Tuesday 6/5/18 time 6:23 PM

How did you end up choosing your media?

I've always loved to read and so writing was a natural vocation for me. In high school, I mainly focused on journalism by writing theatre and book reviews for an online magazine. During university, my interests shifted towards a more artistic way of expressing myself. I currently work as a book translator and write mostly prose, but I also like to experiment with essays and poetry. 

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

The best thing about being an artist is having the freedom to explore your thoughts and feelings by making them into something concrete. This can be very therapeutic and sometimes even helpful to others! 

The worst things about being an artist for me are the uncertainty and the chaotic lifestyle that come with living a creative life. I also struggle with feelings of self-doubt, which can make it difficult to maintain a regular writing routine. 

Is this your first time in Finland?

It is! 

What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

In the past few years, I've traveled to all other Scandinavian countries and I expected Finland to be quite similar to them. However, Finland seems to be a lot less Western-European than Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, which I think contributes to its friendly and relaxed atmosphere. I expected Joutsa to be a small village surrounded by beautiful nature, and I was right about that! Nonetheless, I was still surprised by just how serene it was. Coming from the most densely populated country in the EU, the tremendous calm in Joutsa was the best possible culture shock for me. I loved being able to walk around the various lakes feeling completely isolated, yet somehow still safe. I have only been back in the Netherlands for a few days, but I already miss that feeling!  

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

An art residency is the perfect opportunity to devote an extended amount of time to your art. It was wonderful to get away from my daily distractions for a while and experience a new environment, which is always very inspiring.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

After Haihatus, I plan to finish the book translation I am currently working on and further develop my manuscript. I also have many travel plans and hope to visit Poland, the UK, Peru, Bolivia and China in the next year. 

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Haihatus was everything I hoped and wished it to be. It gave me all the peace and quiet I needed to work on my translation, while also developing my manuscript and experimenting with other forms of writing. I am very grateful for my time in Joutsa and hope to visit Haihatus again some day! 

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