Giant, 2006
From the serie Crowds
Ink on paper.

“When I work, I’m whole. My eyes make observations. My hand moves, repeating them. My tool, whatever it is, is a natural extension of myself. It’s like part of me, like the surface on which the work is created. That state is miraculous, and I can’t say anything else about it other than that I then accept myself completely, enjoying a perfect harmony. Everything works. It’s nothing like Jacob wrestling with the angel. When my enthusiasm fades, I just stop. When I look at the works later, I sometimes wonder whether I really created them.”


Paula Eight


Winners, 2005
Ink on paper.

My working and riding partner, Paula Eight


"Storytelling in particular is what makes Paula Eight’s production so interesting. It is perfect art, a combination of virtuosity and thought. Each line is drawn by a master. Each work tells its own story to tell, round by round. 

For Paula, art was a way to flee reality. A way to let it all out. She picked up a nib pen and made it fly. On a good day, she might create dozens of works. Sometimes she invited me eagerly to look at pictures which she’d placed to dry, jumbled every which-way on any free surface.


There wasn’t always enough space.


Sometimes Paula’s cat might jump up and leave tracks on a work. I was annoyed, but Paula was delighted. She said that it is precisely a happy coincidence that puts the finishing touch on a work.


As an artist, Paula Eight has always needed another person by her side. I often brought her pictures that I had printed out for her to draw when she was in a flow state. The results were often surprising. The interpretation and the story told in the picture was something totally different from what I’d expected.


I was fascinated by the downright ingenuity of Paula’s works, the way she just let it roll. She drew Alice Cooper’s face with a few lines, based on an ad she saw in a business magazine. She just picked up a pen and did it. As is typical of Paula, the first version was the final one, and then it was time for her to move on to the next drawing.


We often analyzed pictures together. We saw totally different meanings in them. Those were blissfully creative moments when I felt that we could completely let loose. The process was ultimately one involving two people.


Paula has experienced insecurity, too. During the working process, an artist can easily become blind to her own works and be unable to see them till afterwards. I often had to stop her from destroying paintings that she was not satisfied with at the moment. 


The picture of Jesus was one of them. I managed to intervene just in time when she was about to discard the work, which she does by bending the paper in half. The image of Jesus’ last moment portrays pain and grace as well as anyone could possibly illustrate it. We were later moved when looking at the picture together, examining its details. It contains surprisingly many similarities with the Shroud of Turin, even though Paula didn’t study it until six months later.


Though we agreed that she won’t destroy any of her works, she has done so at times. She gave her picture of Mickey Mouse to a five-year-old girl to colour. I have often regretted that.”


Eliel Arkki


Abandoned artwork: Mickey M, 2012
Ink on paper.



Paula Eight portrays the modern human and Western society, including its roots. This moment in time, with its reasons that date back centuries and millennia. Her most typical tools include a nib pen and a palette knife.

Instead of a signature, the works may simply include an ‘8’s’ stamp, which at the same time communicates the work’s composition.


Art & design -työpajat
  • Viivan leikki – muotokuvapaja croquis-tekniikalla
  • Tilaa piirtäjä kokoukseen
  • Sarjakuvatyöpaja – piirrä ja kerro tarina


Services in English:
  • Line Play -portrait workshop by using croquis -techniques
  • Order a drawer to your meeting
  • Test your skills as a comic book artist!