Minna Viitalähde

Minna Viitalähde is ons Fins Meshlid, waar we heel trots op zijn. Vanaf de start maakte ze gelijk mooi drukwerk, wat ze verkoopt via haar bedrijf Mint Station.  Haar stijl is heel eigen en altijd direkt herkenbaar en waarschijnlijk komt dat ook door haar liefde voor haar geboortegrond North Finland. Ze heeft ook altijd een bijdrage geleverd met werken bij ieder event die Mesh heeft georganiseerd. Altijd even enthousiast en professioneel als ze is, blijft ze zich steeds verder ontwikkelen ook met zeefdruk, ook op textiel.

Who are you ?

I am Minna, a Finnish graphic designer and illustrator based in Rotterdam. I came to the Netherlands 5,5 year ago to do my internship in the serious games industry, where I eventually got hired. After 2 years in NL, I decided to start my own tiny company called Mint Station.
I come from Northern Finland, a city called Oulu, where nature is near, distances are long and winters can get fairly cold. The contrast between busy Rotterdam and my old home town has definitely left an impact on me. After 5 years in NL, I am still the girl from the North who loves nature, peace and quiet, but who has also become more comfortable with the speed of the traffic, amount of people and the well-known Dutch directness.

What do you do in daily life ? 

I work as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator in my company, Mint Station. My work is done mainly remotely, since most of the clients are located around Europe. I also have a London based illustration agent called Peppercookies Agency, who represents Scandinavian talents. Beside commissioned work, I love to design my own products. Most of them are silk screen printed at Mesh Print club.
On my free time, I often draw or test different mediums, go to a gym or for walks, check out different exhibitions or other interesting events in the city.

How did you start / get in touch with screen prints ? 

As a graphic designer, I work a lot with print. Mainly all the graphical work is done digitally and sent to the print houses. I was missing the feeling of doing something with my hands instead of only staring at the computer screen. In my search for different ways to transform illustrations to prints, I found the technique of silk screen printing. I did a little research and discovered Mesh Print Club. I contacted the club and was able to subscribe to a basic course of hand printing in 2016. I was sold immediately. It takes a lot of time to prepare the illustration for printing, but when you finally see your own print on a paper it’s extremely rewarding.

What kind of work do you make at Mesh ? 

I have been concentrating on making art prints and postcards of my illustrations. I love to use strong colors and usually my illustrations are pretty playful. I often use 1-3 colour layers with a max. size of A3. Recently I tried textile printing and got pretty inspired by it. Therefore I am planning to experiment a bit more with fabric in 2019, but of course I will continue with paper as well. I have a pile of new ideas in my head, so we will see what comes out of those.

Where do you get your inspiration from ?

I am inspired by everyday life, folklore and without a doubt nature. If I see strong tones or interesting combinations of colours, I am immediately intrigued.

Which print are you most proud of ?

This is a hard one, but I believe the ‘Life on Orange’- art print would be a good choice. It is my only (so far) 3 colour print and it’s printed on A3-paper.  It took more time to execute it than any of my other prints. This same illustration will also be on the Flow 2019 tear-off calendar, which is sold in the Netherlands and in Germany.

What does Mesh Print Club mean for you ? 

Mesh has made it possible for me to experiment with silk screen printing, but also to meet lovely like-minded people. As a freelancer, I work mainly alone, so it is always refreshing to go printing and have a chat while working. If you have any technique related issues, there is always someone to ask for tips. Because of that, it is a very efficient environment to learn more about the technique.

How do we get more a acquainted with your work ?

Learn more about me and my work on my website: http://www.mint-station.com

You can buy my work here:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/MintStation

You are welcome to follow my work here: https://www.instagram.com/mintstation/  and  https://www.facebook.com/MintStationDesign/