I was born to Estonian parents in Helsinki, 1995. That is also where I attended kindergarten, and where my first artistic endeavors began. I remember defying the teacher's orders on how to "correctly" depict a cat. My cat HAD to have a rectangular tail, so I persisted, and I still have this piece today, framed, reminding myself to always trust my own vision, because there have been times in life, I have not been so confident.
Shortly after, we moved to the UK, where I attended primary school. I was the only foreigner in the small countryside village school in Hinxton, so I learned English at a very early age, I was about 4-5 years old. When I was not in school. I remember watching English television, khm, Cartoon Network, but the one I took very seriously, was a show that taught arts and crafts. I remember, that for some reason they had a huge obsession with PVA glue, and glitter. I still have a pot of glitter from this time as a keepsake. My sister, Luisa Greta Vilo, was also born in the UK in 2000. She is now a photographer, and a huge inspiration to me.
When I turned 7, we moved to our home country. While I had been spending summers, and other important holidays in Estonia even before, now we moved here for real. Even though I have struggled mentally from a very early age, and a strict environment didn't exactly help de-escalate the situation, I'm actually glad I was placed in a science-focused school. I feel like it enriched me, forced me to suck it up, and be resilient. Somehow, I feel as if I have always been surrounded by the right people at the right time, and everything, such as my dad randomly gifting me oil paints and a canvas, happens for a reason. Otherwise I would not have found my love for painting somewhere around the age of 12. At the time, I started painted as a medium to cope with my depression, when words failed me.
I didn't go to university straight after graduating. Instead, I did an acting gig in a TV-show for a couple of seasons, before moving back to the UK to intentionally lose myself to find myself again. I lived, and worked in London for circa 2,5 years, during which I also got to travel around; the US, and Turkmenistan, to name a couple. This was a very transformative period for me. Living alone in a huge city, with no security, no friends, literally no money, and a continued lack of desire to stay alive on this planet at all, and transmuting it to building a new life from scratch. And I did it, through all the struggle I think I built a great one, filled with the kindest, most amazing people, friends to whom I owe so many of my life's sweetest memories. London is where I feel like I really woke up.
I moved back to Estonia after a full circle moment, when the time felt right. 23 years old at the time, I found a job in Estonia in a tech startup. I ended up making a career for myself, at one of Estonia's (now) unicorn status companies. I was one of the relatively early employees, and boy was it a fun ride! Then, at one point, I was lucky to have a couple of intense sessions with a life coach in 2020, who made me question my life's long term plan & soul's purpose. Thanks to that, in 2021 I did my best to defy my brain's logic-filled arguments, listened to my heart's calling, and took the leap by applying to Pallas University to study painting. I had denied myself pleasure in life for so long, thinking I'm not worthy of doing something I really love, like it's selfish.
For the first 2 years I continued working in the fast-paced scale-up full time, while also studying full time, because I have a hard time of letting things I love go. That, by no surprise to everyone but myself, led to a severe burnout. A day only has so many hours, and a human can only take so much. So after 4,5 years, I left my 9-5, and from 2023 I am now fully focused on my art career.
I crave creating, it has consumed my entire being.
Lots of love,