Content strategist by day, multi-creative by night: Emmi Paunonen from Differo believes that creativity comes from self-acceptance and letting go of perfectionism. We had a chat with Emmi, and explored her journey toward creativity and her first-ever art exhibit, Good Enough, at Epicenter.
Emmi Paunonen’s colleague describes her as a Renaissance woman – someone who is eager to try new things and conquer them quickly.
“I have always loved writing, and I used to think that I was only a creative writer. But now I’ve realized that I can do so many different things if I just put myself into it. I started knitting a year and a half ago and have now made seven sweaters, a dress, several beanies and mittens, a few blankets…” Emmi says.
Emmi has recently learned that creativity is not limited to one mold.
“It is really not rocket science – it’s about finding what brings you joy and letting yourself explore new things.”
Emmi has struggled with body image issues for most of her life, but she found inspiration and acceptance in self-portraits – first in photos that later turned into paintings. Seeing herself in paintings and pictures helped her love her body and see the beauty in imperfections.
“Media and art are filled with slim bodies and that’s not what I see in the mirror. When the ideal has been a very, very thin person, I never saw anyone like me anywhere. I thought I was the only one, and well – worthless.”
Emmi will be showcasing her paintings, a series called Good Enough at Epicenter starting in March 8. The paintings represent her personal journey towards self-acceptance and remind viewers that they are good enough just the way they are.
“I paint mostly soft bodies, and in my paintings all the bumps and rolls are visible. The more you see things, the more you start to find them beautiful.”
Differo, the content strategy agency where Emmi works, moved into Epicenter in late 2022. Emmi has enjoyed the safe space the community has to offer.
“This is literally a safe space – a place with inclusivity and freedom to be what you are. This sense of community is absolutely insane and these spaces are outrageously great. As a colorful person myself, I love the colors here. All the events are great, and I like the fact that even if there is no one in my office, I can chat with other members by the coffee machine.”
Emmi’s story is a reminder that creativity is not just for artists. It’s for everyone. Whether it’s painting, writing, coding or innovating, it’s about finding what brings you joy and letting yourself explore it. As Emmi puts it, “creativity is about being enough.”
See Emmi Paunonen’s art on her website mansikkapehmis.fi and follow her on Instagram @mansikkapehmis.
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