Discussing radical life changes with illustrator, Tanel Riik

Copenhagen-based illustrator Tanel Riik’s sketchbook. Photo: Tanel Riik

Life can take unexpected twists and turns; we are sometimes left gasping while a new set of circumstances is unfolded in front of us and a certain significant change is forced upon us. These changes can be sudden or announced, but nonetheless they introduce a radical modification into our lives.

What is the most extreme change of plans you have had to face throughout your life? What was it caused by and, more importantly, would you make the same choice if you had the chance of going back?

For illustrator, photographer, and community member Tanel Riik, “the most common thing that can transform a human’s life is a change of environment. A change of environment puts the human mind into a sense of shock if you might – giving a whole new perspective on ourselves – our emotions and ideas. This shock forces you to find new solutions and more often than not brings forth new perspectives.”

You evolve as you go, taking a little piece of your environment with you, every time you move along. Forever the same, yet different every time”.

“A change of environment doesn’t always have to be drastic either. It might range from moving to the other end of the world, to simply taking a walk in the park. The fact is that if you move from within one collection of energy into another, things are bound to seem different. Clarity – is what you achieve by this. This clarity is by what we make decisions, that ultimately form a collection of outcomes, that sum up to be our lives. We, as humans, are a product of our environment, and thus the easiest way to change the way we see life is to change the environment we’re in. My personal experience tells me that you evolve as you go, taking a little piece of your environment with you, every time you move along. Forever the same yet different every time. The images I’ve chosen to include here correspond to a few substantial changes in my own life”.

Image: Tanel Riik

Tanel describes himself as “an illustrator, film photographer, and an artist in general”. Right now he is trying to create as much as his creative capacity allows him to. He loves to create intricate and detailed pieces of art that hold a little more insanity than your average portrait. He has an almost maniacal obsession with faces – eyes in particular – the windows to the soul, as they say. He is a strong believer that everything you do in life should hold emotion and show emotion. “Because that’s what life is about, expressing yourself, as you go towards the end destination, on this train of madness.

He is really your friendly neighborhood artist and film photographer all in one delightful moustachioed package.

Image: Tanel Riik

With no formal schooling in art or design, he obtained knowledge and skills through self-education alongside everyday studies in middle school through high school. His exploration into the creative world took him from drawing and illustrating to design, photography, performing arts, and music.

The images you can find in this article are all drawn from Tanel’s experience: “I’ve added some photos, that are taken after a few substantial environment changes in my own life, every time resulting in a burst of creative energy and new perspectives.” – he explains.

View of Copenhagen city centre across the harbour from Refshaleøen. Photo: Febiyan

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