What is LisbonInsideOut?
LisbonInsideOut is a new interview series that I’ve created to learn why foreign people, that live or have lived in Lisbon, chose this city and what they love about it.
This week I’m introducing you to Nick, an English Illustrator who decided to head to Lisbon to have a more affordable freelance lifestyle. His plan was to stay here for a while and then move on somewhere else, but thanks to a very special meetup two years ago, he’s now my lovely partner and one of the most talented people I know (even if he often denies it)!
Who is Nick?
An amazing boyfriend, a best friend, a cat dad and a talented illustrator, Nick ticks all those boxes. When we first met he was thinking of heading to Croatia but lucky for me he decided to stay a little longer 🙂
He is always looking forward to sunny days in Lisbon when he can sit outside and enjoy a drink by the river.
What made you move to Lisbon?
Ultimately it was my job and a lack of a decent regular income that made me have to rethink my life back in the UK: I either quit the current job as a freelance illustrator- move to London perhaps- and get better paid design work, or I move somewhere where I can live on an ‘artists’ income without worrying too much. When I’d go on holiday I’d usually look for places that’d be a nice place to live, and having spent a week here a couple of years previously I realised that Lisbon ticked all of those boxes.
How long have you been here?
Contrary to the pasty white skin, pretty much two years. Had it not been for my lovely girlfriend, I’m not sure. I thought Lisbon would be the starting point and I’d probably drift further along the continent, but I never got any further. In truth it felt like home extraordinarily quickly.
What do you do/what is your profession?
I’m an illustrator; I mainly do editorial for magazines and newspapers but currently I’m in the middle of doing two children’s books. Most of my clients are back in the UK and in the US. Essentially all I need for my job is my computer and an internet connection. Half of my work is ideas based, so that means I can sit out at a miradouro or just stroll around town with a notebook bluesky thinking- and what better place to do that than Lisbon.
What is your favorite place in the city and why?
It would have to be a kiosk. I love the kiosks here. Each has a different atmosphere and a new angle to see the city from. If you were to press me for just one then my favourite would be the one down by the river. I like watching the waves roll in with an imperial. I think it’s here, sat by the water, where I appreciate that I’m abroad the most.
If you could take something from Lisbon home, what would it be?
The codfish, and leave it there. No, seriously, this is my home, and if I took all of the things that made Lisbon great then I wouldn’t be here.
What is the one thing you miss about England?
Proper fish and chips. And a good curry (I come from Bradford, the curry capital). So, junk food. Even the kebabs taste healthier here, and I have to travel all the way to Colombo just for a KFC. I’m sure they’re other things I miss more but this is probably what I complain about the most, isn’t it? That or Christmas.
What is your favorite Portuguese dish?
My favourite Portuguese dish would have to be Carne de Porco à Alentejana. In fact, as a rule of thumb, if I ever see anything on a menu from Alentejo then I go for that. I’m a big fan of a decent prego though; a quality piece of steak on bread is a close second.
Any other interesting facts worth mentioning?
My friends were here last week and prior to them coming they challenged me to present them with a fun fact about Lisbon everyday before they arrived… My favourite was how Lisbon is known as the city of the seven hills (like Rome for religious reasons) when really there’s eight. Graça, where we live, being the missing hill and home to my favourite beer in the world, Oitava Colina
(Eighth Hill). Portugal does some fantastic craft beers!
Where can you follow Nick’s adventures?
I have yet to convince Nick to get an Instagram account, for now you can follow him on Twitter or Tumblr and make sure to check his brilliant portfolio at nshepherd.com