Public defence in Design, MA Hanna-Kaisa Korolainen

The title of the thesis is The Making of Inspiration – From Monet to Warhol and beyond
Detail related to the thesis "Niki (Mother) (2020)

MA Hanna-Kaisa Korolainen will defend the thesis "The Making of Inspiration – From Monet to Warhol and beyond" on 20 May 2022 at 12:00 in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design, in lecture hall M1, Otakaari 1, Espoo, and online in Zoom.

Opponent: DFA Teemu Mäki, Finland
Custos: Prof. Maarit Mäkelä, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design

The public defense will be organized via remote technology. Follow defence:
Zoom Quick Guide:

Thesis available for public display at:
Doctoral theses in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture:

Press release:

Hanna-Kaisa Korolainen's dissertation “The Making of Inspiration - From Monet to Warhol and beyond” traces how consciously selected sources of inspiration influence the creative process and its outcome. It investigates specifically the relationship between the practitioner and the source of inspiration, the differences between inspiration and copying, and the idea of shared authorship.

Every practitioner yearns for inspiration. It fuels the creative process with desire and motivation. The sources of inspiration, from the practitioners’ point of view, have not been extensively researched within the fields of art and design. This research produces new information on the topic.

The centre of this study lies in a collaboration-like relationship between the practitioner and sources of inspiration. Through numerous artistic experiments Korolainen has successfully defined the rather abstract concept of inspiration in a concrete way. As part of her research, she has organized four solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Korolainen has worked with textiles, glass, and ceramics. For her research, Korolainen has sourced inspiration from famous artists such as Claude Monet or Andy Warhol.

In her research, Korolainen shows that inspiration is not a mysterious and uncontrollable entity, but rather a ‘friend’ and ‘confidant’, a positive force which accompanies the maker on her journey which is often a lonely and challenging road. At the same time, the artistic process retains its magic, as not all the results of the research can or need to be put into words – the artworks speak for themselves. Followingly, inspiration has materialized in Korolainen’s creative practice in various ways. Some of the information produced by this study is non-verbal and visible in Korolainen's artworks, which are illustrated (with over one hundred images) in the dissertation.

The knowledge of the research can be utilized extensively in the art and design education, simultaneously it provides information vital to encourage and challenge makers to explore their own relationship with inspiration. This study provides a mirror for all creative practitioners, by coming up with a specific definition of inspiration, demonstrating possible ways to look for it, and presenting different ways to work with inspiration. 

Contact information of doctoral candidate:


[email protected]



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