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Our fifth ambassador is the talented artist 

Maria Leinonen. 

How did you end up on Österlen, southern Sweden?

I was born and raised in a small village in Skåne, South of Sweden. After high school I moved to Stockholm where I worked with interior design and styling of apartments and houses. Mainly with drawings and finding a complete solution for each object. After that, I worked on building virtual store environments. Creating visually and being able to work creatively has always been an element in my previous professions. After a hectic period with a job in Stockholm, I started painting to be able to unwind and let go of my thoughts. When I moved back to southern Sweden and Österlen again, there was a studio next to the house that was bought. Now there were all opportunities to work fully with my art. So the move to Österlen made it possible for my creation to also become my full-time job.

What inspires you daily and why?

I can find inspiration for my creation through emotions that are conveyed through album covers, different packaging and everyday situations. I also find inspiration by walking the streets of Simrishamn and looking at old houses. This then lies as a basic feeling behind an idea for a painting.

Tell us about your studio and what it means to you 

When I come here, it is the creation process that is in focus.

For me, painting is therapy, in the studio I get to focus fully on it.

The studio is both my workplace and free zone. When I'm here, I'm at work.

Sometimes my son comes with me here on evenings and weekends, he knows that this is my workplace and that I need to work undisturbed sometimes. He thinks it's cozy when we have chosen to sleep over here! It becomes a like a mini weekend together. 

How would you describe your style and your paintings?

The paintings are a graphic expression of an emotion. To create art is to create a feeling. My paintings and my art, together with the home, will create a holistic feeling. The paintings will strengthen the interior. I work mainly with acrylic and with many layers. Color in different combinations. My paintings are in people's homes all over Sweden.

What drives you forward and what is your motivation?

I like to challenge my self. To be challenged to go outside the safe and try something new.

I am motivated by starting new projects and being able to plan and implement holistic thinking in art.

Who inspires you most in your field of art?

People who dare to believe in themselves and are fully committed to their thing, it inspires me very much. A person who conveys a feeling is inspiring.

What is your favorite Primeboots style and why?

I have the styles Florence and Agnes from the Primeboots collection. My absolute favorite is the Florence boot, it is elegant but at the same time a statement boot with attitude. I use them all the time. The lace boot Agnes is very useful during the winter with its robust vibram sole.

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