Featured Artist - Laivi Põder

At Calypso we publish cards by artists from all over the world – tell us where you grew up and where you live and work. 
I grew up in Tartu, Estonia, a very small green city. Right now, I work and live in London.

What is your work environment like, do you have a home studio? An ocean view? what sort of music do you like to listen to while you work? 
I have created a small working corner for myself at home. It’s cozy! Since I mostly work digitally, I don’t need much space. I love to listen to jazz. I currently listen to Herb Ellis, Bill Evans and Chet Baker a lot.

How is your day structured as a working artist?
I give myself a lot of freedom as an artist, timewise. I don’t have a schedule, but I’m more productive in the mornings, so I like to get to work as soon as I wake up. I usually try to spend the other half of the day outside if possible, visiting a park or just some place nice and quiet, taking pictures and gathering inspiration for the next day.

How did you begin your career as an artist?
I had quit my job as a nurse back at home and I decided it was time for a big change. I moved to The Netherlands in 2015 and devoted all my time to becoming an artist. It was a beautiful time. I’m self-taught, so it’s kind of special to think back how it evolved from the first little scribbles to the first big projects.
What was your first big success as an artist? 
My first success was illustrating a children’s book. It felt like such a huge project, kind of scary at that time, but I was so ready and excited. It taught me so much and I’m very thankful for it!

What inspires your work? 
Nature! It’s always been the greenery and flowers, the smell of nature. The textures and colors of plants, the peaceful feeling that being in a forest gives. I love trying to add all those feelings and details in every illustration I create.
Are there other artists that inspire you? 
I have a big love for Monet and van Gogh! And I also find Studio Ghibli movies very inspiring.

What is your earliest memory of creating art?
Drawing little cards for my grandparents and family members during my summers in the countryside. My granny still has some of them saved!

What is your favorite medium? 
I work digitally, but I actually really love oil paints and try to create some paintings now and then. 

How has your style changed over time? 
I think it has become more detailed, with a balanced busyness. The little tucked away house has become the center of my illustrations quite often.

Of all the cards we publish by you, do you have a favorite? 
I think the "Seek Joy" one, because it’s a simple but very important message and I think it goes well with the illustration!

Click here to see Laivi's entire collection with Calypso Cards.