VSCO Grid

Anyone who's really enthusiastic about photographing and sharing images on mobile probably knows VSCO. It has become a norm for certain kind of mobile imagery; approximating the color saturation and feel of old-school film cameras, VSCO is many designers favorite tool. After using the mobile app for a while I pretty soon signed up for VSCO Grid - back then it felt pretty exclusive since you had to apply for getting in. Unlike Instagram, where tacky selfies represent majority of the content, VSCO Grid is a platform for creatives to show off their best work – a highlight reel that rewards artistic merit and unsung talent. VSCO has been able to maintain the feel of exclusivity and quality on everything they do, and for aesthetic person like me browsing this kind of feed is an amazing source of inspiration.

 

With honor & with distinction


From my images so far two have been selected for the Grid which means these images appear on Curated gallery of VSCO. And two images have received "With Distinction" mention, which means those images appear on curated search results.

 

With Honor

Lisbon state of mind

 

With Honor

Abandoned inside

 

With Distinction

Tones of South Beach

 

With Distinction

Winter light

 

Still today VSCO Grid remains under the radar kind of platform for aesthetics around the world - and I really hope it stays that way. As Joel Flory, one of the founders of VSCO once said:

Quality will forever be in style.

 

 

It's been a long time running

It's been a while since I've posted anything new here, although there has been huge changes in my worklife. Sorry about that.

So, the changes. I no longer work as a full time freelancer. December 2015 I started working for Valve as an art director in their service design unit. Valve was the first agency I started freelancing for back in 2011, so the decision to jump in came quite easy in my confused situation I had back then - I had a lot of work but not the right kind, I was running between agencies and projects and my trusted developer had just taken a full time job in Germany. I felt disconnected. So I started at Valve and after one year I jumped to Mirum Agency where I now work as Lead Art Director steering the design team in Digital services & transformation -unit.

This change means I will be focusing my time on Mirum, and have left out almost all freelance clients. Excited about all the new thing coming my way, but at the same time a bit sad. I've been blessed with great clients and interesting projects, so huge thanks to everyone I've had a chance to work with.

Astrid Swan summarizes the vibes of change pretty well (although the song has been written in more serious change than what I'm in, but you can still recognize the universal feel of hope and acceptance of an era ending)

It's been a long time running. Something new is behind the door.

 

Wynwood - sometimes I still need you

Our hotel at Miami was located at Collins Avenue South Beach, which is kind of nice if you're all about the beach, but next time I know better and choose Wynwood instead. Beautiful industrial Wynwood is a totally different side of Miami filled with amazing street art, cozy restaurants, shops, galleries and local breweries. I don't know why now but after returning home from this journey all I've been doing is planning to go back. Best word to describe the feeling I've had since is hiraeth - it means homesickness for a home you can't return to or that never was.

 

wynwood between lunch and dinner

For some reason we ended up being hungry always in between lunch and dinner time when most of the restaurants are closed. Good thing we found Wynwood Diner during those hungry hours! This beautiful, cozy, all-american dining place had the most amazing mac & cheese, burgers and blueberry pancakes few to mention. And when every single song on their playlist was something I alredy had or wanted to have on my playlist, I knew I found home <3

Cenotes, ruins and coconuts

I'm a sucker for mysteries, and a huge underwater maze sounds like one. There are over 3000 cenotes at Yucatán area and many of them connected to another by underwater tunnels. For Ancient Mayas some cenotes were the only source for sweet water so ritual offerings were made to placate the Rain God. Sometimes even people were sacrificed.

 

Cenote Zacil-Há

Cenote Zacil-Há was the most beautiful of the cenotes we visited. It was small and clear watered, connected to another cenote nearby. While we were swimming, 6 divers started their dive from the other cenote towards us. We could watch the bubbles come up from our end of the tunnel. Wish I had the nerve and experience to go dive there, but cave diving isn't exactly the most safe hobby in the world - especially if you're a bit claustrofobic.

 

Tulum ruins & animal friends taken over it

 

The food & drink

Few things to try if you ever decide to explore Tulum.

To drink.
Fresh coconut water served from actual coconut. If you're up for a local way to drink beer: michelada. It's basically beer with lime juice, spices and sauces. You either love it or hate it. I loved it. You could skip lunch and have just this.

To eat.
Seafood, especially ceviche. It's raw fish or other seafood cured in lime juice and spices. But make sure you eat in in a good local restaurant, not at a tourist place, there's a huge difference in taste. We ordered ceviche from our hotel - horrible. Then again from local seafood restaurant - amazing. And when lobster season, you can eat it pretty much everywhere.

Seafood restaurant to visit.
La Barracuda was really good. The picture below shows their portion size when ordered for 4 persons. HUGE!

November escape no.2

Part two of Tulum. There's so much to tell so I think I need to create part three also. I've visited many places all around the world, in 19 countries if my calculations are correct, and this is one of the few places I really want to return to as soon as possible. Usually I'd go to a place I've never seen before rather than returning to somewhere I've already been, but two weeks in Tulum area was not nearly enough to see everything there is to see.

At Tulum we stayed in two different hotels at two different locations. It's funny how the vibes can be so different after changing location only by 15 kilometres. So here's about locations.
 

location no.1: rosa del viento

I prefered the first location and hotel: Rosa Del Viento. Bohemian but yet modern bungalow accomodation where you can lay in hammocks by the beach and eat in outdoor restaurant. The hotel was located at the south end of Tulums main beach area as one of the last hotels before the wilderness of Sian Ka'an biosphere.

The road after our hotel towards the heart of Sian Ka'an was bumpy and rough surrounded by thick jungle both sides. We took a bicycle trip to see the lagoon there, but noticed it might have been faster to walk - the road was that bad. With more time, that same road would have taken us 43 kilometres south to Punta Allen, a beautiful small fishertown. By bus trip to Punta Allen takes about 4 hours. So you can probably imagine how the road is if the average speed is 10km per hour by car.

 

location no.2: pavo real beach

Our second hotel was called Pavo Real Beach, all inclusive hotel where we ate only when we were forced to. The food in all inclusives is never good, this was no exception. Pavo Real was pretty isolated, 10 kilometres north from Tulum center right next to Cenote Manati - a large cenote connected to the sea and once inhabited by manates. This hotel was perfect for chilling by the beach but it didn't have the same relaxed feeling than Rosa Del Viento eventhough the beach bar served Mojitos among the other drinks, all inclusive as well.

But if you were too restless to just lay in the sun, you could always walk around to see pelicans, eagles or huge iguanas living nearby the hotel area. Note to self: don't go too close to iguanas, they don't like it. One of them got mad and chased me around the yard. I guess my boyfriend and the hotel staff had a good laugh on my expense.

No pasar says iguana. This was a friendly one, the evil one who chased me was really really ugly and I was too scared to get a decent picture of him. This Ace Ventura is done with iguanas for now. Peace out <3

November escape

As november tends to be pretty dark and gloomy here in Finland, I decided to take 3 weeks off from office work, grab my camera and book few flights into the sun. Much more inspiring than cold november rain in Helsinki! Our first stop was Tulum Mexico, the home of beautiful beaches, cenotes and maya ruins. Here's a preview, more coming up later.
 

no.1 / the sun & our hoods

 

no.2 / the storm and rain