annya marttinen: a little bit cute, a little bit spooky

In Annya Marttinen’s enchanting world, books and teacups float in the air, children play leapfrog with real frogs, and rabbits leap over treetops.

Yet alongside these flights of fancy are realistic depictions of simple pleasures such as reading, knitting, yoga, or walking in the woods on starlit nights.

Annya, who just turned 28, lives and works in Ontario.

A native of Canada, Annya’s a graphic design major who currently works as an illustrator using both traditional (watercolor, gouache) and digital mediums. She favors warm earth tones, and many of her pictures include celestial imagery for an added touch of magic.

She’s largely inspired by folklore, mythology, nature, children’s literature, and the cozy comforts of home. She’s an avid reader of fantasy novels and often gets ideas from listening to movie soundtracks.

Her favorite artists include Beatrix Potter, Gyo Gujikawa, Amélie Fléchais, Tove Jansson, and Gary Bunt (whom we featured here). 

Painting and illustration-wise I have a ton of love for Gary Bunt. His work captures little moments in ordinary life that I find comforting and familiar. I love when illustrators paint older characters and what it is to grow old because I am fascinated with time and how our bodies and minds react to it. 

She’s been drawing and painting since childhood. Her earliest memory was of painting a rabbit portrait in watercolor. These days, she keeps company with three rabbit muses: Oats, Olive, and Peaches. 🙂

Annya with Olive.

In recent years, her work has evolved to reflect the joys she’s discovered while living on her own. Being surrounded by personal treasures — vintage books, a KitchenAid mixer (she loves to bake!), and a wooden illustrator’s desk — helps her thrive both personally and professionally. 

She enjoys drawing new plants and animals as well as inventing new ones. I do like all the foxes, deer, mushrooms, and books in her pictures, and enjoy the sense of calm she creates, especially when showing people indoors, safe and warm, on wintry days.

You can find originals, prints, stickers, greeting cards, recipe cards, enamel pins, bookmarks and clothing at her Etsy Shop

Enjoy this fun video of Annya painting an Ode to Nut Butter in her sketchbook (there’s a bear in it!):


Lots more at her Official Website and Instagram


*Copyright © 2022 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

18 thoughts on “annya marttinen: a little bit cute, a little bit spooky

  1. Thank you Jama for this lovely blog post. I really love the painting of the lady hanging out clothes! Also, I love the Christmas card “Merry and Bookish”! Right up my alley!! You made my Tuesday! I am definitely going to check out Annya’s Etsy shop.

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  2. Wonderful artist! Couldn’t resist checking out her Etsy shop and finding some goodies for Christmas gifts! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. She really filled that sketchbook up! I love the fat bear! Our wildlife people just transported the biggest bear they’ve seen in years (400 lbs) from under someone’s deck! Can you imagine? Thanks for all the lovely & whimsical paintings, Jama. I will check out the Etsy shop!

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  4. I am in LOVE with this art. Thank you for introducing me to an artist that knows how to get me with beautiful stars! Recipe cards—what a great idea!

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  5. I appreciate the introductions you do to different artists. Her work is wonderful, and I love that she uses nontraditional colors. And I remember your post about Gary Bunt – I love his work because I am a dog girl, and single with kids grown, so I relate to that constant companion of a dog he paints so much, except I have three. And four cats. I like “primitive” art a lot when well done – that may not be the right word, and it’s certainly not a put-down!

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    1. Wow, three dogs and four cats! Do they all get along? Happy to hear you’re enjoying these artist profiles, Jan. I get excited when someone new catches my eye and can’t wait to share. I’m also a big Gary Bunt fan. His work continues to be in high demand. His dog + man pictures really strike a chord.


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