Sanna Annukka’s work has an intriguing and distinctive flair that combines traditional imagery, with modern design to create her signature style. Annukka’s designs are rooted in historical imagery and echo the joys of the Finnish culture to the public, and her design essence can be traced back to the delights of her youth. She spent many childhood summers camping in the wilderness in her mother’s home village of Paltaniemi in Northern Finland, picking berries and fishing for wild salmon. Having spent some time living with her grandmother in her old wooden house, and helping on the family farm, Finland became Sanna’s spiritual home. Her love of the Finnish landscape and culture of the north was shaped by these early experiences, and her work draws on the magical quality of this special, wild part of the world.
A graduate of the University of Brighton, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in illustration. Shortly after graduating she began selling silk screen prints of her artwork in a small London shop. Her work caught the eye of the British band Keane, who featured her artwork for the cover of their second album, and have used Annukka’s illustrations and designs exclusively for their album cover art since 2006. Pattern, decoration and mythology are recurring features in her music designs for Keane. Sanna also draws a lot of her aesthetics from Scandinavian art of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Her work often reminds fans of Indian and Oriental storytelling inspirations such as the Mahabharata, as well as Chinese shadow theater.
In an interview regarding her album work with Keane, Annukka says: “I felt it to be quite a responsibility. Hopefully the artwork relates well to the album. I gained a lot of inspiration from the lyrics. All my illustrations are representational; they aim to capture the mood of the song.” Using a combination of illustration, silkscreens and Photoshop, Annukka’s work for Keane is remnant of Finnish Folklore and Scandinavian 1950’s design. It’s endearing imagery and use of colour transports its admirers to a magical time and place, successfully melding auditory and visual imagery.