Lisboa em Nós de Isa Silva. Esta artista visual conta-nos como a sua condição de artista e urban sketcher a leva a reparar e a descobrir os muitos pormenores, cantos e recantos desta “saborosa” Lisboa de que tanto gosta.

Lisbon in Us by Isa Silva

Original article published on 24 September 2021

Today, we revisit Isa’s first-person story of being the first urban sketcher to whom we presented the challenge of illustrating, along with other artists, our book of bookmarks LISBOA MARCA, which highlights relevant themes of this city. In Lisbon in Us by Isa Silva, she tells us how being a visual artist leads her to notice and discover the many details, nooks and corners, of this “delicious” Lisbon that she loves so much.

If you’d ask me what I like so much about Lisbon, I’d answer right away: its light and colours.

I’m a visual artist and everything that is image and creativity fascinates me and makes me attentive. And Lisbon has so so much to discover. It’s a very drawable, photographable, captivating and delicious city!

It’s the nooks and corners of Lisbon that are intertwined with the river that refreshes the city during the day and embraces it at night. This mixture results in a marriage of emotions and sensibilities that has given rise to so much art and when I say art I mean music, gastronomy, painting, sculpture, writing, jewellery, handicrafts and so much more!

This shell-shaped city, where I like to get “lost” and that I enjoy discovering by either drawing or by photographing it. Sometimes I just stop and listen to life moving. So funny, stylish and traditional.

I’ve followed the aging and abandonment of the city in the 80’s and 90’s of the last century to, a decade later and with the increase of tourism, witness its reinvention as a modern city without, however, losing its traditionality. I confess that my only fear is that it loses its identity. However, at the same time, I have hopes that it won’t happen because we’d lose so much…

City Drawings

As an illustrator (among other things) and Urban Sketcher, I register and discover the city in a different way. Drawing forces us to notice things that we wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. It gives us time; we have time to enjoy what we see, be it a small detail in a door or the general setting.

I particularly like windows and doors and Lisbon has a collection so vast that it surprises us.

Lisbon is a city of contrasts where the old meets the new, where the history of centuries surprises those who discover it, where food takes you to the 4 corners of the world going up and down narrow stairs or wide streets, where the smallest artwork painted on the wall competes with the most monumental iconic buildings… I like the so-called Urban Art. The city is an open-air gallery and many of these works can be seen from the city’s most famous viewpoints. One of my works (the largest in the area) is in Largo de Sapadores, just outside the Graça neighbourhood and it was as a result of my painting project Square Faces.

It’s an enigmatic but mysteriously revealing city.

Follow the entire route of tram 28 and you’ll understand what I mean…

Never miss another article | Subscribe here
Lisbon in Us by Isa Silva
Mini introductionI was born in Lisbon in the summer of 1966 and since then my imagination and creativity have never left me. I work in illustration, graphic design and painting (among other things). I combine these passions with photography and writing.I’ve participated in several collective and individual exhibitions and have some books published.
In 2013 I created my best known painting project, Square Faces, and was the author and costume designer in a play for children.
A year later, I made my debut in urban art.
I’ve been part of Urban Sketchers Portugal since 2010.
An inspiring placeBy the river at the end of the day
An unmissable visitThe viewpoint of Nossa Senhora do Monte or the top of São Vicente de Fora Monastery
Her mouth waters with…Bacalhau à Brás (a cod fish recipe), Bifana (pork steak sandwich), Pastel de Nata (Portuguese egg tart)
A song…Lisboa by Melody Gardot (this singer/songwriter is a super fan of Lisbon and comes to the city often)

Get to know more about Isa Silva’s work on her website and instagram.
Cover photo by our guest of Lisbon in Us, Ryoko Inamura.

The project getLISBON has been very rewarding and we want to continue revealing the singularities of fascinating Lisbon.
Help us keep this project alive!

By using these links to make your reservations you’ll be supporting us. With no extra costs!

• Look up the best hotels on and get 15% or more off!
• Looking for a different experience? We can create a customised itinerary based on your interests. Contact us!
• Or if you prefer tours and other activities in various destinations, take a look at GetYourGuide.
• Save time and money with a flexible Lisbon Card!

Scroll to Top