This is a blog of illustrator Petri Suni. Browse on and check what he's been up to lately.

21 December 2011

Gorilla t-shirt ready

Mailman stopped by and brought me something I have anxiously been waiting for (NO, it's not that yellow object).

gorilla t-shirt design

By the way... the design without texts can be found in Spreadshirt. Check the links below.

Men's Classic T-Shirt - T-Shirts gorilla (nega)

Spreadshirt Marketplace product
gorilla (nega)

Who is more likely to be the Santa Claus?

It's only couple of days to Christmas. It's time for magic and excitement, but it's also time for disbelief. Yes, about Santa Claus.

There's a lot debate about his existence, whether his real of just a mythical creature. I'm not saying Santa Claus doesn't exist. I guess it's just his physical qualities that makes me slightly suspicious... Well, think about it. A dude carrying a huge bag of presents here and there around the world flying with a band of reindeers, making his way through chimneys, visiting billions of children... and all this action during one night. Not an easy exercise, I think.

So let's be honest. Which one of these two characters are more likely to get the job done?

who is Santa Claus

13 December 2011

Death to pennies

As the big boys (and girls) of the Europe are currently having tough meetings to save the euro currency, there are also money related problems in USA. In his blog Daniel Pink brought up a noteworthy problem concerning money: the smallest unit of USD - annoying and useless penny.

Even though I don't have to use pennies (... or similar... luckily here in Finland our smallest unit of money is 5 euro cents) in my everyday life, I can easily understand the hate against that useless unit. That's why had my tries to solve the penny problem.

"Death to pennies", as the title goes in Daniel Pinks post, is a pretty ultimate request. So I start my brainstorm with destructive thoughts - let's kill the pennies. I believe nearly everybody has seen old western movies. In those movies there are some gun heroes, who can shoot through a coin tossed in the air. That's the end of pennies! And who could fit in this job better than mr. Lucky Luke? No one.

penny problem, Lucky Luke shooting pennies

As there may be quite some of those little bastards and shooting them one by one may take a while, there must be also another solution. Let's put them out of our eyes - Can't see, can't be. And there's one hiding place above others - the mother and father of all hideouts: under the corner of a carpet. There are some valuable benefits of this trick: carpets are easy to find and there are billions of them. Not to forget that most of the carpets have four corners.

penny problem, hide pennies

The next trick to get rid of pennies is a bit foxy... and may not be fair for some... It could be worth trying to pay penny manufacturer's bill with pennies they have just made. And as that's not enough (because it's more expensive to manufacture a penny than one penny is worth) there's still some more to pay... and that sum can be paid (I know you already guess it)... with PENNIES! Ordering pennies helps actually get rid of them.

penny problem, return pennies

This idea bases on trading pennies for something more valuable. It's a bit like doing lotto and may be quite hard to utilize for collective good. Okey, there are some wishing wells every here and there and people tend to toss their coins in them and make wishes. As far as I know, the value of the tossed coin doesn't correlate with odds a certain wish comes true, so why don't we use only pennies? Use pennies for wishing and wish BIG, so that the wishes that come true makes more than is the value of pennies that are tossed for unrealized wishes. Some lose, some win, but all in all pennies are traded for bigger value.

penny problem, wishing well

The last idea is my personal favorite. As the core problem of the penny is in it's value, why don't we just change it? The lousy value of the penny is something we have agreed, so we can also change it. Even though it sounds easy, it's not something just anyone could do. It wouldn't help a bit if I would try to do it. It needs someone with real credibility. There are certainly some others, but my personal suggestion is Rocky Balboa.

penny problem, Rocky Balboa

All ideas to solve the penny problem are welcome. I may even illustrate some of them :)

10 December 2011

Self-made-souvenier from NY

It took a bit more time than I thought, but better late than never. I have already posted some sketches (part I - part II) for this little project of mine... but now it's finally finished.

Even that it's calendarwise closer to a x-mas present... here is my self-made-souvenier from my last summer's vacation in NY - a t-shirt design inspired by the BRONX ZOO.

gorilla of the bronx zoo
Let's wait and see whether my upcoming trip to Lisbon has anything worth self-made-souvenier to offer.

