Part 1. The Flow: Creative Process of The Upcoming Book #DreamingDoors


“The old doors. Their souls asleep. Dreaming of passing faces. Bearing the wrinkles like and insignia.” @LehtmanMaria

#DreamingDoors #UneksivatOvet #Books

The Creative Surge of Power

Do you have moments when a creative flow takes over and simply transforms into images, words, feelings….? Powerful glimpses of realities and fantasies surrounding us. You are compelled to find an outlet for that river and harness it.

And then – comes the reality of a productive artist: 110% pure determination because the inspiring moment only takes you so far.

In 2014 I flew from Athens to Helsinki. As in many of my travels, the new scenes and experiences opened new avenues for my creative ideas. As I sat on the plane, ca. 10’000 km above the ground, I took out my iPad and begun writing poems. In 1.5 hours I had twenty or so poems outlined in Finnish and English for my next book (untitled at the time).

Athens. The Source of Inspiration.

We had spent a whole week walking up and down the cobbled streets in Athens looking at every ruin and museum we could find at a reasonable distance. I took several thousand photos with my Nikon. Every evening I soaked myself in the bubble bathtub filled with hot water trying to get my body to untangle the strain.

I had long since wanted to write about the cities I saw, the buildings, the doors and windows that seemed to be filled with unique stories. Somewhere deep inside me, they spoke out, and I listened.

Perhaps it was the inspiration I received looking at the statues of the Greek goddess of Victory, Nike. Either way, after photographing countless of old cities – this was the moment I finally sprang into action.

The Creative Reality.

When we landed I thought I’d make this book happen much sooner than the last one. My previous book: Hiljainen hetki, The Dew Drops, was a 7-year creative process, but only four weekends of intensive work on the actual book.

Dreaming Doors (‘Uneksivat ovet’ in Finnish) was going to be a walk in the park. Little did I know that destiny had other plans for me. I was invited to work in Europe for a transformational project. A unique opportunity I had been looking for.

I collected new ideas and photographs. Met new people and cultures. Learned more and spent more time flying between my “two homes”. Away from my normal home environment I even spent time drawing – something I hadn’t done in years.

My health took a turn after the intensive months of travel and the book awaited. Until one day, I realized five years had passed since my last book. Where had the time gone??

I went back to the ‘drawing table’ with my health somewhat recovered and work in a better balance. And I could not progress. It was like struggling uphill the whole way. My initial idea of the imagery didn’t fly. I no longer felt I was the same person I was when I wrote the poems. I almost abandoned the whole project but something inside me persisted.

You know that feeling, right? When you start a work out with full vigor and suddenly your sugar levels drop down – and the rest of it is just managing through. How to continue?


Let go – Begin Anew

I accepted that something had changed. I let each poem be interpreted graphically in whatever form and shape they wanted to take. The process took hours per image and I often abandoned ideas after the image was done and started out with another approach.

Why? I felt something inside me had changed sinced I traveled through all those old cities. And the experiences I had gone through during the past years, with work, health, travel, professional life, had transformed me. Life had happened.

My soul, my mind, my approach to life had changed. I was living the transformation through the book. The Dreaming Doors became a manifestation of my own self-transformation.

In the middle of it all – I took another course. And that story, my friends, will be Part 2 of my creative writing process 🙂

Click here about: The Dreaming Doors

Book’s featured artist is an inspiring, sparkling talent: Caroline Cunningham from Ireland.


Wishing you all a wonderful beginning of the springtime – despite the snow I hear even the southern parts are still experiencing :).

Best Regards,