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'What has enabled Russia to rise among the great powers of the world…has been the conquest of Siberia'

Inspirational women who show the beauty of Siberia

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19 March 2014


Yana Son, 25, in Novosibirsk. Picture: Kate Baklitskaya, Go East

Both 25, Yana Son and Taya Borisova not only share a belief that the impossible is possible, but they are making it happen here in Novosibirsk. It's hard for Yana to find the time for an interview. As the head of Novosibirsk media agency 'Glyanets', as well as the editor of glamour magazine, Look'in, she is always busy, but squeezes in a meeting during her downtime on a Saturday afternoon accompanied by Taya, a top fashion photographers in the city.

Born and raised in Novosibirsk, Yana left for Moscow to study at Ostankino Institute of Television and Broadcasting, and later worked in glamour and advertising magazines in the capital. She realised the field of show business was interesting for her, but at the same time wanted her own project. 

'It's always difficult to make the first step, especially when you take a decision to create something of your own,' she says. 'It took almost a year to make it happen. We were doing some trial versions of the magazine, didn't like some things, changed them and tried again. And only in November 2012 was the first official magazine was published.

'It's important to have people who believe in you, and support you. I would have never managed to create what I have now without such people'. 

Taya Borisova, 25

Photographer Taya Borisova, 25, in Novosibirsk. Picture: Kate Baklitskaya, Go East

Yana learned to run business from scratch, using her own experience and trying never to look over her shoulder at others.

'While working in show business in Moscow, I got to know PRs of many Russian celebritiries - that helped me to get necessary contacts to start my own magazine,' she explains. 'I prefer to work with the young artists, who have not yet made it to the top of their careers.

'It is fascinating to catch them at the very beginning and watch them grow, see how they make it to become famous. I like to promote young, bright, talented people that think outside the box. This is what makes us different from other magazines - we don't just say that such people exist, we show the route they walked to get to fame, which is something that everyone can relate to. 

'Quite often the magazines don't talk about the other side of success. They just show the final image, and instead of being inspired you get the feeling of not being good enough to match your dream, and give up. I want every person that reads us to be encouraged by the stories we tell, understand the nature of success and gain the power and confidence to apply this knowledge to their own lives. 

'Our audience is 20-to-35 year olds; people who, just like us, stand at the very beginning of their career. Our magazine is aimed at both men and women, we try to give two thirds of the pages to Siberian talents, with the rest going to top country's celebrities'. 

Inspirational women who show the beauty of Siberia

Inspirational women who show the beauty of Siberia

'We want every person that reads us to be encouraged by the stories we tell, understand the nature of success and gain the power and confidence to apply this knowledge to their lives'.  Pictures: Taya Borisova, Look'In magazine 

In the modern Russia, where many people dream about moving to the capital, Yana doesn't think her return back to Novosibirsk from Moscow was a step back. 'It's not that I didn't find Moscow interesting or saw no potential for myself there, but I would really love to develop my own city. 

'Why do many people find it so important to go to Moscow? They think that once they move to the capital they'll become well-known professionals - but it isn't the city that matters, you just need to be passionate about what you do, and be willing to learn. 

'When you grow two heads above everyone else around, you might want to move further, but there's enough to develop in many cities in Russia for young professionals, and it's always a pleasure to see your own city becoming more interesting and vibrant, and to grow with it.

'If you can do something good for your city, for your people, you should try to do it. I would love my magazine to grow beyond Novosibirsk, and become as famous as 'Vogue'. I think you have to think big and shoot for the stars, this is the only way you get what you want.'

Be it fashion or business, modern art or underground culture, Yana is ready to open the pages of her magazine to talented and bright people, and stresses that they don't need to be rich or famous, as long as they are inspiring, as she so clearly is herself. 

Fashion photographer Taya, a friend of Yana's, finds time not only to work on projects for Look'In, but gives workshops on make-up and photography, while also working in the own recently opened photo studio. Taya is from a village in Novosibirsk region and jokingly calls herself a 'villager'. She was raised only by her mother, and until recent times her life was full of struggle. 

Inspirational women who show the beauty of Siberia

Novosibirsk photographer Taya Borisova, 25. Picture: Look'In magazine

Taya went to Novosibirsk to study as a bookkeeper, in line with her mother's wish that she should have a stable job. She worked in this job for for four years, but making ends meet was not Taya's dream - she wanted to make a difference in life. 

'I'm a very emotional person, I can't stand still and I love creating. As I was sitting at my desk in the office, I felt that I couldn't express myself fully. I was stuck in my routine. I guess many people feel the same and wonder what's wrong with their lives. I think it's simply because they don't do what they really like. When you're passionate about what you do, you enjoy every moment.'

Five years ago, Taya took a camera in her hands - just by chance - and that experience gave her life a new perspective.

'I specialise in women's portraits. As I come from a small village, I have this image of a Russian woman that stays strong and beautiful no matter the difficulties that come her way.  

'I want the girls I photograph to release their inner beauty and open it up to the world. They should walk on the street in such a way that all the men would look only at them. These are the girls of Siberia, and this is how I want them to look.

'Eventually they will, because I spend a lot of time provoking this feeling in them.

Inspirational women who show the beauty of Siberia Inspirational women who show the beauty of Siberia

Inspirational women who show the beauty of Siberia

'I want the girls I photograph to release their inner beauty and open it up to the world'. Pictures: Taya Borisova 

'I feel I'm changing as well, as trying to get the best out of a person wakes up my own strength. I used to be more reserved and shy. 

'With confidence the whole perception of the world has changed. You know the saying that the rich one enriches and the poor one gets poorer? I think it's not just about money, it's about a principle of life. 

'Like I was too shy to dream big. For example, I had 100 roubles in my pocket, and I couldn't help being worried about it. Now I take things more positively and believe that thoughts are material. Since I started imagining my life improving, it all began to come true. Not at once and not without hard work, but I allowed myself to dream about a photo studio, and I've got it. I allowed myself to dream that I'm the most popular photographer in Novosibirsk - and I already have a line of clients listed for the next three months.

'I understand where these mind blocks might be coming from. It's all from our difficult Soviet past. When I was little, maybe 5 or 6 years old, my mother used to cook nettle soup, because we had nothing else to eat. Remembering this I always knew that I wanted more for myself and my family. 

'I kept thinking, what would be the best way to fulfil my life so that I am never bound by constraints, whether economical or mental?

'Living the routine that I had before opening my own studio wouldn't give many opportunities to help my mother, or my future children. Never mind that an unhappy person cannot make anyone happy'. 

Taya shines with inner beauty, projecting it on everyone around. It maybe hard for some to believe that this young and talented photographer comes from a village in the middle of Siberia, but we are sure that a bright future is waiting for her, as she has no plans to stop photographing and inspiring women to look beautiful, while among celebrities, it is her dream to photograph Rihanna.

Comments (3)

LookIn - interesting magazine, which is interesting to read. good luck!
Alexey, Novosibirsk
31/03/2014 23:28
Great to see somebody being optimistic about the lands where they were born; a rarity these days. Best of luck Taya and Yana!
Irene, Germany
21/03/2014 00:58
It is very refreshing go read things like 'I want to grow with my city' from such young and smart people. I'd love to hear more stories like this from around Siberia

Keep them coming and many thanks,

Jo T, Australia
20/03/2014 00:11

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