The Block

Art & Culture — 1 year ago

Creative Living: Teemu Keisteri

Artist Teemu Keisteri shares his creative life. 


Based in Helsinki, Finland, visual artist Teemu Keisteri’s practice spans illustration, video art, performance art and DJing, and as if that weren’t enough he runs a gallery, Kalleria, too. All his work is rich in personality – he is often the subject of his pieces – and through everything he does runs a playful, buoyant streak. 


Since becoming a father Keisteri has embraced the new challenge of juggling his many plates with childcare, finding it has both shaped and informed how he makes work. Here, for our special Creative Living series, Keisteri discusses learning to live with deadlines, routine and how fatherhood has shaped his practice.


Shop Teemu’s T-shirt here

Everpress Team
Courtesy of Teemu Keisteri

When do you feel most creative?

Since I became a father I find that I have the most free time in the evenings. So now, that’s when all the ideas come to me!

Tell me a little about your relationship to deadlines? Do you meet them easily? And do you need them to motivate you?

I am definitely a deadline guy, the power really goes on the closer I get to a deadline. Also I have many different tasks; I’m juggling DJ gigs, painting, music and maintaining a gallery, all alongside parenting. 

Courtesy of Teemu Keisteri

Do you need routine?

I should have more of a routine than I actually do!

I am definitely a deadline guy

How much do you adhere to a ‘conventional’ 9-5 working week?

Quite a lot since I became a father, as I now work during daycare times. I’ve found that parenting has really helped my productivity, in the sense that now I can produce a lot in a short time. But then I do also often tend to work in the evenings too.

Courtesy of Teemu Keisteri

Do you work better in the morning or the evening? 

I used to be a real night owl but not anymore! My son often wakes up at 6AM.

Do you work on the weekends?

Yes, as I’m also DJ Windows95man.

Do you try to draw a clear line between ‘life’ and ‘work’ or does it all blend into one?

In the end I have difficulty with stopping working, even though I can’t do a lot with my son around. I try to secretly blend in tasks here and there at all hours.

I never have a creative block!

Courtesy of Teemu Keisteri

On days when you hit a creative block, what do you do to get past it?

I never have a creative block! Overall though, I don’t like if someone says what I need to do. It’s always best for me if I have total artistic freedom.

How has your relationship with your practice evolved over the years?

It has been constantly evolving and getting better and better, and more and more tidy. I mean that in terms of both skills I’ve developed, and my discoveries of technologies along the way. For example, recently I discovered amazing new paint that lifted the quality of my work. 

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