This is the fabulous Lina Khesina. The illustrator and designer grew up in Pensa, Russia and came to Germany when she was 16 years old. At first, she and her family lived in a small castle in Saxony for a while. “I hated living in Germany and living in a castle was the only consolation,” Lina remembers and tells me, that all the other immigrants stayed in a Plattenbau, a prefabricated cement-slab building. It was forbidden to bring pets, and since her family brought their family dog, they could stay in the castle.
Eventually she moved to Leipzig, and then to Potsdam. She studied graphic design and illustration but spent most of her time in Berlin already. In 2009, she finally came to Berlin for good where she now lives and works as an illustrator and graphic designer for several cultural projects. “Berlin is like a village,” she says, “I love everything about it! Its size, its dirt, its impudence and indifference. When I feel sad, I just go outside and everything feels fine again. It doesn’t matter what you experience in life, in Berlin you’ll survive absolutely everything.”
Lina is one of those creative people who never cease to amaze me. For example, she illustrated a book for the famous Belorussian band Serebryanaya Svadba who produced an album for children and grown-ups, recorded with self-made instruments. In another project called Zuckerwattenkrawatten Lina offers art workshops for children. My favorite work of Lina is Theatrium Automata, a movable theater booth. Just like a photo booth you put some money into the coin slot and the magic happens: For three minutes the little theater-to-go will be playing just for you, and if you are lucky, you might undergo the happiest three minutes in a long time.