Aliina Kauranne (b. 1992 in Hausjärvi,  Illustrator of the Year 2020 is a graphic designer, illustrator and video artist, whose fresh, personal and wild illustration style combines moving images, sound and 3D modelling. Choosing Kauranne as the Illustrator of the Year shakes up our notions of what illustration could be, today and in the future.

The annual Illustrator of the Year award is given to an illustrator or group of illustrators who have advanced and represented the field in a significant way. The award contains an exhibit and a monetary prize of 10 000 euros, which is funded with copyright payments collected by Kopiosto. 

This year the jury consisted of illustrator Linda Bondestam, curator Tero Kuitunen, lecturer of visual communication design Penni Osipow, Illustrator of the Year 2019 Matti Pikkujämsä and designer Laura Väinölä. According to the jury, Kauranne has succeeded in creating an idiomatic visual language and atmosphere that cannot be compared to anyone else’s work. Kauranne’s world is at once cute, syrupy, distressing and threatening. ”Kauranne’s work gets a reaction, which is not an easy feat in today’s world where we consume so many images,” says jury member Laura Väinölä.

”Many of Kauranne’s videos are perceptive depictions of current trends and the design life and its anxieties. The characters spend their time in spaces that are perfectly decorated in contemporary fashion, browsing social media while an oppressive emptiness hangs above it all,” writes the editor of Kuvittaja magazine Henna Hietamäki. Kauranne delves into the shallowness of the world created and maintained by visual communication professionals, and her satire strikes the nerve and core of the field by asking: What significance does any of this have?

In the past, Kauranne has been commissioned to do animated music videos and visuals for various clubs, for example. She has also designed visual looks and posters for restaurants and submitted magazine illustrations for such clients as the Flow Festival and the university student magazine Ylioppilaslehti. When needed, she also works in graphic design and technical modelling. For the Habitare 2019 exhibition, Kauranne realized decorative elements that were visible through the augmented reality app Arilyn. In the future, Kauranne dreams of doing ever more interactive illustrations that the viewer could participate in and that could be used in different ways.

The Illustrator of the Year exhibition’s opening party on September 24 and the exhibition will be on display at Galleria Kuvitus 25.9.–30.10. The award exhibition is curated by Veera Pekkinen. The exhibition is organized in cooperation with Artek, Artek 2nd Cycle, MuFilosofia and Post Bar.

Upcoming exhibitions


Ivanda Jansone


Tuuli Haapio


Janne Korsumäki


Anja Reponen