...and the shirt itself..?
Waiting for the mailman to knock on my door...

08 December 2011

Another set of spot illustrations

A set of spot illustrations for a project I've been working on lately. It has been fun to play with poses.

various spot illusrtations

26 November 2011

Illustrator's movember

Movember, that's what everyone has been talking about lately. Some men have let their moustache grow for charity - men's health being the target, if there is still someone who doesn't know.

As some men seem to need couple of weeks to generate a hairy area above their mouth, I had 4 whole different set of moustache, one every week. Here's what I had:

illustrator's movember
Okey, let's be honest... The cruel truth is that those 7 hairs under my nose doesn't quite group anything that could be called moustache. But in case such a phenomena would take place between my nose and upper lip, there is some possible visions what it would look like.

Which one is your favourite?

Even though I am not able take part in Movember, It doesn't prevent me donating.

I promise to donate 15 euros if I get 15 comments for this post.

25 November 2011

Working overtime

Here's a tiny piece of work I just finished today. There's a person, who keeps working overtime, because... company's website is not self-updating... and somebody has to take care of it. It was particularly fun to play with the glimmer the laptop screen.

I tried to keep the illustration as simple as possible, but in the end I couldn't help adding one more item...

working overtime with a throwaway mug

As an illustrator I do have some manners, no question. In addition to technical manners I also seem to draw certain (secondary-kind-of) items over and over. Take a look at the illustration above and check these two illustrations: air-bag / monitored surfing. Did you find any similarities?

Why do I find those red striped throwaway coffee mugs so fascinating? I need to ask my shrink.

17 November 2011


Here's another set of challenge spiced fun.

croquis drawing

10 November 2011

Set of various spot illustrations

Here's a set of various spot illustrations I did for the latest project. Sometimes it's actually quite refreshing to do dozens of tiny illustrations in a row like a robot with no brains.

various spot illusrtations

19 October 2011

Drawing croquis

If something can be difficult and enjoying at the same time, drawing croquis is one of those things. I haven't done it for ages, but will definitely do it more often.

drawing croquis

04 October 2011

Letting loose a flock of birds and a mythical horse

How to build up a feeling of spirituality in an editorial illustration? At least there was no room for funny characters this time. Cliche or not, I ended up letting loose a flock of birds and a mythical horse, Pegasos.

Here is an in-progress image in Illustrator.

spiritual health in-progress
... and the final work after a Photoshop session.

spiritual health

24 September 2011

Hands with five fingers for a change

Talking about drawing hands... I needed to illustrate a bit more realistic hands after a while. As I'm usually doing kind of "cartoonish" stuff I most often end up drawing hands with four fingers. In my recent editorial illustration that wasn't an option and I had to go the hard way. Drawing realistic stuff is bit of a challenge for me in general.

sketching hands
The article tells a story about a woman who wanted to learn to ride a motorbike no matter how hard it is. Her teacher was such a patient and understanding guardian.

motorbike rider and guarding hands

21 September 2011

Drawing hands - creating expressions

I haven't been totally unaware of it, but I'm afraid I also earlier haven't fully realized it either - the significant role of hands when creating expressions in illustrations. All this especially when drawing in cartoon style.

In my current project I've been illustrating a lot of characters, which need to be as vivid and characteristic as possible. One of the characters is wearing a woolly hat covering his eyes. As the eyes have an important role in creating expressions, I have now had to do it some other way. And that's when the hands come in.

Here is a set of hands I've sketched for those characters. Basically it seems to be the angles - on wrists and fingers - that need to be exaggerated.

drawing hands
And now, seeing these hands cut apart from the bodies, they seem to be like loose sentences out of the original context. They seem to have lost their meaning.

10 September 2011

Spot illustration for a headline

I just finished a title illustration for an article. What if you get surprised? Unpleasantly. Just like that, out of the blue... get booted.

afraid to get fired

01 September 2011

Plate face doodles

During the previous 3-4 weeks I've been too busy to illustrate anything special, (except my current work project, which is special in it's own way of course... and also the reason why I'm busy). What I mean is that I haven't had time to do any gorilla kind of stuff.

