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Artist series: Tappo

Artist series: Tappo

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Tappo I’m an art school dropout, illustrator and a full time loser. I grew up in Malminkartano on the outskirts of Helsinki and was always fond of the weird and obscure.

What inspires your art?

My first love was comic books. I’m glad that my mom didn’t censor too much what I was reading, so I found the contemporary and more adult stuff pretty early on from our local library. Some of my stuff definitely comes from there.

I got into Metal pretty early on and when I reached my teens I found Punk Rock and Hardcore. I think I was drawn to the smaller more intimate scenes from the start. Band merch, record cover illustrations, old flyers and so on, all those things give me constant inspiration.

Movies have a huge influence on me. For example, if you’ve seen Road Warrior, you know where the gimp character in one of the shirts has gotten its inspiration from, heh.

Lately I’ve been going through thrift stores and taking pictures with my phone. Sometimes I find something interesting and worth drawing.

About the collaboration with Makia.

Makia contacted me and wanted to do a collaboration, they asked for something rough and dark. We agreed that since Makia is a Helsinki based streetwear brand and I’ve lived here in Helsinki almost my whole life, the illustrations should be about that – the streets of Helsinki.

I put the puzzle pieces together and made these over the top illustrations about the streets, filth and pain. There’s a lot going on in the illustrations and most of it ain’t pleasant but I do think that’s the reality. Life isn’t always fun. These things are real and we shouldn’t forget that. People aren’t born bad, some of us are dealt a bad hand from the start.

Your relationship to clothing.

I do collect band t-shirts and vintage print shirts. I think a good quality silk screen printed shirt peaks when it’s a little worn out. I also buy a lot of stuff used stuff from flea markets etc.

Free word.

Be kind.