a pretty nice welcome.”

Why Graffiti?
“I’ve made drawings since I was a kid. My sister is also a talented drawer, and when I was little, she taught me to draw. I paint a lot with acrylic paints and inks, but I can use just about anything if the situation calls for it. Graffiti is really just a part of my art hobby, but it’s really fun. It’s more social than regular painting or drawing. The best thing about graffiti is the larger scale and the feeling you get when you can color large surfaces. You can see the results of your work pretty quickly. I like to do colorful things. It looks nice, especially when they pop up from a gray cityscape.”

How, Where, What
“I usually make a sketch on paper at home, and then go out and paint. If I have to do something suddenly, I use my phone to have a picture for guidance. I plan the picture pretty thoroughly, but sometimes I leave the background more open. The background is often made with the colors that I have left. I paint with spray cans and I do the finishing with inks. When I paint alone, I go to the free wall in Herttoniemi. Sometimes Antti Salminen from the Street Art Office Supafly calls me, telling that there’s a construction site wall somewhere and asks me to come and paint, and we go paint it with a group. Or sometimes there’s a cargo container meant for street art in a new location and we paint it. Painting usually takes a couple of hours. My biggest work has been the pony in an underpass in Kontula or the tiger in Konemestarinkatu.”

The map shows you Jenny’s Corners. Click on a place to read what Jenny has to say about it.

TEXT: KAROLIINA SAARNIKKO
PHOTOS: MIIKKA PIRINEN