My name is Adam Setala. I am an illustrator, designer, and teacher. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This past winter I was awarded a summer residency at the Arteles creative center in Hameenkyro, Finland. I will be attending the residency this July! I am so excited for this opportunity, and really want to make the most out of it. During my time at the residency, I will be working on not one, but TWO books!
This will be a book of illustrations, photographs, and writings detailing my stay in Finland, which happens to be where my Grandfather Marttii immigrated from early in his life. My grandfather, or Pappa as I knew him, was extremely proud of his Finnish heritage, and in turn passed this excitement for a place that I knew very little about to me. Unfortunately, Pappa passed away when I was young, and I was never able to ask him the questions that I would now if he were still alive. What drew him to leave a place he so obviously loved? What was life like before he left? Why never go back? For me, this book will be a way to explore, interpret, and preserve my families small place in the broader story of America as an immigrant nation.
My Grandfather Marttii. "The Huldra" (2013/Ink)
The Kalevala is Finland's national epic. A saga comprised of a series of poems, compiled in the 19th-century by Elias Lonnrot. The Kalevala would help to give cultural face to the Finnish people. Within its fifty songs exists beautifully crafted stories that deal with everything from the creation of the world from shards of a duck egg, to all-powerful deities, to love obsessed mortals willing to sacrifice all for the chance to be with each other, to beasts and wizards and death, both temporary and final. This compilation of poems, unknown to so many outside of Finland, is so incredibly ripe for any type of visualization. My goal is not to illustrate the entirety of The Kalevala in a linear fashion, but to interpret certain aspect into illustrations that could act as a catalyst to spur interest. My hope being that viewers become intrigued by my illustrations, and seek out the epic for themselves to explore further.
Potential Book Logo for Finding Kalevala.
Over the course of my time in Finland, I will be researching, interviewing locals, Photographing, writing, and of course beginning to illustrate the contents of both publications.
What I Need & What You Get
I've been awarded a 50% scholarship, but that still leaves many costs.
I am hoping to raise $1200. This would help to offset many costs, including travel, supplies, and the shipping of materials and work home at the end of my residency. All funds received, whether my goal is met or not, will go directly into the creation of this work.
Thank you gifts!
- A hand illustrated 4"x6" postcard from me, all the way from Finland. I'll tell you all about the things I'm working on, and how hot we got the sauna.
- A limited edition archival Giclée print depicting one of my illustrations from Finland.
- A set of two limited-edition series screen prints. These two color prints will feature illustrations created by me during my time in Finland.
- A hand-illustrated on, food-safe porcelain plate. Finland has a rich history and culture surrounding porcelain craft. I will hand-draw one of my illustrations in food-safe porcelain paint onto a white plate, just for you!
- An all encompassing commission experience. I will work directly with you to create a piece exclusively for you, of anything you want. Dogs, kids, anything!
An example of Finnish plate craft by Arabia Finland.
Your support would mean so much to me. It will allow me to travel around Finland, conducting interviews and doing visual research for my books. It will also help to give me some of the physical tools needed to record this research. In this way, you will have a tangible impact on both of my projects.
With your support, you will also have a part in building onto the broader recorded history of the American experience. My family's story is simultaneously unique from, and analogous to that of other immigrant families, and recording its history broadens our larger societal story. You can have a real part in this broadening through your support!
A few of my previous book illustrations. (Blue Eyed Son/2013)
My main challenges with the creation of these books is being as broad as possible with my research, which means I will have to travel through as much of Finland as possible, and also finding a publisher to bring these publications into the world. Your support would make both challenges more feasible.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please pass this along to anyone you feel may be interested in supporting my goal to bring these projects alive!
For more information on the residency, please visit www.arteles.org
To see more of my work please visit www.adamsetala.com
THANK YOU SO MUCH!