Receiving an e-mail from Art. Lebedev studio accepting your internship application is like taking a shot of pride mixed with excitement, honour and fear. “Yes, I got it!” “Fuck, it’s gonna be hard!” “How is it in Russia?” “What if I fail?”. But as the philosophy of the studio will teach you, there is no fail, only meaningful insights.
After a tiring several hours-long trip my first steps into the studio still brought a “wow!” to my lips. The place is incredibly cool and I think I wouldn’t lie saying that most people would dream to work in such an environment.
The arrival and the beginning of your term is, of course, a little hard, scary and lonely. Even though you are really welcome here, the language barrier is a little difficult. After a week or two, people are starting to recognize your face and begin to fell comfortable speaking English. (Why are you so shy about your English, guys?)
The work has been incredibly interesting since the very beginning, both internal and clients’ projects. I must confess that sometimes I’ve been feeling the challenge was really big but the people at the studio are always there to listen and help you with any kind of problems you could face. I think working here for 4 months has teach me more than my last 2 years at school. Having a real experience, surrounded by really talented people always ready to help you, in a relaxed environment is crazily insightful.
Moscow itself is a really nice city (at least in Spring/Summer, since I experienced only two weeks of Russian Winter), where it’s really enjoyable to just take a walk and allow yourself to be surprised as you get lost in the streets. I have been lucky enough to survive a 15-minutes walk from the Red Square and I believe I will never get tired of passing by the Kremlin ever. One of my favourite place in town is the Museum of Soviet Video Games (metro Baumanskaya) where you can play on authentic old machines by inserting old kopecks coins.
Don’t expect people to give you any special treatment here just because you are a foreigner. You are a person among so many others. It may seem a little rude at the beginning but at the end you will enjoy people’s spontaneity and sincerity. There is always a nice cup of tea steaming where you don’t expect it in Moscow.
Don’t hesitate to learn a little bit of Russian, it will always be appreciated even with the worst pronunciation. “Gopnik” is my favourite Russian word, if you get here, do ask the translation!
Now that my last days here have come, I don’t really feel like leaving and I’m just waiting for one thing: getting graduated and come back!
I will miss you, people! Thank you to everybody and particularly to the graphic design team who could not make me more comfortable and happy to work for one of the very best design studio!