The partnership Kaisa and Christoffer Leka have formed is one as peculiar as it is unlikely. Equipped with divergently different temperaments and personalities the more probable outcome is one of explosion, not collaboration. And yet the two individuals have a history of over twenty years working and living together as a couple. So clearly they are doing something right.
Kaisa, the artistic one of the two, is what can only be described as a workhorse.
She sits down and begins to draw. What flows out of her pen is both personal and wonderful. Her main characters, the duck and the mouse, have since the beginning told the tale of two persons united by an excitement and awe for all that this world has to offer.
At times Kaisa also serves as the breaks in the car that is Christoffer’s mind, bringing her husband down to earth from his more fanciful flights. All while Christoffer readily challenges what he deems as ”system thinking” whenever it begins to control Kaisa’s output in an excessive way.
Christoffer on the other hand, can, if we are being less than generous, only be called lazy.
But behind his apparently docile exterior lies a curious mind, ever at work making novel connections and bringing, at times to Kaisa’s great annoyance, new thoughts to the table.
As a graphic designer Christoffer’s inspiration lies in the imperfect and the absurd. His deep love for printed matter in all forms can be witnessed at the couples’ studio, with its floorboards creaking under the weight of his collection.
It has been said, that were the two ever split apart, Kaisa would still go on creating an array of books, but they would all be very predictable and boring, while Christoffer could not bring himself to see any one project to the finish, as ten new ones would pop into his head before the pen would even hit the paper.
Perhaps the secret to this couple’s success lies in that while they share a goal (telling interesting stories that are at the same time funny and philosophical) they differ in how these stories are best told and perhaps above all presented to their ever growing audience.
Kaisa, ever the pragmatist, chooses the shortest way between Point A and Point B, while Christoffer is keen to take at times even strange detours to reach their destination.
Whatever differences the two may have the works they create are unique and carefully crafted with a deep love for both storytelling as well as the graphic arts visible in every detail.
The partnership of Kaisa and Christoffer serves as an excellent example of something being greater than the sum of its parts.
Logbook, 2019 – Shortlisted for the Comic Book Finlandia Prize
Imperfect, 2017 – Winner of the Comic Book Finlandia Prize, Selected as the most beautiful book of the year in Finland.
Place of Death, 2015 – Silver Prize in Grafia’s annual graphic design competition and included in the selection of the most beautiful books of the year in Finland.
Time After Time, 2014 – Included in the selection of the most beautiful books of the year in Finland.
Expedition No. 3, 2012 – Gold Prize in Grafia’s annual graphic design competition and included in the selection of the most beautiful books of the year in Finland.
Tour d’Europe, 2010 – Included in the selection of the most beautiful books of the year in Finland.
Audarya-lila, 2008 – Included in the selection of the most beautiful books of the year in Finland.
On the Outside Looking in, 2006 – Silver Prize in Grafia’s annual graphic design competition.
Kaisa Leka: Vimma prize, 2017
Kaisa Leka: Raimo Lindberg prize, 2013
Kaisa Leka: Comic book artist of the year (”Puupäähattu”), 2012
Kaisa Leka: Cyclist of the year 2012
Kaisa + Christoffer Leka: Finland Prize, 2010
Christoffer Leka: First Class Scout, 1987