Schoolin’ Life: Vilma Metteri

In today’s Schoolin’ Life, we chat with the other half of Finnish artist duo Tärähtäneet Ämmät, Vilma Metteri.



Give us a quick bio: who are you, what are you into, and how do you spend your days?

  • Vilma Metteri, 37 year old artist, living in Helsinki, Finland
  • Mother of a 12 year old son
  • Playful and kind spirit
  • Urge to observe and analyze the world around
  • Working every day with my best friend and colleague, Katriina

When you were in your 20s…

What expectations did you have for yourself over the coming decade?

When I was 20, I was studying to be an artist doing many transboundary art projects, and I expected to keep on painting at night and living my life as it came. I guess I didn’t make any long-term plans for the future; neither did I have many dreams. Life was happening to me, and I believed the best way to enjoy it was to react to possibilities that arose.

In what ways did society shape your expectations of yourself?

Looking people in the eye was something I learned at a young age. I found my way through social environments by being smart, easy-going and adaptable; I stood tall and was not afraid of facing challenges. It was always easy for me to see the reasons behind an individual’s behavior, to stay calm and not get irritated. That gave me a certain feeling of being in control in situations without having to do much. One might say it’s a form of laziness. After collaborating with Katriina, I learned the power of setting up goals and working to get there. I believe that you can get anywhere by stealing and combining the best parts from different socio-economical groups’ approaches and their inner norms and standards.

What was your first job like?

I always loved children and got paid for taking care of them. At the time, I was also drawing birthday cards for relatives.

Did you experience any big life changes?

I went through many longer phases in life with different energy levels, but also experienced more sudden life-changing happenings. Becoming a mother was one of the most influential moments. Sharing the responsibility of caring for sick loved ones totally changed the way I thought about life. I learned to appreciate the present moment, to always try to be kind, to show my love and to enjoy life now.

In what ways did your friendships change?

Being best friends with Katriina provides a state of mind where I feel total trust and support. It is a great feeling to know that someone sees you as you are, with your strengths and weaknesses, and still wants to share the world with you. Laughing and finding the bright side of life with a friend is the best there can be.

What did you learn through your romantic relationships?

I have learned to respect surrendering to love, being patient and vulnerable and not holding back. I have also learned to discover my own needs and wills and communicate them.

How did your relationships with your family change?

As the oldest child, I learned to take care of others and show my love through baking and cleaning.  I still like to pamper my family members, but I have learned that I can also be present by just doing nothing.

How do you feel you changed emotionally?

I try to be more honest with myself and teach that skill to my son. If I ever get angry, I celebrate that aloud!

How did you change intellectually?

My view of the world has been quite much the same for a long time, but reading and having conversations every day taught me to combine different levels of the world into a vivid fusion of understanding humanity.

How did your worldview change over the course of the decade?

I started to believe in dreaming! I also started to think more collectively.

What was the most embarrassing moment?

Can’t remember anything.

What was your biggest disappointment and how did that affect you later?

I am trying constantly to develop my weaknesses, and it seems I can’t totally beat them. I have learned to be more accepting of myself.

Who was your biggest influence and why?

I enjoy learning in every moment from my friends and colleagues. Specifically, I am learning better, more efficient ways of thinking and acting politically and understanding the world more clear and critical way. There is a massive need to interpret and influence what is happening around us!

Do you have any regrets? Are there things you wish you’d done, hadn’t done, or done differently?

I only wish I would have more concentration to be at my very best! I wish this for both my work and my personal life.

Is there a story that you feel best sums up the decade?

“Elämän paskalaari” / “The Trash Bin of Life” It means you will walk to the supermarket with a few coins in your pocket. Suddenly, life offers you surprises in the discount section: maybe some food just about to get old and you buy what is there. You can feel happy about the cheap price of the food, the feeling of surprise, and the idea of saving food from being dumped; you can view this whole action as part of the game in which we live.


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