“I am an animated painter Elli Maanpää spreading joy with colourful creative creatures. Storytelling is an important part of my artistry. I’m proud to have my head in the clouds and feet on the ground.”
Elli Maanpää was born in Turku, Finland in 1985. She is the youngest of four siblings. Maanpää started drawing at a very early age. As a kid she had a pen pal with whom they exchanged self-made stories and illustrations. When she was eleven she bought a set of acrylic paints and decorated her bedroom by painting flowers, bears and cats all over the walls.
Maanpää’s big sister fell ill with depression and eating disorder as a teenager. From that moment on Elli started to search ways for mental well being. Imagination became her safe haven and a way to lighten up the mood. She was determined to turn creativity into her profession. She studied Fashion and later Visual Culture in the Art department of the Aalto University. She also studied animation in order to understand how still images can create the illusion of time and movement.
The joyous energy and colours are the first things people notice about Maanpää’s paintings. She works with both traditional and digital paints. Nature and its creatures – animals and humans alike – are her biggest inspiration. By describing herself as an “animated painter” she doesn’t only refer to the augmented paintings, that come alive as 2D animations through augmented reality but also to the adjective “animated” which means being full of life and excitement. Her biggest influencers are multitalented storyteller Tove Jansson and contemporary painters Milt Kobayashi and Karoliina Hellberg.
In 2015 Maanpää held a solo art exhibition Uhanalaiset/Endangered in collaboration with the Helsinki Zoo Korkeasaari. Her paintings raised awareness for the endangered species conserved by the Zoo. In summer 2019 Maanpää’s Augmented Paintings can be seen in Turku Animated Film Festival in August and in the Summer Yard of the National Museum of Finland.
Maanpää lives in Helsinki, by the Baltic Sea, with her burmese cat Cocco and bearded boyfriend Mr. Kuula.