Face painting for beginners

I really like Lokal and was happy to see recently they were having an artist in to paint pictures of the public.

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I booked a time for Miko and told him that a man was going to paint his portrait. ‘My what?’ he asked. ‘Your portrait,’ I said. ‘You know, paint your face.’

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When we arrived another family were just finishing their sitting, so Miko explored the joy of infinity in the mirrors while we waited.

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When it was his turn to sit, Miko wriggled around until I told him he had to sit as still as he did last week when the doctor was trying to pull a piece of lego out of his nose. ‘Out of your nose?’ asked the artist. ‘How did it get up there?’

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‘Oh,’ explained Miko patiently. ‘It was Star Wars lego and it jumped up there.’

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Matti Pikkujämsä is a Finnish artist who does a lot of illustration in Japan. He also made the wooden animals featured in Lokal’s Wild Animals Helsinki exhibition.

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Finished and pleased with the result, Matti and Miko posed for a photo before we headed home.

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‘Do you like it?’ I asked Miko. ‘Yes,’ he said, smiling. ‘But Mummy, I thought you said he was going to paint my face.’

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How I Came to Run an Art Gallery in Helsinki

I was engrossed in Google Maps the other day, looking for an art gallery I wanted to check out but could not find anywhere. Finally I looked up, and there it was. I was standing right outside.

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Lokal describes itself as 72% art and 28% coffee, which is a pretty good blend to me. It specialises in local, independent artists and designers and holds themed exhibitions.

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The current exhibition is ‘Never Never Land’ and features playful pieces from various artists, including some of the most stylish miniature houses I’ve ever seen.

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The store is full of gorgeous design objects, with more available online and worldwide delivery.

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I had a really nice chat with owner Katja Hagelstam, who opened Lokal in 2012. A courier came in as we talked and when she had to leave for a few minutes to give him a parcel she looked at me and said, ‘You’re in charge.’

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Unfortunately not much happened. I didn’t even get to sit in my cool new office or make anyone an espresso.

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But nothing got broken and Katja seemed very relaxed when she got back. Lokal is moving ten doors down at the end of this month and as I left there was no mention of me being in charge of packing or carrying boxes so I assume my contract is over. It was good while it lasted.

LOKAL – now at Annankatu 9, Helsinki