But I've been drawing something anyway. Every now and then, while having a cup of coffee or watching a tv program that fails to catch my full attention, I've been testing brush tip markers, which I'm not too familiar with. Among plenty of other "meaningless" things I've been doodling these strange plate faces, which put together, makes a pretty nice set. So, with this set of plate faces I'm trying to please the God of draw-something-special.

plate face doodles

29 August 2011

Drawing manga facial expressions

I'm not into manga and I've never illustrated anything like that... until now. Couple of weeks ago I needed to illustrate a set of facial expressions in manga-style for a project I'm working on. It took a lot of browsing on manga websites and a lot of sketching to achieve the right kind of style. All in all it was a bit trickier than I would have expected. Here is what I did.

manga facial expression
I was happy with the result. Unfortunately that set of expressions didn't quite meet the needs of the project and I had to redo the faces. Being forced to dig myself even deeper to the secrets of drawing manga wasn't that bad. It was good practise for the next time I need to draw some manga, whenever that is.

23 August 2011

Sketching cats

I need to illustrate a cat character for a project I'm working on. Here's some quick sketches. I guess I have seen too many cat characters, because I found it very tricky to do one with a very unique and personal look. Maybe some of these will stand out tomorrow when I take a look at them with fresh eyes... or maybe I'll just do thousand more cats...

cat sketch

13 August 2011

A figure in the dust - Lara Croft

I was lucky to draw Lara Croft for a project I'm currently working on. For that particular purpose it's just a simple spot illustration on white background. After I finished it I couldn't resist doing a very quick experiment and work it a little bit further. Would be fun to something like this more often.

Lara Croft - a figure in the dust

05 August 2011

Bronx Zoo t-shirt design - part 2

I have been doing more sketches for Bronx Zoo t-shirt design. Here is some of them. In this first sketch I tried some poses for gorilla.

bronx zoo gorillas

... or what if I only use the upper body, gorilla having his arms crossed over his chest..? Somehow I think it brings the right kind of attitude. After all this is not just any zoo, but the BRONX ZOO :) I also suppose it's going to be white on black background, so I did some quick sketches how to use white...

bronx zoo gorillas

I think it's now time to go digital.

P.S. Sketching these gorillas has been so much fun that I'll utilize them for something else also.

EDIT: The finished design can be seen here

25 July 2011

Bronx Zoo t-shirt design - part 1

As mentioned in my earlier post, I'm planning to do a Bronx Zoo t-shirt design (It's just for myself not ordered by Bronx Zoo). It's going to be illustration based and there's obviously an animal involved, and the Bronx Zoo animal that made a strongest impression on me during my visit was definitely gorilla.

It seems to be so typical for me that I first need to do some quite realistic sketches before playing further with the character.

bronx zoo gorillas

I started to find something here.

bronx zoo gorillas

E.T. phones home... wrong way.

bronx zoo gorillas

Something like this...

bronx zoo gorillas

I put this aside now. I hope to have some time to go on with this soon.

EDIT: The finished design can be seen here

22 July 2011

Mika Myllylä and the famous snap of his skiing pole - Lillehammer winter olympics 1994

Just couple of weeks ago the surprising and sad news told that the famous finnish nordic skiing athlete Mika Myllylä has suddenly passed away. Purely by coincidence I browsed my illustration archives yesterday and stumbled upon an illustration which I had made somewhere in the end of 1990's for the Cosmos magazine. The article was making top-list of the most disastrous instants in finnish sport history. One of those unfortunate moments was when Mika Myllylä broke his skiing pole during the furious winter olympic race in Lillehammer 1994 and lost chances to take his first personal medal.

Despite what happened in Lahti 2001 and all sad turns of event after that, we may with all due respect say that he was a great athlete.

