LisbonInsideOut: Yana, a Siberian Graphic Designer


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 Yana, a Siberian Graphic and Web Designer who fell in love with a Portuguese guy and ended up moving to Lisbon. 5 years later she has managed to grasp the language perfectly and is one of the faces behind the Ladies, Wine & Design project in Lisbon.

Who is Yana?

Yana is that cool girl you always wanted to be friends with in high school. Her modelling career allowed her to travel all around the world, including the country that’s been on my bucket list for ages – Japan.

How did I even come across a Siberian girl in Lisbon? Easy – Instagram! I’ve been following Yana for a while now and thanks to this project I finally had an excuse to meet her in person. She invited me to one of the Ladies, Wine & Design meetups at Second Home and I must admit it brought up emotions that I didn’t even know I had.

From model to designer, she’s an incredibly talented woman and I look forward to see what she does next!


What made you move to Lisbon?

Love. It’s actually a long story! I was doing Erasmus in Cadiz and it was my last night there. I was at the airport’s bathroom and I started hearing some girls speaking Russian looking for a place to rent a car. I decided to help them and in turn they invited me to a party. Since I had a few hours to kill before my flight I went along with them. Next thing I know this Portuguese guy grabs my arm and asks me where did I get my tram 28 t-shirt. A few weeks later he went to visit me in Siberia and now we’re living in Lisbon with our dog Skype.

How long have you been here?  

5 years.

What do you do/what is your profession? 

Right now I’m a Graphic and a Web Designer but I previously worked as a model.

What is your favorite place in the city and why?

It’s hard. If I had to pick just one it would have to be the café at Pollux! It’s closed at the moment, but I love the view from there.

pollux view

If you could take something from Lisbon home, what would it be?

Hmm…the weather!

What is the one thing you miss about Siberia?

The food, but not actual meals, it’s more the ingredients. Things like dill or this salmon we do with salt, similar to smoked salmon but not quite and also sour cream. I find it hard to get these things here, only at El Corte Inglés really. Oh and the central heating, I’m used to being warm inside the house, here I’m always freezing!

25 abril bridge

lisbon street

I noticed you’re in charge of the Ladies Wine Design group in Lisbon, can you explain how that happen?

Basically I was following Jessica Walsh’s blog, who is a very famous American designer and she was the one who created Ladies, Wine & Design in the first place. One time she made a post asking if anyone wanted to bring the concept to their own city and I sent her an email. I wasn’t really expecting a reply, but a few weeks later I got one with Bárbara (another co-host) in copy who had also sent them an email and it all started from there.

Any other interesting facts worth mentioning?

Most people don’t know but we also have a word for “Saudade” in Russian, which is Тоска (sounds like tazca). You can always find it in those lists of untranslatable words in Russian. This can be sadness or a longing for something that hasn’t even happened.

Where can you follow Yana’s adventures?

From delicious-looking food shots, to Lisbon sights and the occasional capture of her dog Skype, you can always see what Yana is up to on her Instagram feed @yaneept or check her work portfolio here.

If you would like to join the creative community of Ladies, Wine & Design in Lisbon, make sure to check their upcoming events here.

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