Social media really is life changing. A lot of people don’t get why I HAVE to spend so much time on it, not only sharing my artwork out to the world but also searching out opportunities and ways to connect with people. It was only last week that I saw an event that on first look appeared too good to be true – Vicky Hamilton was in the UK and you could go along to her signing for FREE?? I quickly re-jigged my diary and snapped up a ticket. I really had no idea what to expect, after all this was rock royalty we are talking about, a lady who previously managed some of the worlds greatest rock bands, including Guns N Roses. The location was a Virgin Money Lounge in central Manchester so taking the train on this occasion was needed, trying to park in central Manchester is nigh on impossible and expensive if you do find a spot. Now, I have been to a few signings, usually a throng of people snaking around every corner possible so I planned to arrive early so I could get a decent seat. Turns out being an hour early wasn’t really needed, there was no queues or people waiting, just the host Peter Cook ( to my left ) setting up the event. Bonus! we got talking, sharing a mutual interest in Bowie and general chit chat about being a creative person in business. I got a couple of his books too, there is new world right there that I am ready to explore – maybe that early arrival was the universe’s way of telling me that I had a reason to be there early.

It was a lovely place, quiet and intimate. There was probably no more than about 20 of us, and we were treated to some food from Lobster & Burger next door, along with some refreshingly cool Pimms. Was this really happening? Signings are usually mad affairs of haste and bodies trying to get to the front. The first thing that struck me about Vicky was how beautiful she is! a very quiet lady, reserved – I am not sure what I was expecting but she had me drawn in from the first words she spoke. Listening to her read from her book ‘Appetite for Dysfunction’ was surreal, from the moments before Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy & Steven were heading to sign their record deal with Geffen Records, to Vicky talking about the moment she met Nikki Sixx of legendary Motley Crue. I felt myself nodding in agreement to lots that she talked about when it comes to working and dealing with creatives, but it was that particular part that I listened a bit more intent. She also recalled a moment watching Prince perform on a pedestal over a roller rink. This made me smile not only as a derby skater but also a creative that would totally try something a bit outside the box. Vicky said that meeting Nikki was the catalyst to change, the person and time where she said to herself ‘This is it, my life will never be the same again’. She just knew, a deep intuition, something special was ahead. Many dismiss the notion that others can make change in your life and that success comes down to hard work and that alone. To this part I agree to an extent however I truly believe that in life special people come your way to guide you, some teach you lessons that bring positivity, some bring negativity but equally forming the path your life is intended to go and fuelling your journey. Maybe you are reading this and totally dismissive of the power of spirituality but take a look at the people in your life and the path you are walking. Is that really what you want? You can make a change if its not – I started my journey with no money. zero. I left a highly paid banking job to create art and all the lessons I learn along the way between dropping out of art college to where I am today were gearing me up for what is in store in my future. Right now I am about 4 chapters into her book and the more I read the more I KNOW I am doing the right thing.

Right at this very moment I cannot tell you if I have met my own Nikki Sixx, but I am 100% confident that I will and maybe its not that far off. I often get told to ‘paint this person and tag them, they are really popular!’ and whilst it’s a really good idea and its great that I am surrounded by people that care and want me to succeed but, I don’t want to be ‘Insta-famous’ like some other artists because that is all they will be eventually known for, just another artist who followed the crowd. I would much rather be focused on my passions, the things that put fire in my belly and ignite my imagination. When I just turned 16 and starting out at art school I would day dream about creating pieces of art of Guns N Roses for a living, having once told a tutor and being laughed at for being unrealistic. Fast forward 20 years and here I am doing just that. Ok, maybe not on a massive scale or even being well know for it but I am heading for good things and Vicky instilled a confidence in me that its right be to be exactly who you are, no compromises.

Meeting people is important. Network! don’t dismiss what you don’t know. You never know who you are going to meet. Something special happened in that room that day, I cannot wait for what is next…..

Lea x