RIP Mika

20 July 2011

Caricature of Kimi Räikkönen - crashes a downhill car

As an illustrator I've always been especially fascinated by caricatures. Most probably I'm not alone. During my illustrator career I've had some caricaturing jobs, but I have never had it on my to-do list to really practice my caricaturing skill to professional level. Also, what I have been unhappy about, is that I never seem to have time to do so called "just for fun" illustrations. Some time last summer I finally realized that the problem is merely my attitude than my schedule.

Anyway, after having such a remarkable insight I finally decided to illustrate something "just for fun", and as caricatures are so fun (and challenging) to do, why not doing one. But who to choose? I wanted him/her to be a finnish person, one that is also known abroad. They are not that many :) And I ended up choosing Kimi Räikkönen, the former F1 world champion driver. He is an interesting person, and I also thought that he would neither be too easy nor too difficult to make a caricature of.

I first started to make sketches in Adobe Illustrator. As I'm not a pro caricaturist, I really liked the possibility to move individual face parts little by little trying to find the right place for them. It's also nice to take duplicates of different steps of work. Comparing these steps helped me to find out which way to go.

Caricature sketch - Kimi Raikkonen

In the end it turned out not to be a comfortable way for me to work and I dug up my pens and sketch pad. That way it was much faster to work, and I finally started to realize what's the clue of Kimi's face, the worrying eyes and the pointy nose.

Caricature sketch - Kimi Raikkonen

Back to digital, and now it was easier to put everything together. Unfortunately at this stage I suddenly got too much other stuff to do and I had to put the fun aside to wait for better days...

Caricature sketch - Kimi Raikkonen

Finally, couple of months ago, I was able to get back to this project. Now that I already had the face, it was time to sketch the rest of the caricature. In normal situation this would have been the first stage. To make him drive a car was quite an obvious resolution.

Caricature sketch - Kimi Raikkonen

Caricature sketch - Kimi Raikkonen

It was only because of an interesting composition that I chose to illustrate him having a car crash. And the downhill car was more fun and less serious to have a car crash with.

Caricature - Kimi Raikkonen having a car crash

It wasn't easy and it took time, but it was fun and I'm quite happy with it. Let's see who's the next victim...

17 July 2011

Captain America seen entering a hipster cafe in Lower East Side?

Even though my vacation in NYC is over, and I'm adapting myself back to my normal daily routines, there is still one photo from my trip, that is worth showing. One day I was wandering back and forth in Lower East Side - Manhattan, when I suddenly saw a peculiar sight. There was a man wearing an extraordinary outfit and some kind of shield. I hate myself being such a paparazzi, but I couldn't help myself and I snapped a photo.

Captain America entering a hipster cafe

At that moment I didn't realize who that fellow was, but later that day I saw a movie poster... Captain America!!! Well, what a lucky guy I am. It's not every day that one gets to see such a celebrity.

But what really makes me confused, is that this happened in L.E.S. (Lower East Side), which is (according to the travel guide) an area ruled by hipsters. Yes, it could have been a coincidence... unless... mr America was also just about to enter a cafe called Brown, which is (once again according to the travel guide) THE PLACE for every little hipster on earth.

I hardly dare to toss this question... but could it be so, that Captain America is a hipster by his heart?

15 July 2011

13 July 2011

Dudes of New York # 1

I met a strange character on the street and nearly gave him a lesson about the dangers of smoking. What a bizarre fellow.

09 July 2011

Big time compliment right out of the blue

Every now and then I get to hear nice things about my work, which is pleasant of course. Usually those compliments are from people that know whose work they are commenting. Sometimes, rarely, it happens that someone is commenting my work without knowing it's my output. That happened just couple of days ago in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Somehow these situations are always special.

So, I was shopping some grocery at Smith street and paying them at the cash. I was, as a no-native english speaker, fully concentrated to understand how much I was supposed to pay. Put the cashier, about 18 years old dude, said something I first didn't understand.
I was confused: "Excuse me..."
Cashier repeated: "I like your shirt."
I: "Oh..."
Cashier: "I like your shirt. I don't know what it means, but I like it!"
At that point I finally realized what he was saying and half a second later I remembered that I was wearing a shirt with my own (my girl friend helped a bit) design on it. I was extremely flattered, because that dude really had street credibility. All I could was blush and stutter thanks.

