“Personalities among us” is the latest kARTu project that you will be seeing through the upcoming months for a whole year. We’ll be sharing short, friendly, intellectual conversations with the strong, inspiring personalities that surround each and every of us every day. Each month we will meet people from very different backgrounds to talk about their lifestyle, career, piece of mind, interests and style choices. By developing this project we aim to reveal these very special, but close to us people through the perspective that they don’t really see themsleves through. Every one of us is a unique everyday hero – rushing, pursuing, creating. We just need to stop for a moment and notice how special we actually are.
Lina Bernotaityte (or @Lenalisabona, as most of you might know her by this Instagram name) has both Lithuanian and Korean roots so she is well acquainted with diverse cultures of Asia yet Europe. For a long time Lina was known as the worldwide magazine “L’Officiel” fashion editor in Lithuania. She was the one taking care of ideas and outfit choices for countless of fashion editorials, which were admired by Lithuanian fashion enthusiasts month by month. But not long time ago Lina decided to leave this position at the prestigious magazine and start working as a freelancer in fashion, communication and social media spheres. Lina says she is the type of person that constantly needs changes in life. Today she can confidently say – “I love what I do and I feel like I’m at the right place the right time”. But, as she mentions, if she would suddenly decide to become a gardener, she would easily turn her everyday routine upside down and… become a gardener! We met at the cosy café “Elska” in Vilnius. kARTu team just didn’t want to end the conversation as we were so mesmerized by Lina’s voice and stories. We hope that reading this interview will be a pleasure for all of you too!
Lina, tell us more about your everyday work.
My work is very dynamic at the moment, it changes a lot. Just a few months ago I was a fashion editor, today I am a freelance stylist and communication specialist and I also do various social media related projects.
Your morning starts with…
An alarm clock. Actually every morning is different, but what I always have to do is to spend some time with myself only, drink my morning coffee without rush. That usually takes about half an hour.
Are you more of a lark or an owl?
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
Again, an alarm clock. I wouldn’t make it out of bed otherwise, because I really like to sleep a lot and other way round, to go to sleep very late in the evening. I thought about this answer more than others. My motivation is probably my responsibility for the upcoming day, things I have to do and places I have to be, I think it’s the best motivation.
Favorite free time activity?
Very hard question because my free time is very closely related to my work. If I, let’s say, read a book or watch a movie it makes an impact on my future work in some way. I get inspired and that’s why my projects relate to these kind of hobbies. Things I like to do on my free time are very simple and traditional actually – books, movies and travelling.
What helps you to run away from everyday routine? Maybe there is no such thing as routine in your life?
Actually nowadays I try to create one. I have an aim to plan my time that way so I could go to yoga classes same time everyday, which is not easy at all. Actually routine doesn’t exist in my life, every single day is very different.
What was the start of your creative career?
Everything started at a college. When I started to study at Vilnius College of Design it just happened naturally that I got into styling very quickly. I wasn’t able to create clothes myself so I could only choose from what was already created. And it stayed like that since then. Thus I never started designing clothes, I was working choosing outfits and accessories. So I would say everything started from the very first class when I was forced to get out of that situation somehow. Today I call it my job, my everyday.
During your everyday rituals, what handbag/backpack is your most trusted companion? Maybe you have a few different ones for work, weekend, travelling?
So yesterday I got back home and counted how many different bags and backpacks I own. I always choose one according to what kind of day I am going to face. There are times I take no bag at all. If it’s for example Saturday or Sunday and I am having time off I don’t have any bag with me. If it’s a long hard day ahead it will definitely be a big and comfortable backpack because that means I will walk a lot. I also have one backpack that is more simple, everyday like, I choose that one when I have to take my laptop with me. Talking about handbags, I have four in different sizes depending on things I need to have with me. I tend to combine a backpack with a handbag because I know that after arriving I can leave one somewhere safe and stay with a smaller one only. I drive but I don’t have a car so I travel with all the things I take with me in the morning, that’s why I need to “cheat”. It’s like changing your heels into flats and other way round. If, let’s say, I am working at the office and have a yoga class after I might even have three backpacks/handbags with me as I need them all – different times in different places.
Detail from your look that you don’t feel yourself without? Is the any?
No, I don’t have such because I like to change my look a lot. I feel comfortable with something I like at that particular moment. I am not attached to things or some style rules in general.
Which famous woman inspires you the most? Why you admire her?
There are so many inspiring women but what I admire the most is what women can accomplish when working together. Gather and establish some community or organization which is able to change the world. So I wouldn’t exclude one exact person, I am really proud of women solidarity and ability to help each other which all of us lack sometimes. Women like competing, there are other points of various disagreements, so I think all the activities that motivate women to unite are my biggest inspiration of all.
After this answer I want to ask – why do you think saying that a man would always help another man but a woman is an enemy to another woman is still common in Lithuania?
I don’t know, I had a long discussion about this just some time ago. I’ve been in such situations myself and was analyzing them after. I thought, maybe I was behaving the wrong way, I transmit some misunderstood message, maybe it’s hard to walk to me, I said something wrong or I am jealous of something. So I think when women let go of these kind of thoughts and insecurities, make peace with themselves it becomes easier to communicate and help others. Now I know so many women that work at the same field as me. It seems like we’re competing, but that competition is very minimal, we usually even help and recommend each other. In that way all of us achieve more. I think this topic is very wide and discussion could be endless.
How do you make sure that you’re on the right path in life?
I don’t know am I or am I not on the right path, I can’t make sure. I think that there is no such thing as “the right path”. Many people feel less worthy because they think that there must be that one and only right way or choice. I think that there isn’t, I like what I do at the moment, who I am, I feel comfortable and I have enough challenges for myself. If tomorrow I’ll wake up thinking I want to be a gardener, I’ll become a gardener.
How do you understand the notion of “career”?
For me career means ambitions and aims that all of us raise for ourselves. I wouldn’t divide career in some stages, amounts or positions at work, but I think if you pursue your own ambitions you pursue your career your way, whatever it would be. I think like that all the time, in my opinion it’s important to realize your aims, that’s what a career path is. If I do something I really wanted to do I feel like I am one step further.
More about Lina, her work and projects: http://www.lenalisabona.com
Pictures by Ieva Rudzionyte
Handbags by kARTu