Elli Maanpää

Art, Illustration, Film // Contact: elli@maanpaa.com

Elli Maanpää

The Pros and Cons of Art School

art school worth it elli maanpaa art 2018

The pros and cons of Art School. Is Art School worth all the trouble? On today’s video I talk about things to consider when you’re thinking about going to art school.

I point out six topics to ponder about: Entitlement, Connections, Critique, Time, Paper work and Money. Even when coming from a country where education is free it’s still not necessarily the best option for everyone towards a creative career. But I must say I’m grateful for all the years I’ve been allowed to absorb information and inspiration in the classroom. I’d hope everyone would have the chance to be a full time student at some point in their lives. Still to succeed in the art field you don’t need a (certain) school but perseverance, passion and little luck.

Elli Maanpää illustration kuvittaja suomalainen 2018

Sweet Curves

cupcake body image elli maanpaa 2018 illustration

Sweet curves come in all sizes. A week ago I sat by myself in a coffee shop in downtown of Turku. I was doodling ideas to my sketchbook and eavesdropping juicy coffee table conversations. I heard two teenagers – about 12-year-old girls – chatting in a table next to me. The whole time they were enjoying their beverages they talked about how tiny the other looked in a photograph taken a while ago. The adjective TINY was said with an utter admiration.

It wouldn’t have bothered me if they would have talked about how beautiful the other one looked. Beauty can be so much more versatile. But hearing them going on and on about the tininess felt such a sad use of their precious time. They are the next generation women to be. They have all the options of the world to became anything they want. Please don’t make “being tiny” your main goal.

I’ll tell you why I rant about this. Let’s go back in time twenty years. My big sister – who is seven years older than me – was my idol. She was great figure skater. I was 6-years-old when I saw her make a perfect camel spin on ice and I told my mom that I wanted to figure skate too.

Later my perfectionist sister got obsessed by her size. After a while she was able to make herself so tiny she almost disappeared. She got hospitalised and got help. But for the next ten-years-or-so she struggled with eating disorder and depression.

She is healthy and happy now. That’s amazing. But if I could I’d like to travel back in time to the moment when she first thought that she should be tinier to make it. I would try my best to make her see her inner charisma and creativity instead of her body. She took the heavy road but is now using her story to educate others as an expert by experience. She is strong and beautiful.

I haven’t talked about my sister’s illness in “public” before because I’ve always thought it’s her tale to tell. Only now I’m starting to acknowledge that of course her story is intertwined with mine too. I’ve been one of the closest spectators of her struggle. Her road has shaped my journey too and is probably one of the reasons I’ve became an artist.

I grin at every article about new diets and counting calories. There are plenty of smart-ass people becoming millionaires because people are obsessed by their size. I think the best way to a healthy life is to concentrate on everything else but weight. I don’t even own a scale.

Your body is your closest companion not your enemy. Enjoy food. Enjoy exercise. Enjoy art. Enjoy each other. Enjoy your unique sweet curves. Enjoy life.

sweet curves body image elli maanpaa 2018 illustration

Sweet Procrastination

Elli Maanpää Digital Art 2018

Sweet procrastination. Days go by while thinking about the things that should be done some day in the near future. Not today but maybe tomorrow.

After finishing my January goals I’ve now spent about a week in a state of mind where I’m productive without a clear aim. I’ve been drawing a lot with my Wacom. I love the fact how easy it is to set up an art studio when you work digitally. For such a colour lover like me it’s wonderful to have effortless access to all the colours of the world.

Elli Maanpää Digital Art 2018

Survivor Kitten by me 2018

I’ve been thinking a lot about how great it would be to have a producer/manager/assistant who would understand the world of filmmaking, fine art and illustration. Who would be passionated about creativity and especially wired up by my innovations. When I was ranting about this to my boyfriend he asked: “Why are you not that to yourself?

Elli Maanpää Digital Art 2018

Left: Close up of a painting by Hyacinthe Rigaud 1699 // Right: Blind contour by me with a marker 2018

Competent question. Isn’t this the reason I travel once a week to Helsinki to listen lectures about art entrepreneurism and cultural organisation leadership. Producer needs different skillset than an artist but for sure that can also be learned. I’ve been buying books about art entrepreneurism (recommendation to Art, Inc.), listen to podcast (Creative Pep Talk is my new fave) and watching tons of interviews in Youtube.