I designed that print in last month to thank a friend, but I ended up liking it so much myself that I wanted to have a copy too.

If that cashier dude from Carroll Gardens ever happens to read this, which is like 1/100 000 000, I just want to let you know that I'm really flattered and the text on the shirt: "Harasoo" is russian and means something like "everything is fine".

harasoo t-shirt

Speaking of t-shirts. I've been looking for some nice shirts here in NYC, but haven't found any real gems yet. I know I'm picky. Among other shirts I'd like to have a shirt about NYC. Souvenir to myself, you know. But those traditional themes like "I (heart) NY", Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and so on... are not for me. They all sound so lame. What would be exotic enough (don't ask why!) would be Bronx Zoo! I don't know if there is such a shirt, but what I know is that if there is, I'm probably not happy with it... so I better do it myself.

So, coming up: sketches of "The Bronx Zoo" t-shirt... I guess I should visit there first :)

06 July 2011

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

I may have heard about it before, but I definitely haven't seen it. Hot dog eating contest, which seems to be the 4th of July tradition here in USA.

Because we happen to be in NY during the independence day of USA, we planned to go to see the Macy's 4th of July fireworks. Somehow we got lazy and decided to see it on TV at our apartment. And I'm glad we did, 'cause just before the fireworks there was the final of Nathan's Hot Dog -Eating Contest 2011. And that was something. I believe we Finns have some strange contests, like Wife carrying World Championship, Air Guitar World Championship, Ant-Nest Sitting Competition... just to name some, but I felt this Hot Dog Eating Contest was something different. I couldn't do anything else, but watch with amazement. And I got to tell you they didn't have that nice table manners during the competition.

It really looked something like this:

Nathan's famaous hot dog eating contest - messy eating

Why won't they do it with a heavenly elegance, like this: (and yes, I know there's something wrong with the hand. Who cares about anatomical details..?)

Nathan's famaous hot dog eating contest - elegant

Oh, how many hot dogs..? I ate one hot dog yesterday, and I could have easily eaten a couple more. But the winner of this year's contest, Joey Chestnut, ate 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Good for him.

P.S. How come the competitors are so thin? Shouldn't they practice and shouldn't lot of hot dogs make you fat?

03 July 2011

Need of exaggeration

At the moment I'm spending my vacation in NYC. Yesterday, when I was in subway, I saw a dude wearing a cap in a way which was a bit funny. Well, I mean funny from my point of view as we had totally opposite way of wearing caps when I was a teenager. Back then we customized our caps bending the visor as curve as possible and wore them so tight that the cap was nearly blocking the blood circulation. This dude in subway had his cap couple of numbers too big so that the cap rested deep covering the upper parts of his ears. Also the visor was as flat as possible tilting slightly upwards. I couldn't help playing with the idea that, if this dude suddenly turned his head, the cap wouldn't follow.

Later in the evening I tried to sketch that dude with the cap, only realizing that I couldn't achieve the impression as I felt it. As you can see the first sketch in the image is pretty mild. Only when I exaggerated the size of the cap strongly I felt that I could pass on the impression.

wearing a cap

This only demonstrates the fact that exaggeration is needed big time when presenting things with comic style illustration.

I also became inspired to play around with a cap way too tight... noting that even an exaggerated version looks pretty normal. So, let's not be too shy when exaggerating things!

30 June 2011

Tour de France illustration

I was supposed to start this blog ages ago. At some point I noticed that deciding what would be the very first post became an issue that held me back - which illustration could be special enough to start an illustration blog..? I bet there must be name for that: "First Post Syndrome" or something like that.

Today it suddenly struck me that the Tour de France is about to start in couple of days. That's it. I'm ready for the "Second Post Syndrome". So, I would like to honour the Tour de France 2011 with this cycling illustration that I made some time ago for a book.

Tour de france uphill
I just hope that this year they are climbing uphills without any doping boost :)