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My name is Lisa, I moved to Moscow six years ago

My name is Lisa, I moved to Moscow six years ago

I am an illustrator and a textile artist.

About (Non-) Work

I'm an artist, I work with textiles, I draw and I have my own modern embroidery workshop at VDNH. It is difficult for me to separate my life and work, since at one point my hobby became my main occupation.

This is why, during my free time, I try to do things that have nothing to do with creativity, drawing or teaching: I walk my dog, meet up with friends, travel, get involved in different sports, jog and swim a little.

I like VDNH; it's architecture is crazy. I came here with my grandma when I was a child, and she showed me the Friendship of the Peoples Fountain. This is my earliest childhood memory of Moscow: me looking at the golden fountain—I remember splashes of water, blue sky and a huge rainbow. Now I have a workshop here and I enjoy just walking around the park and sometimes visiting the pavilions to see what's going on.

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On paintings and images

I was born into a creative family; my parents are both artists. I have always liked drawing and making things with my hands. At some point, I started taking lessons at an art school.

It has always been typical of me to express myself through visual images, to draw and search for subjects for new paintings. Then I decided to study at a theatre and art college, where we sewed clothes and drew a lot. Somehow it all merged into a single occupation for me: I started working with textiles and painting on fabric, rather than on paper. That's how it all began. Then I opened a workshop and began collaborating with designers, organising exhibitions and learning more about this field.

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On what I enjoy

I like the freedom I have in my work and that the work never ends: I am always on the lookout for images and they can be found anywhere—in my dreams and in my real life, outside work.

I like the sense of freedom, that I can turn anything I come up with and, perhaps, anything I miss a little in real life, into reality. Anything is possible in my drawings. I believe that my work is the most important part of my life. Perhaps, in the future, I could change direction a little but, overall, everything will still stay the same. I don't think I'll ever be a sales manager.

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On life at Patriarch Ponds

I was born in the city of Zhukovsky in Moscow Region and I moved to Moscow six years ago. Now I rent an apartment near Patriarch Ponds. I like this neighbourhood, despite the fact that there are too many parties in the summer, it gets noisy and the people are not quite my type. However, I have many friends living here, and this place gives me a sense of good neighbourly relations: I can visit a friend to borrow some salt, tea or leave my dog with them. My great friends and neighbours make me feel truly at home.

On the history of one apartment

I started renting this apartment two years ago. It was in a weird state. Before me, it was occupied by a woman who was the director of the Red October confectionery factory during Soviet times. Her relatives then rented the apartment out to me. Once, I was organising her notes and newspaper clippings and discovered that much had been written about her. Her relatives had no use for her possessions, and they left them behind in the apartment. I used them to decorate the interior. For example, I hung her large portrait in the hallway. Old Soviet armchairs, a tape player in the bedroom, crystal glassware... It is such a cool feeling: you pick up any cup, and it has a history. And the flat itself has a history too.

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On the right way to start a morning

I wake up and pet my dog. As I scratch it, I think about what I'll do with my day and I draw up a plan. My dog's name is Ushy, he is not a pedigree dog; I found him through a Facebook ad. I'd wanted to get a dog for a long time. Then I saw photos of him and fell head over heels. He has been living with me ever since, about two years now. He is crazy, but at the same time kind and gentle.

For me, Moscow is the city where I live with my dog. Sometimes I love this city, sometimes it irritates me. For example, I went on holiday to Asia last winter and was in a state of utter Zen when I returned. On the very first day after my return, I was almost hit and, on top of that, yelled at by a taxi driver. And I was like: "What are you doing, Moscow?" On the other hand, it has a cool rhythm, like everyone is almost always running a little late.

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Sometimes, when I leave Moscow for a long time, I get the feeling that I don't want to return, that it's all too noisy and crowded, that everything is worrisome and everyone is always trying to prove something to someone else in their constant race to achieve something. I don't want to be a part of this. And then I get back, step into the house and understand: yes, everything is complicated here and, perhaps, the pace of life in the city is not easy to get used to either, but I still feel at home and I am happy. This is where my friends and my dog live, I love this place and its rhythm probably suits me. It's probably also cool that, as someone who was not born in Moscow, I always view it a bit like a tourist. I've been living in the centre for several years now, and as I walk the city, I still look around and think to myself: "Wow, is this actually my life? Incredible. I live here."


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The special Muscovites project is dedicated to the heroes of our city: ordinary people with their own views on Moscow. You can meet them in a café, on the street, at the theatre or the supermarket. Perhaps, you sat across from their table, stood in the same queue or were on the same bus late to work just yesterday. Muscovites, let's get acquainted.

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