Friends, hello, here I am, Yurcik Yuri, our service MoveToCascais and our regular interview column from Paradise. Our guest today in our Paradise, the city of Cascais and in Portugal, is a very interesting person who left a brilliant career as a staging artist in St. Petersburg and continued an equally brilliant career in Portugal. Today Natalia Dmitrieva will tell us how she did it, what difficulties and difficulties she encountered, what prompted her to move and how she lives here.
The story of moving and living in Portugal by Natalia Dmitrieva
– Y: Natalia, welcome you to our guest.</div
– N: Hello, I’m very pleased to meet you. Thank you for inviting me.
– Y: We’re going to talk today about what our viewers are interested in, and first of all, how people decide to move, why they move and what they do here. These are questions that I hear every day when I talk to our clients: how do you live there, what do you do there, what do you do, and how did you move. Let’s start in order: What are you doing here in Portugal right now?
– H: I make jewelry. I founded my brand here, Tata I have my own atelier here and I make exclusive jewelry with my own hands.
– J: I know that you have been nominated for the “designer hunger” award – Portojoia, at the most prestigious exhibition in Portugal. And your handmade creations won a glittering place there. Tell us more about how it all happened.
– N: It was of course a big surprise for me because I am not a hereditary jeweler in general, but I have only been doing this for three years. I was just sitting there working and all of a sudden I got a phone call. I was told, “Come over, you have been nominated.” And all this long tirade was in Portuguese, and I didn’t know the language very well yet. I thought that probably the wrong number, because, well, it can’t be. But it happened. For me it was the first major show, I’ve only participated in small shows before.
You: That’s great! Let’s move on to the next question: tell us how you decided to move to Portugal.
– H: My moving story was not an easy one at all. I didn’t choose the country. I chose a man and he turned out to be from Portugal. We started a relationship, we dated for a few years and then he suggested we move here and start a family. I of course agreed, took my son, closed all my affairs as much as I could and came here. I had no idea where I was or what I was going to do: I was going to a particular person. And unfortunately tragedy struck: four days before our wedding he died in a car accident and we were left with my son in the beautiful Algarve.
– Yu: I’m sorry for your loss. And how did you cope?
– N: It was very difficult, although there was certainly tremendous support from my friends. I had a return ticket home at the time, but, by some crazy coincidence, I got a letter from Lufthansa saying that my ticket had been canceled. That is, everything somehow worked out so that I stayed in Portugal. I now realize that it was the right decision. At that time I decided that I would just do what I could do and be a good mother. My son was still in school at the time and I said to myself, this is it, he needs it now. And that’s where I really nailed it: he got a great education.
You: Did your son graduate from an international school?
– N: Yes, it was a private, very good school. Now it’s sadly closed, but the system of these schools is everywhere in Europe, from Portugal to Britain. It’s not a Portuguese system, but a functional British school. I remember how worried I was when my child walked to school on the first day: “My God, my son, you don’t know English”. And he said: “But I’m the only one who knows Russian”. He got the hang of it very quickly. In two months he spoke perfect English.
You: Didn’t you forget Russian?
– N: He hasn’t forgotten, but he writes with mistakes.
– Y: And what does he do now.
– N: He’s getting ready to go to college. He’s graduating from professional school right now, doing graphic design.
– Y: Is he following in your footsteps?
– N: Yeah, something like that, but I did almost nothing for it, didn’t put any effort into it. He’s a talented guy, a little lazy though 🙂 But that’s his way, his life. He likes it here, he doesn’t want to go back to Russia.
– Yu: Great. Tell me, how do you see Portugal? What is it like for you?
– N: For me, Portugal is the source of my inspiration. A funny situation happened when I came to an exhibition in Moscow. One girl stood looking at my work for a long time and said: “I see the sun here, the ocean… Where are you from?”. Apparently the pieces convey this energy.
You: Tell us how you got started?”
– H: I started out with cork products. I was living downtown at the time, where there were a lot of tourists. I was standing looking at the city and a woman nearby started fussing around, looking for something on the ground. It turned out that she had lost a bracelet clasp somewhere. I offered to help: I live nearby, I have all the tools at home. At home, already repaired, I look – a beautiful thing. I decided to make one for myself.
You did your first job, didn’t you?
– N: Look, well, you’re exaggerating. It was just a little something I weaved. And then a friend saw it and asked me to make her one. Then I realized that I was crazy about it. Portuguese cork is a wonderful material. I was interested in the production process itself and I went to see these trees from which it is cut. It turned out to be a very environmentally friendly process. The more cork you collect, the better for the tree.
You: And how did you go from cork to other jewelry?
– N: I had been making souvenirs like that for a couple of years for my friends, participating in various trade shows. Then I happened to see that a master was taking a course. It lasted about nine months. That’s where I learned everything. Apart from that, being in Lisbon I studied almost all the time.
You: Why did you decide to enroll?
– N: How can I put it, when I ended up here, I realized I had very different needs here. There’s just no need for a performance artist here. I was trying to find myself, and as I walked around Lisbon for a long time, I felt something in me resonated. I was madly attracted to the interiors of the cafe, the window displays, the approach to decoration. It was a completely new story for me: the combination of textures, I wanted to touch everything. Then I went to study interior design, again not everything was smooth at once, because when I came to one institute with my diploma of a theater designer I was told: “Well, you lack discipline here – geometry there. You need a couple more years of study, and then you can get the equivalent of a degree.
– Yu: You couldn’t get your diploma validated, could you?”
– N: Yes, there were just no courses like “theater composition,” for example. So there were no courses like that, and I couldn’t get the diploma approved. But let’s face it, I never needed one. One institute did not take me, just looked at my portfolio and rejected my candidacy, as they did not like the observance of geometry. They didn’t even understand what it was, it was as if I had just cut out some pictures from a magazine. Later I managed to find an interesting school, with an equally interesting name – LSD (Lisbon School of Design).
You: LSD, indeed, is a memorable name.
– N: Yes, yes, yes, yes, a great school, gives a great course. My interior design course lasted 1 year.
– Y: Also a year, right?
– N: Yes. But they didn’t want to take me there either. They said, “Well, how can we take you? You don’t know the language.” So I said, “So what? I’m not applying to the Faculty of Philology. I’m applying to the Faculty of Design and I can somehow manage with a computer.
This was an introductory segment of our interview. Over the course of the interview, we talked about a lot of other important questions, such as: “How people decide to move” and “What they can do after they move to Portugal.” If you’ve been thinking about how you can change your life for the better for a long time, check out our YouTube channel, there’s much more.