Taru Happonen - Discovering Beauty In Errors
From time to time TRE Journal makes an occasional foray into print, publishing a select collection of great photography, graphic design, and stories. The graphic design and illustrations of our Christmas Zine were by Taru Happonen, a young visual artist and designer from a group called GRMMXI. The awarded collective has been praised for their provocative style and exceptional teamwork.




What is your design philosophy?

My design philosophy strives to be the same as my philosophy of life. I aim to work with an open mind and through joy, without taking things too seriously. I laugh at myself and at my mistakes, because they are inevitable.


You're part of the collective GRMMXI. What does the name stand for?

We met at the Aalto University when we began our graphic design studies in 2011. The name stands for “graphic design 2011”.


How is your creative process?

My creative process is pretty messy. I am poor at sketching in advance, so that during work I go back and forth a lot and try different solutions. Most of the times the most interesting way is found accidentally, as it happened in many layouts of the TRE Christmas Zine.


What inspires you at the moment?

Drag queens.


Taru’s friend Elmo exploring TRE Christmas Zine 2016.


Invisibles — True stories about imaginary friends. Book design and illustrations by Taru Happonen. Author: Verna Kovanen, 2016.


Fertility. Acryl and glitter paint on wood, 2017.


Skinny but stomach no muscles. Self portrait, 2017.


GRMMXI will be participating in the Enter and Encounter -exhibition in Design Museum Helsinki 24/03–24/09/2017. The collective piece discusses the themes of Work, Design and Fatherland.

Taru Happonen's exhibition She in Kosminen art space 18/05–03/06/2017. Exhibiting a series of three paintings and a zine publication about body image and sexuality.

More good stuff at taruhapponen.com IG @taruhapponen and GRMMXI

TRE Christmas Zine was published at TRE Christmas Market on December 2016.


Text: Saana Ihamäki

Photos: Taru Happonen