Life Advice from a Finnish Graphic Designer

As mentioned in my about me page, I started this blog to promote cultural awareness, to show a wider perspective.

Therefore, I decided to dedicate a page for readers to get to meet people from all walks of life. Old, young, rich, poor, white, black; everyone has something to say and a story to tell.

Some are people I’ve just met, while others may be long-time friends. Topics covered range from lighthearted subjects to life’s deeper questions.

It is their perspective I wish to give to you.

For the first interview, I chatted with a Graphic Designer from a country officially less than 100 years old: Finland.

Sami and I met about 5 weeks ago in Reykjavik, Iceland…somewhat drunkenly. That, however, shall be addressed in the interview.

Sami seemed like an intriguing individual right from the get-go. What’s more, he gave me some great insight of a country I’d never been to. I thank him deeply for offering his time to be interviewed.

That said, I wanted to explore his world outlook and see what wisdom he could share stemming from his Scandinavian upbringing.

Here we go:

Andrew: So tell us a little about yourself.

Sami: I grew in Finland, I’m 26, married, and work as a Graphic Designer. It was a peaceful upbringing…maybe too peaceful. It’s possible I was under stimulated, so I used books and videogames as an outlet.

Andrew: So if it weren’t for books and videogames, do you think you would have carried on your current course? Do you feel they influenced your life choices?

Sami: If it weren’t for Nintendo, I’d probably be a car mechanic, I’m positive of that. (Laughs) There may be no correlation, but those of us who had Nintendo went on to get university degrees and those who didn’t are mechanics. It’s like a direct ratio.

Andrew: (Laughs) Just a bit more background for the readers, could you explain when and where we first met?

Sami: In November 2015, I was at a work party celebrating our completion of a project. It was mid-week, so my colleagues left at about 9 p.m. I was still at a positive buzz, and knew I could get a beer at the neighboring hostel. That’s where I saw you sitting there with a book and thought, “He looks like he might not be annoying. If he is, well he could just go back to reading his book.” So I sat down and sparked conversation.

Sami's visit to Akureyri

Sami’s visit to Akureyri

Andrew: (Laughs) Yes. Funny thing was that we were both already buzzed, unknowingly to the other. Since you spent around 10 weeks in Iceland, was there any difficulties adjusting? Was it much different than Finland?

Sami: I was surprised at how easy it was to adapt. It almost felt like home. In the Finnish language, we sometimes have pauses in conversation that may seem awkward to foreigners, but they weren’t in Iceland.

Andrew: From your experience, what makes one a great Graphic Designer?

Sami: One who looks at a problem creatively and approaches it at different angles. This is much the same as to what makes a good doctor. Doing the same thing over and over is something a computer could do.

Andrew: And a bad one?

Sami: Someone who just takes the easy way out.

Andrew: There’s a ton of metal music that comes from Scandinavia, Finland especially. What is it you guys are trying to prove?

Sami: To let people know we’re tough. (Laughs) Not everyone from Scandinavia listens to it. When I listen to metal, it allows me to forget about the outside world. I feel that the metal genre provides a grander soundscape and helps me to be more creative in my own work.

Andrew: I can totally relate to what you mean. Since you’re a college graduate and have begun your career, is there any advice you would give to aspiring students?

Sami: You have to ask yourself if you’re going after a degree or a passion. Grades, a degree, and education are all great, but you have to know what your true priorities are.

Andrew: With that said, what advice would you give to the elderly? Let’s say 65 years or older?

Sami: Lay off the sugar.

Andrew: Yeah?

Enjoying Akureyri's scenery

Enjoying Akureyri’s scenery

Sami: Yeah. Too much diabetes.

Andrew: Understood. So what do you think is “good” in the world? What’s going right, in your opinion?

Sami: What we’re doing now. We are able to communicate from different countries via the internet. People everywhere are able to learn and appreciate other cultures.

Andrew: What’s “bad” in the world?

Sami: We are in a world where things can be done so efficiently, where everything is available at any time. People begin to busy themselves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We need to remember to ask ourselves, “What’s the point? Why am I doing this?”

Andrew: Once again I can relate. It’s surprisingly easy to get caught up in the hustle. Now for a bit more personal question: if you could change any one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Sami: Oh man, that’s tough.

Andrew: Could be psychological, physical, whatever.

Sami: I would turn my outermost bones in my toes into adamantium or something like that. I’ve hit them into tables or doors so many times that I think it’s time for payback.

Andrew: (Laughs) Definitely not an answer I expected.

Sami: (Laughs) Why? Was there something you really wanted me to say I would change?

Andrew: I was hoping you’d say your face.

Sami: (Laughs)

Andrew: All right. Thanks so much for taking the time for this, and good luck with everything.

Sami: Anytime. This was great! Best of luck to you as well.


For a look at some of Sami’s work, check out his website here.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Iceland, Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Life Advice from a Finnish Graphic Designer

  1. Mom says:

    Very nice interview. Nice to hear the perspective of life from a young man from another country. By the way I did not know Finland was such a young country. I learned something as well. His comic strips were funny and cute while teaching a lesson. Nice job gents!


  2. Doughnut Dave says:

    Neat stuff man. The pictures look incredible!


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