Mikko Heino is a Finnish born, German based artist, animator and sculptor known for his eye popping works. All super clean lines, energetic colours, and slightly off-kilter everything – creating a vibe of 1960’s underground comics as seen through a hyper detailed design-savvy lens.
Currently working as a freelance graphic designer and artist, Mikko has quickly gained a name for himself in both the pop art and designer toy scenes. A result of his vibrant creations, impeccable craftsmanship, and unique eye.
With Mikko currently busy making art in Berlin full time, and generally being a lovely human – we sat down with the man himself to ask him his thoughts on life, art, and a whole lot more.
Read it all, below…
Name + D.O.B?
City, State n Country you currently call home?
City, State n Country you’re from?
Lets just say Finland, nobody’s going to know a small city in the middle of nowhere. 🙂
Please describe some memories from key stages of your life: concerts, art, toys, romance, hunting, school, politics, crime, religion… ANYTHING really!
* Age 5 – beginnings:
Do people remember stuff from when they were five?
* Age 10 – continuations:
Guns and Roses & Nirvana.
A friend of mine showed me an alleged Cobain suicide photo from a pre-internet thingy. That made a big impression on my younger self.
* Age 15 – getting serious:
Started skateboarding around this time.
* Age 20 – young adult:
School stuff and skating is guess.
* Age 25 – adult mode:
Worked in advertising.
* Age 30 – fully formed:
Moved to Berlin and became a freelancer.
Never had one.
Art, Design and Toy Questions
When and why did you first start making art of any type!?
It’s such a cliche to say I’ve been drawing since I was a kid but I guess it’s kinda true. But really started to get into it in my early twenties.
Any pivotal artistic moment(s) / influence(s)?
I designed the first skateboard graphics I’ve done around 2007 or 2008. I was a big fan of the golden-era graphics of Alien Workshop and Habitat so it was a pretty surreal feeling to see my illustrations on decks for the first time.
From there on I started thinking that maybe illustration & art is something I should try to pursue.
Describe the process of producing your art? – Dot point all o.k!
It all starts pretty much the same way…
I have an idea for something, do a quick sketch and from there I usually know what medium it would work the best in.
A lot of my digital work is commercial, commissioned illustration or illustrations I do for prints and stuff.
Paintings I try to do in a way that they don’t look like a painting that much. I try to eliminate brush strokes, drips etc. and in this way try to keep the whole body of work looking coherent no matter if it’s an illustration for a magazine or painting on a canvas. Granted I’m not quite there yet but I’m working on it.
I’m fairly new to toys and animation but trying to learn more and get better. It’s a nice feeling, seeing something that used to be really 2d in motion or becoming something you can hold in your hand.
Worst aspect of the contemporary art hustle?
Money could be better…
Best aspect of the contemporary art hustle?
Kinda making a living (not really tho) from what you love to do.
Favorite other artist(s)?
There is so many, but here’s a couple:
Odds n Ends
What role did toys play in your childhood?
Huge role. I grew up in the 80s so we had it good with toys. All the classics were coming out then, He-Man, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Turtles…
Who was your 1st crush and why?
Pamela Anderson. Every kid had a crush on Pam in the nineties.
Does sex change everything?
I guess it depends who you’re having it with.
Please describe what you think the German psyche / zeitgeist is today?
Couldn’t tell you really. I live in a bit of an bubble here in Berlin, to be honest.
Which cartoon character, would you most like to see in a tribute sex toy, and why?
The Phantom Blot.
The form would make sense I guess?
What are the top 3 items you own?
This is a pretty lame answer, but to be honest my laptop, art supplies and phone.
Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?
Just say “yes” to saying “no” to saying “yes” to drugs.
Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?
I’d like to think I haven’t done it yet.
If people wanted to work with you or buy something – how should they get in touch?
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Not in the foreseeable future, but I’m always open for suggestions / ideas.
Any major projects you want to hype?
Nothing I can go into too much detail at the moment, but I’m am planning on releasing new figures / sculptures later this year and there are some group shows coming up…