Hello, traveller!

If you’ve looked at more than one post here on Helsinki Side Quest, you’ve likely noticed the recurring character who pops up. That’s me, Linda, your NPC on this quest.

Is that really what I look like? Well, pretty much. If you’re nosy and want a proper face reveal, check out the “About Me” page on my portfolio website. But for HSQ I decided to Photoshop myself – as in, 100% from scratch. Instead of applying filters or using the clone tool I just drew a self-portrait. And she’s been in every post since the beginning. I’m hoping that makes the experience of reading this blog a little bit more unique. :)

P.S. As you might have figured out, I’m an illustrator by trade. If you enjoy the art on Helsinki Side Quest, you can commission me! I’m usually open for freelance projects. Contact me at lvuorenvirta(at)gmail.com with a description of your suggested project. I promise to get back to you!

Why do I love Helsinki so much? The short answer is that it’s my hometown, and “you can take the girl out of Helsinki, but you can’t take Helsinki out of the girl”. I actually spent my childhood abroad, but returned to Finland during many summers and have vivid memories of Helsinki from a young age. I came back to stay in 2012, by which time I was an adult. I’ve been living in the Helsinki area ever since, and it’s felt like home from day #1.

I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay at Helsinki Side Quest! Whether you’re planning a trip to Helsinki as a tourist, looking to move here, or already live here, I hope I’ve helped you discover something new about the city.