Interview with Sami Antero Ahvenainen of OneTwoTree Designs

Just recently The RingMaster Review came across an artist and artwork that quite simply left us opened mouthed. From just one piece of work we were fully inspired to find more and as we found more of this great work nothing less than awe broke out. As deep and rich in emotive provocation and imagination as they were in skill and texture the pieces were the first new art in a long time to bring an open reaction. Though a young new talent the person behind OneTwoTree Designs has worked on and graced EPs with great impact and is sure to become a name the world of music especially will have roiling off their eager tongues. Wanting to find out more we grabbed some time from the artist to find out more about him and his astonishing work.

Hi and thank you for talking with us at The Ringmaster Review

First question is simply please introduce yourself.

My name is Sami Antero Ahvenainen and I am a newbie graphic designer from Finland.

Please give us some background to yourself.

Well, I am 23 years old, second year student and I have been interested in graphic designing for over 3 years now.

When did art become a passion and important part of your life?

Art has always been in my life, I used to draw comics and stuff when I was a little kid

What are your influences and artists which inspired you most?

The artworks/ illustrations of Travis Smith, he’s a legend and a big inspiration to me.

How would you describe your art to newcomers?

Dark, mysterious and maybe even… thought provoking?

Do you stay with one style or medium or work across many forms?

I try to work across many forms and improve my technique with every art piece I create.

You also have a love of music, especially extreme metal and other forms of metal and rock, another passion as strong as your art?

Absolutely, music has always been there for me, giving me inspiration when I really need it! Nowadays I mostly listen to brutal death metal.

Do you play an instrument or make music yourself?

Well, I like to write lyrics on my free time just to keep my mind occupied, that is about it. Haha

Your work is dark and brooding and very provocative, is it a good representation of you as a person?

Absolutely yes but I try to avoid going too dark cause that can be depressing at times and that is not a direction I want to take.

What inspires your art predominantly?

Music and the challenges of life.

When designing and creating album covers or working on another ideas for bands do you work closely with them and listen to their music to get a feel of their creations first?

Most of the time I work very closely with the bands and they send me clips of their new tunes so that I can get the right idea for the art, it is all pretty cool and I appreciate it.

Is there a similarity do you think to how artists and musicians are inspired in their craft and how those seeds for compositions are developed?

I think so yes, when I hear an amazing song it inspires me to create something epic and I’ve actually heard that my artworks have inspired bands to improve their music and step up their game…so yeah.

Like a song with depth and texture your art unveils new layers and shadows each time you look at it, there is not just an instant appeal but a story or darker avenue to explore. It is important to you that your pieces have a breath and entity of their own?

Absolutely yes, I want my artwork to stand out from the rest I don’t want to create two pieces that look the same; I’m always looking for something new and refreshing!

American band Black Sky Ashes is a big fan of your work I believe?

Yeah, we worked very closely back in late 2011 and early 2012 when they released their first EP “your rain” I hope to work with them again someday; Travis Neal is a cool guy.

Give us some of the other bands you have graced releases of with your work?

At the moment my biggest would be the artwork I designed for Dishearthed and their EP “Praise the fool” it is a stunning artwork and I’d say it could be my finest art piece to date!

If there was one band or project you could choose to create for, what would it be?

Insomnium! I’ve been a big fan of this band for a long time and it would be a dream come true for me if I could create some art for them.

Now, and this still surprises me given the amazing quality and skill of your art, you design and create stuff for bands etc for free?

Yes, my artworks are 100% free. No joke!

Was this your intent from the start or just a reflection on the fact there just is not the money around within music and upcoming bands?

Yeah, in the beginning my art was not free but as time went on I figured that it is more inspiring/ easier for me to create and help bands if my art was free. A big “thank you” from the band is a good enough reward for me, I love music, I want to help out and this is a great way for me to do so!

One imagines you are over loaded with requests for your work but where can people get in touch regarding the possibility of having you create something for them?

I always have room for another project if it is interesting enough and stands apart from the others, I can be contacted via email or via my Facebook page, friend requests are welcome!

Is there any criteria they have to meet, like no pop or rap? Haha

Absolutely not, I love all kinds of music!

It is near impossible to pick a favourite of your pieces I have seen but Bride of Darkness and Cursed Moon, as well as a couple untitled ones on your Facebook profile stimulate and evoke stronger thoughts than others. What is your favourite or proudest piece to date? Yes I know like choosing your favourite kid or pet haha.

I’d have to say “bride of darkness” also, it just turned out amazing and I even surprised myself!

Are you continually coming up with ideas and pieces that lay in wait for the right project whether there are projects in the works or not?

There are times when I just don’t come up with anything, but that can be cause of my lack of free time at the moment haha. I can only blame myself for that!

Have you ever been lost for ideas when faced with a job, that spark of inspiration too dim and needing extra stoking to bring forth?

I put 100% of my heart into every piece I create, if I don’t feel like 100% I won’t even try to come up with anything. I don’t want to create uninspired art that would be a waste of everyone’s time and it would make me feel kinda disappointed later on.

What are your ambitions as an artist and for your work?

At the moment this is just a hobby cause I’m still in school etc but…time will tell, I’d like to be a pro!

Have you had exhibitions? I guess your Facebook profile online is a kind of one?

Nope, never. But yeah the page is kinda like one, I guess haha

Once more many thanks for talking with us.

My pleasure!

One final question, we saw you have a couple of wrestling inspired pieces, another love and who is your favourite sports entertainer?

Edge, amazing in the ring, good mic skills and charisma! Shame that he had to retire.

Find out more about OneTwoTree Designs @


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Categories: Interviews, Music

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