Sometimes a person can surprise and amaze you. All of the sudden, a friend can say, do or show you something that makes your jaw drop to the floor. It could be something about their past, a particular idea or insight, or in the case of Lea, a talent unlike anyone I'd ever met before. Now allow me to explain.


I first met Lea during my second trip to Dublin. We were both staying in the same hostel and developed a quick friendship. Together, we explored the city, traveled to the seaside town Howth, hung out daily and even cooked bread (I trusted her instructions here in bread making as she is French and I am not). She told of her affection for David Bowie, I shared my stories about moving to Russia and hiking in the Caucasus, and we made our own games involving hand-drawn cartoons and movie titles. It seemed like there was so much that happened in those days, it could have filled years of a friendship, which is why I became so surprised one day when our conversation drifted to the topic of art.

Keep in mind, I am someone who paints as a hobby and has taken art classes in college, but when Lea modestly showed me some of her work, I was completely blown away. I felt as if I had spent my whole life under a rock and was now just seeing the ocean and all its magnificence for the first time. The level of skill was one thing, but the creativity of her ideas was amazing. Everything she made, from an ink and watercolor mixed media cityscape to hanging images of people attached to puppet strings, conjured feelings and reactions within that I was absolutely not expecting on a cloudy Dublin afternoon.

Self portrait

Self portrait

However, Lea's awesomeness does not stop there. She soon went on to quit her job and pursue this artistic passion of hers full time and with all her energy and focus. She completely threw out the societal expectations of becoming another 9 to 5 drone in the system and went for her dream. She took the leap so many others are afraid to do, refusing to settle for generic comfort and financial stability and dared to make something more of herself. Her artistic ability and creative mindset are a gift unlike any other, and she was not going to let them go to waste!

Be like Lea: Take the risk and go for your dream. Make your own path and life your life as fully as you can!

P.S. Check out Lea's artwork by clicking on the link to the side... or if you happen to be in Paris, go visit her gallery on display!