I finally bought it!

I finally bought it!

I took the plunge and finally bought a Cricut Joy! My greatest fear was my weakness in following instructions. I don’t want overly technical stuff and my brain shuts when I hear numbers. I decided to get the Cricut Joy because what if I don’t get to use it. But here I am making the most of it and I’m really enjoying it. I’m quite surprise myself! 🙂

My first try!
My second try!
And now let’s try a more complicated design!

The Cricut Joy doesn’t do print and cut. So there is a hack that I learned to go around it, realising my mistakes along the way. But getting there and happy about it. Can’t wait to finally start selling my sticker designs!

Do you have a sticker cutting machine? What do you use it for? Are you happy about it?

A Drawing a Day

A Drawing a Day

One kind of journaling that I started this year is called A Drawing a Day. It’s really fun and I have a journal dedicated only to this daily activity. I draw something simple without much thought, effort or time put into it. No pressure to be perfect, purely for the joy of it. I even draw on the couch! Have you started yours?

These daily drawings are prompted by Kamo from her book, How to Draw Almost Every Day.

EV Visuals turns 3!

EV Visuals turns 3!

I’ve never regretted starting this journey 3 years ago! In November, I even ventured out and started to teach on Skillshare after receiving a grant from Arts Promotion Centre Finland. What more, I’ve became a more confident online graphic facilitator after a series of Webinars. Thanks to you all for your love and support!

To celebrate this third year, here is a short clip on how to make a quick stamp brush on Procreate as a token of thanks. Please enjoy learning with me! This will also be a bonus video in my next Skillshare class on how to design a bullet monthly journal template on Procreate. Please look forward to it. Thanks!

Visual Selfie

Visual Selfie

As people start the year with a new journal, some have been asking what to put on the first page. One idea is an introduction of themselves. But how do you do this in a fun and creative way?

I have been creating visual introductions of myself or what some people might call a visual selfie for a while now. I’ve also covered this in my visualisation workshops. Here are some of the examples:

And here is the latest one from my Skillshare profile:

I hope these examples are helpful and give you a bit of inspiration. Let me know if you need more examples as I have a few more in my sketchbooks. Thanks!

It’s here!

It’s here!

It’s finally here! The year 2022! The year I’ve been looking forward to! Would this year be better than last year? Well, that remains to be seen. But let’s try our best to make this a better year than last year.

There is a 2022 calendar I’ve created. This can be printed out, cut and paste to your planners, journals or to any surface you like. Happy new year to all! 🙂

Calendar 2022

And this what happened on Mochi island. Happy new year from Emiko and friends!


After all, it was a good year!

They say that COVID-19 will eventually come to an end. In my mind I kept asking when. Sadly, it is becoming normal for me. Wearing mask in public, washing and sanitising hands like crazy, careful what I touch, avoiding people, avoiding crowd seem to have become my standard way of living. I have learned to navigate and live with it and hoping that I won’t be infected. I don’t live in paranoia. I try to live as usual. But there are many exceptions to this, for example, I can’t just work on live settings or travel easily. But those too seem to have worked out. I overcame my fear of what will 2021 be while now, it has been replaced with what will 2022 be. However, in any case, 2021 was after all a good year!

How was your 2021? I’ll be happy to know. May 2022 be better!

Visuals speak in the days of COVID-19

Visuals speak in the days of COVID-19

Everyone is talking about COVID-19. The disruption to the normal days is huge. Some people are understandably concerned about elderly or vulnerable relatives. Many entrepreneurs are worried about the financial consequences. Multiple work contracts are being cancelled at an alarming rate. The security of being fully booked over the next months has suddenly been replaced by great uncertainty about the future.

Some are looking on the positive side. They hope it might be a time of healing for the earth as there are less flight emissions and less air pollution from factories. Some even see it as an additional occasion to spend with the family, a moment for self-learning, for re-evaluation and even, an opportunity for the elusive, but much needed rest.

For me it brought multiple sides. Being an introvert and an entrepreneur who works mostly from home, the effect was subtle, almost difficult to describe. My small entrepreneur endeavour just turned a year old when the pandemic started. I was ready to apply what I learned over the past year and I was certain that this year will be better. My small business was being established. I had a line-up of work. And after all, Wuhan is far away from Helsinki.

By March, the borders were closed. Since most of my work involves travelling and the gathering of people, I knew that most of my work are cancelled. Any possibility of future work is now unforeseen. The present reality became overwhelming. I had to find the best way to manoeuvre in this new situation. However, as a visual practitioner, I know visuals have no borders. Visuals are not confined to the four corners of my flat. Visuals have spoken words. With these in mind, I created letterings with messages of hope. I drew fun illustrations to get to the lighter side of the pandemic. I made illustrations to portrait the heroism of the front-liners. I even drew hands to remind people of personal hygiene! Drawing each day gave me the peace and stability I needed. My illustrations gave me a way to communicate to the world.

Then I was asked to draw illustrations for COVID-19 prevention materials. Many resources are already published by international organisations but illustrations that will speak to the local context are needed to reach out to people who belong to the lesser known languages. These illustrations are now being used by different organisations as they produced COVID-19 materials for local languages.

In a very unexpectedly way, visual creation became my small contributions in times like this. Visuals speak in the days of COVID-19.

As a visual practitioner, what is your unique contribution in this time of crisis? How can your visuals reach out to others?

Visuals as a form of communication?

Visuals as a form of communication?

Do you allow yourself to use visuals as a form of communication?

— Malte von Tiesenhausen.

Many years ago, people were saying that handwriting is going to die soon. And I really believed it as I’ve noticed how my beautiful cursive handwriting was turning into full capital letters. I used to love composing handwritten letters on beautiful papers, then mailing them to the rest of the world. Then I stopped all together. Gone were the days of waiting for the postman, of smelling the scented stationeries, of admiring the stamps on the envelopes. Taking notes was all made on the computer too. Mind you, I can take notes verbatim on my computer. I can’t even recall having a notebook until I feel in love with a stationery covered in red leather that I saw in one shop in Bangkok. The year was 2011 and I knew I was back on. I started writing by hand again. I felt liberated. I felt I was on the right path. But, I was not there yet. At that time, I didn’t even know I was going somewhere.

Then slowly, my lined notebooks were replaced with sketchbooks. Instead of endless linear text, I was arranging my notes in different ways. Illustrations too became part of my note-taking. I went on visualising my thoughts and my ideas. I also started visualising recipes and my travel adventures. Then visualising spilled over to my role as a facilitator. Agendas and processes were presented in visuals. I visualised documents, organisational communication processes, talks, reflections and many different kinds of information, including CVs and self introductions. Communicating in a creative way through the process of arranging information visually has awaken my creativity. I was better at expressing myself. It was also very engaging. People responded to my visuals better than if I’ve written only in text. Workshop participants become more participative and inspired to be creative themselves. For most part, I don’t use my computer when I facilitate. I even stop using powerpoint.

Furthermore, my love for anything handwritten and hand drawn returned. I love illustrating cards and mailing them. My heart jumps for joy when I receive hand drawn pictures. I love composing handwritten notes. I would even love to send you one!

Where are you in your visual journey? Are you staying no to the death of handwriting?