Elli Maanpää Digital Art 2018

The Blind Contour coloured in Photoshop (not blindly but loosely) by me 2018

I’m going to learn since I’m aiming to be a thriving artist after graduate in May 2019. Now I need to find the manager in me to make a realistic time table for myself for the next 15-months. In that time I’ll make a killer graduation film with Anna Mikkola, write a thesis with an interesting content, work as trainee in a way that is most beneficial for me and build my artistic skills. Time for the sweet procrastination to be over. Purposeful productivity – here I come.

Elli Maanpää Digital Art 2018

Sweet skater boy by me 2018

There Is No Rush – If We Decide So

Elli Maanpää illustration rush 2018 art

I wrote the first notes for this video already last December. I really needed a reminder that lot of the rush I was feeling was really up to me. Nobody would die if I couldn’t do weekly videos, finish Huevember or even complete all the classes for the Fall semester. I would survive nevertheless.

And I did survive and then came 2018. In the beginning of the year I’ve been pondering about the future of my YouTube channel. There’s been so many things I wanted to get done – like redoing this website – that I just didn’t get into working on new videos. But during this time I’ve also realised that I’m not doing these videos for myself but to you guys. Maybe I do have knowledge that really could benefit someone. I’ve been an art student for 10-years so maybe it’s my time to talk about what I’ve learn along the way.

So my new years resolutions as a YouTube creator is to publish new video every other Thursday. In the next videos I’ll be talking about studying art: How the get most of it? Is it worth it? And even more specific questions like: Should you study 2D or 3D animation? If you have questions on this topic please share.

This illustration on the home page is titled: Home in the Paradise is always with you. I did the line work by hand with blue col-erase pencil and coloured it with Photoshop. Thank you for tuning in.


Dagen Efter


Puppet animation: Elli Maanpää, Anna Mikkola, Aino Eronen 2018 // Length: About 2:00 min // The morning after in an art gallery.

Dagen Efter is an puppet animation. The short film is currently in the post-production and will be released in 2018.

Dagen efter puppet animation 2018

Näkökulma – Point of View


Film: Elli Maanpää 2017 // Length: 02:20 min // The view is in the eye of the beholder. Which window will you open?

Näkökulma – Point of View story arises from the question why we see the same things in such a different light. The Film is an 2D animation made with TVPaint programme. Näkökulma has been shown in Turku Animated Film Festival 2017, Helsinki International Film Festival 2017 and Elävän taiteen ilta 2017.

Näkökulma - Point of View, screenshot, 2017

Näkökulma – Point of View, screenshot, 2017

Pilventekijä – The Girl Who Makes Clouds

Pilventekija Elli Maanpää film


Film: Elli Maanpää 2012 // Length: 04:53 min // Film with a silver lining.

Pilventekijä – The Girl Who Makes Clouds is a short film that combines stop motion animation and live action. I did it as a one-woman-show in during one week in summer 2012. It’s about a girl who makes clouds until the production of clouds becomes industrialised and factories take over. That leads into big troubles. The film has been shown in Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival 2012, Helsinki Short Film Festival 2012 and Tampere Film Festival 2014.

poster, film, Pilventekijä

Pilventekijä – Design by Elli Maanpää 2012

Animation Showreel


I’m a 3rd year Animation student in Turku Arts Academy. I’ve done 2D animation with TVPaint, After Effects and old school and puppet animation with Stop Motion Pro and Dragonframe. I also got experience with 3D animation (Maya) while doing exchange studies in Centennial College in Toronto for the Fall 2017. I’ve also learned writing, directing and character design. Here is my animation showreel. The design and stories are all created by me.

ANIMATION SHOWREEL – Elli Maanpää 2017 from Elli Maanpää on Vimeo.


Huevember 16 - Elli Maanpää 2017


Huevember is an international illustration challenge that takes place in November. The task is to go trough the colour wheel during one month: one hue for a day. Here is some of my best bits from the Huevember 2017.

Huevember 18 - Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 18 – Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 12 - Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 12 – Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 11 - Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 11 – Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 16 - Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 16 – Elli Maanpää 2017


Huevember 08 – Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 07 - Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 07 – Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 06 - Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 06 – Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 04 - Elli Maanpää 2017

Huevember 04 – Elli Maanpää 2017