Nadia Chair Tirado (32), a.k.a Niñasilla, is an Andalusian-Moroccan illustrator born in Barcelona. Exhibitions of her work, inspired by Edward Gorey and Edgar Allan Poe, can be seen in venues throughout Prague including Fox & Deer and Bar No. 7. She has lived in the Czech Republic since 2010 where she continues to develop her “little drawer full of different black-and-white characters” and a fondness for Czech pickles.
1. Did you choose Prague or did Prague choose you?
Prague chose me. I first visited because my best friend was here and the moment I stepped foot into this fairytale city I fell in love and knew that I would live here one day.
2. What changes have you noticed in Prague or the country at large since your arrival?
It has been updating in the coolest way: cafes, shops, events, it is clear there’s a change in the air and a good one since I came here. And i love it!
3. Which neighborhood do you call home and why is it better than any other district?
I’m in Vršovice now discovering new places, shops…I am a little explorer and the tram is like a fairground attraction. I would say Letná is probably one of my favorites but also Vinohrady has a lot to visit. The quietest area I lived in was Bertramka close to Andel. A really easygoing area is Žižkov, with a bunch of bars and places to go.
4. Describe your perfect day in Prague or another beloved Czech city.
Grab a hot chocolate at Mamacoffee, have lunch at Plavecká Polévka, walk Náplavka market, stop in Baobab bookstore to buy some new books, go home and draw a bit, meet a friend for a cucumber lemonade (my new passion) in Madbar and keep walking until the night.
5. How’s your Czech?
Málo. I came to Prague and i didn’t speak a single word of English so I taught myself with the help of friends and watching a lot of movies and I also read a lot. But Czech is on my list. I always go to places and speak “my Czech”. I think if you start with another language you immediately put up a barrier. So I want to learn Czech, of course.
6. Name your favorite Czech person, place and thing.
I like David Černý. And talking about literature i’m waiting to read Neruda and Hálek. I’m so in love with all the illustrators, especially Adolf Born, I guess because it is my disease.
7. What has been the biggest challenge/adjustment for you as an expat living abroad?
It is hard to be far from your people but you can always meet and collect a pretty family in your new country.
8. What do you miss most about your home country and how does the quality of life here compare?
Well i’m Mediterranean! I miss fish! And the sea! But Prague has a lot to enjoy, too, so from time to time I eat some fish and go to the “sea” (Žluté lázně).
9. Share the greatest lessons you have learned from living in the Czech Republic.
The greatest lesson is just that I found myself. I know who I am and what I want.
10. Describe the expat experience in one word.
Read more about Nadia on her official website and on Facebook. You can buy Nadia’s work, including posters of her “Little Artists” series and notebooks, pillows, and totes at the Czech design studio MERRYGORANDO as well poster44.cz.
Want to answer our 10 questions and be featured on Expats.cz? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.