Hey Inari! Tell us a bit about yourself and your art.
Inari: Hey! I’m a Finn living in London. Gross and fun are definitely my keywords when it comes to my work.
How did you start your animation and illustration career?
Inari: The starting point is very hazy – I’ve always drawn so being younger I’d illustrate my mates’ EP covers or print canvas bags with my illustrations on them and so on. The realisation that I wanted to do animation and moving image hit during the second year of my Graphic and Media Design BA in London. I tried to fit myself into editorial design, branding and typography but it never felt natural. When I learned how to animate my illustrations and about animation in general, something just clicked and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
Were there any doubts you had before entering the creative field in general?
Inari: Oh god yes. I don’t think there’s anyone who would be 100% confident in what they do, especially in the creative fields. But I think it’s important to remember that being insecure and confident aren’t opposites, but they walk very much hand in hand. Sometimes you’re confident, sometimes you feel afraid. As long as you work hard and remember to be proud of your accomplishments you’re good to go.
What influences do you think shaped your style and what’s the biggest influence on your work right now?
Inari: My influences are very mixed – but anything Japanese I’m sold. When I was younger, I was obsessed about old Japanese wood block prints, and then finding anime and Japanese cinema…too good. I also like series like Rick and Morty, Spongebob Squarepants, Adventure Time and Big Mouth. Those are closer to the content I’m currently producing and would love to be part of in the future.
I’m also obsessed about stand-up comedy. The writing that goes to it, the relevance and the smart aspect behind it all…just genius.
Could you explain the sausage/hot dog theme seen in some of your work?
Inari: I often get inspired by simple, silly wordplay or a weird situation. With my exhibition, ‘Hot DOG’, the starting point was to illustrate a sexualised dog that would confuse people and I found it funny. From there I realised there was more. I’m very much and analyser and deep thinker – so my work often finds a serious backing and meaning. For me, humour and comedy is the natural outcome, but I think “smart” funny is more funny and challenging.
And sausages…well, they are just funny aren’t they? Don’t deny it.
What’s the most challenging piece you’ve made so far? Any interesting stories behind some of your artwork?
Inari: I’m currently working on my first animated short film, which includes dialogue and a narrative structure. Getting the idea, doing my research, writing the script, directing voice actors…the process has been the most challenging yet the most exciting. The film’s theme is the ‘crazy stigma’ women often get in dating context. I hope to get it out soon, so keep your eyes peeled for new crazy stuff (see what I did there).
You can collaborate with anyone in the world. Who’d it be and why?
Inari: I’d love to be part of a bigger animation team making a series like Rick and Morty – see how the magic is done. But directors like Sophie Koko Gate and Matt Layzell are currently doing very cool and exciting work. I’m also currently doing my MA in Royal College of Art, and to be honest, I’d love to collaborate with everyone on my course. Everyone is so great and doing such different stuff.
Anything else you’re excited to share with us? / What are you working on at the moment we should look out for?
Inari: My short film I mentioned earlier definitely – and who knows, maybe I’ll come up with some shorter mad projects to do over the summer. I’m going to be living in Kyoto this autumn, which is a life long dream come true and I can’t wait to see even myself how it will affect my work.
We can’t wait to see her future work as she begins her new adventure in Kyoto, and so should you! See more of Inari’s whimsical illustrations and animations by giving her a follow on Instagram: @inarisiro and visiting her portfolio at www.inarisirola.com.
Want to be featured on our next weekly Monday Feature? Submit your work to firstname.lastname@example.org and introduce yourself to us!