The various social media channels that are laid before us act as seas to sail upon, get lost within, and occasionally take us to scattered lighthouses of inspiration. I happened upon one of those lighthouses a few months ago, and was increasingly driven to know more about her. A consummate Russian, Lesia Sito operates within a space that most of us will never directly experience, but through her modeling and general presence, gives us, at worst, a mezzanine view of beauty in Russia.
Lesia graciously agreed to chat with me and answer a few questions that I, and I assume many others, had about her and her life in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She is highly active on social media, having multiple accounts that she somehow finds the time to maintain and update. I'll put links throughout and again at the bottom of this article; I urge everyone to browse each, because no two are exactly the same.
Photo credit: @gala.mandala
What is something about you that you wished everyone knew, but maybe doesn't?
Probably very few people know that meditation is one of the most important things in my life. It has changed my life, but I seldom tell anyone about it.
Photo credit: @egor_zhinkov
What are some of the best things about living and working in Saint Petersburg? Is that where you are from originally?
I was born in and still live in Saint Petersburg. I love this city and the people here. There are a lot of creative people in this city. And many good photographers.
What are some challenges in your life that you’ve overcome and how did you do it?
I have had many problems in my life like anyone else. To overcome any difficulties in life, only love helps. Love of people close to you. Love of your pets. Love of life in general. This feeling of love alone is the fundamental basis of everything; without it, a person can not really be strong.
Photo credit: @_mihashu_
Tell me all about each of your tattoos. What are they; where are they, and what does each one mean?
Two small tattoos on my fingers. An eye, because I love them, and the symbol "Om," which is a symbol of emptiness. I have two more, one on my arm and one on my leg. Those I don't tell their meaning because I want the people who see them to decide what they mean for them.
What has been one of the most memorable photoshoots you’ve done?
Each photo session is especially interesting. The shoot I did as the queen of Narnia with @mdart23 I really like.
Each photoshoot tells a story. If your life was a photoshoot, what would it look like?
It would definitely be a photoshoot without makeup! And it would probably something crazy with a lot of bright colors.
There will always be critics and people who say negative things. How do you deal with them?
Negative comments—I simply ignore or laugh at them. Because more often than not, people who try to offend me are just very funny to me. I am a very calm person and quite happy in life.
You have a very distinctive style—how is it a projection of your personality?
Like I said, I am a fairly calm and happy person. In life, I do not wear a crown and do not wear bright make-up. A lot of the time I wear large, stretched-out shirts. I love simplicity.
What do you think about the censorship rules of Instagram versus VK where nude images are allowed?
It seems to me that censorship in Instagram is stupid. I do not understand why women's nipples need to be hidden and then not men's. I like VK because everything can be done there.
You seem to be very confident; what advice can you give to models who may struggle with a negative image of themselves?
Probably the most important advice is to learn to relax, to not think about yourself so much and to have fun. This mindset will not only help in photoshoots, but it will also change your whole life.
How do you define "success?"
Success for me is to be a happy person. If a person has a lot of money but is unhappy...then this is a loss. It does not matter what happens in life—if you are happy, then this is a success.
What inspires you? What encourages you?
People inspire me. Nature. Music.
When you aren’t stunning the camera, what do you do? Hobbies, fun, obsessions?
I study at college, and I sometimes paint at home. I love painting!
If you had five minutes on a soapbox, who would your audience be and what would you say?
I guess if I had to say something that's important to people, I would tell them not to worry too much. I would tell them that there is an opportunity to enjoy the moment, regardless of the circumstances. I would tell them not to be very serious in this life, and that they can afford to be happy. Because—we all die. And not one of us can ever know when. All people need to learn to enjoy what they already have. We do not know what moment will be the last.
If any photographers or artists want to work with you, how should they contact you?
If someone wants to cooperate with me, they can write to me through my two Instagram accounts: @lesia_sito and @lesia__sito or my VK account.
What can we all expect to see from you in 2018?
You must look and then you will know! :)