In English

Pirita Tolvanen
+358 50 3704323

Photography Niklas Meltio

I’m a Finnish Illustrator working mostly with editorial and commercial projects. I’m passionate about infographics, illustrating data and creating non-fiction picture books. My first non-fiction picture book “The Baron – Life of Jarno Saarinen” was highly commended at the World Illustration Awards children’s book category in 2019. The book was chosen a finalist for the Sports Book of the Year 2018 in Finland. My work is featured in the book ‘Bézier Vol. 1: The Best Vector Artists Worldwide’.

Vector graphics has been my main technique throughout my career. I love the logic and their wavy nature. Illustrating technical subjects (such as motorcycles, bicycles, heart rate meters etc.) fits my style perfectly. I illustrate a lot of people and portraits. Besides still illustrations I animate.

I decided to become a graphic designer at the age of 15, after seeing an exhibition of paper-cut pop up art by graphic design students. I studied graphic design in Finland, but an exchange period in Bulgaria’s National Academy of Arts with poster art influenced me heavily. Emphasis on ideas made me realize it was illustration I wanted to do as a profession.

The Baron / The Flying Finn

”Baron – The Life of Jarno Saarinen” is a non-fiction picture book that tells the story of a sympathetic top road racer legend Jarno Saarinen, aka. The Flying Finn. Besides the story of Saarinen, the book displays motorcycle road racing of the era with technical attention. Below is a 1 minute video of the project, and of the exhibition that was arranged to celebrate the book’s coming out. You can view the book project on Behance.

A Long Way Home

“A Long Way Home” is the first picture book I’ve illustrated. It’s a visually wild and colorful fiction picture book of a sea turtle named Shelly, written by Hanna Karoliina. There’s a touch of non-fiction with all the information of the animal characters’ species gathered in the end sheets. The book was self-published on 2016. You can view the book project on Behance.


Cover illustration for Publishers Weekly and their global awareness campaign in support of the book publishing industry during the novel coronavirus crisis.

Preventing Accidents

Cover and article illustration for Pelastustieto, a magazine of fire and rescue service. The theme is preventing accidents and it’s based on a program of procedures on how to make it happen.

Split World

Climate crisis themed cover and article illustration for Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs. In the cover water and land are transposed on the map of Northern Europe. In the article illustration the nations (flags of Morocco & The Gambia) on top of the dam were chosen based on They are the only ones 1.5°C Paris agreement compatible.

Heroine portrait

Portrait illustration of Maryan Abdulkarim for a children’s book on heroines (Into Publishing 2018).

Year 2018 illustrated

Animation of my own illustration year 2018. This was a personal project, based on the idea of picking up the most interesting pieces of information of a year: I finished 106 illustrations, 10 infographic projects, 8 short animations and altogether illustrated 85 people (with face features).

…and other illustration projects

I’m working on different kind of illustration projects all the time. I’d be glad to tell you more! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, my favorite social media. My portfolio can be found on the website of Association of Illustrators as well as Directory of Illustrators. I have a visual diary called Cold As Ice Cream.