Made in Aalto: Art for The Oscars

Santtu Mustonen studied industrial design and headed abroad soon after graduation. This year, his work was shown to hundreds of thousands of viewers at The Oscar’s.

While there were no Finnish movies on the shortlist this year, there was a Finnish touch at the Oscars. One of the artists, hired to create the visuals for the gala, was Santtu Mustonen. His illustrations were transmitted to millions of viewers around the world. In addition, one of the performers at the gala, superstar Lady Gaga, announced her participation on Instagram with Santtu’s design. Rather impressive.

Education always pays off and talented people can afford to choose their place of study. Santtu chose Aalto University and industrial design which seemed the best possible option to his plans at the time, and maybe even today, since a career as an artist seems more and more appealing to him each day. ”The Master’s Programme in Industrial Design provided me with a solid base, which I have successfully been able to apply professionally to various assignments” says Santtu.

Santtu made good use of Aalto’s international opportunities. The most useful one was the well-organised exchange student programme. ”Thanks to the programme, I ended up in Amsterdam for several years after graduation.”

Santtu's international career started to feel natural when his own work and style started to take shape. Santtu’s style is abstract artistic design that is in demand on international markets. He started receiving more and more assignments from all around Europe and the United States.

After Amsterdam, Santtu continues his career in New York. He got a Visa for Artists and settled in Brooklyn, the centre for creative work. The place is important to him as it makes it possible for him to realise his ideas. In the United States, Santtu's clients have been Nike, Intel, The New York Times, Adobe and a top university Columbia, among others.

The road from an industrial designer to an artist has been a natural one, since Santtu is equally comfortable both in the marginal and main stream. He emphasises the importance of other people both in career development and studies. “My best memory from Aalto University is good friends, whom I still work with."

Aalto University gives you the freedom to succeed. Choose your favorite degree programme from our broad selection and find more information about admissions: aalto.fi/studies. Check out also the other creations and innovations by Aalto people at #madeinaalto.

Santtu_oscars.jpgPhoto: Aaron Hegert