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Lena’s Journey Through the West

Posted by Lena Sayadian on


Hi everyone…I am formally announcing that on May 8 of this year I will be taking a big step to go on a long road trip to help inspire and expand on my artwork. My nearly two month journey will take me throughout the Western United States where I will be visiting many national parks, forests, and natural monuments. For centuries people have gone into the woods to heal themselves and be inspired by nature. I am considering this trek a personal travelling artist residency. It will play upon the idea of nature, isolation and growth that I have been touching upon in my work where I can take reference photos, sketch, and if possible, paint while out there. Before I explain further, I want to start by explaining how all this got started.

 I’m hoping this will be a stepping stone to help me move on and grow. I’m not sharing this to make people feel sorry for me. That’s not how I function. This is what happened and why I do what I do and helps explain where I am at, and my hopes are that you use this to inspire yourself in some way.

Not many know because I tend to keep my personal matters private, however nearly two years ago my life shifted dramatically. The man I thought I was going to marry, Nahreg, was hit by a semi-truck while riding his Harley home from work. The truck made a left turn and cut him off. To this day I don’t understand why, and it still feels unreal.

He was in a coma for 10 days. His family, friends, love ones came at late hours, slept at the hospital. We were there every day to be by his side and help bring him out of it, but he had too much brain damage. 10 days and then he was gone. All our plans, the future we had envisioned, the path that was created crushed in an instant. It felt as though I was living through a movie and that none of it was really happening.

Nahreg was loved and cared for by so many. We all valued him for his giving heart, energy for life and having fun. He wasn’t the type to waste time; a hard worker, a helpful part of the family, funny, and sweet. I never met someone who was as committed as he was and who fit just right. His loss shattered my heart and perspective on life, but he also inspired me to value what little time I have on this planet. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, but I do know that I do not want to waste it worrying or holding back any longer.

I tried going back to my 9-5. Tried being “normal”, but it wasn’t working. I had to get used to this new version of who I was becoming. I knew that what I was doing couldn’t be what life amounts to, at least not for me. I couldn’t see wasting my life doing something I hated just to get by. I decided to start focusing on my art full time.

Since then, I’ve been painting and reflecting daily. Jumping at whatever opportunity comes by. I also volunteer weekly with a non-profit art therapy organization to help others in need. It has not been easy making a living or confronting my feelings, but I’ve been getting by. Without the support of family and friends I wouldn’t be able to do so. I am so grateful to have such an amazing support system and I will admit that they are the reason why I still stand here today. I’ve been through some extremely dark times, and they helped pull me out.

In my reflections I realized nature was a core aspect to my understanding and rationalization of life. It is essential to what we are and who we are, but many of us choose to separate ourselves from it. I am creating this self-made artist residency to become a part of nature embracing isolation. To go into the wild and have a deeper one on one connection with nature.

My plan is to go through Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon then back down to California, visiting several national parks, state forests, byways and small towns across the west. This trip will help inspire me to get out of my comfort zone, see new places, people, and creatures that will influence my work in a new way. It will be a costly trip, so any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Like with most things in life, I cannot do this alone. I will be forever grateful for any amount you wish to give. If you decide to donate it will go towards food, gas, camp fees and motels in between. I’m pretty minimal when it comes to my needs and will be roughing it through most of the route. A handful of days will be spent bunking with a couple of friends along the way. Your donations will house, feed and help support me for the 2 months that I will be on this journey. The more donations I receive, the more I could accomplish!

With enough donations I could do more with this project. For example, I can get a dash cam for some cool footage, or even get a new laptop to create videos and artwork during my journey. I would have better means to share my work and blog whenever I am back in civilization again to keep you apart of my travels. At this moment I only have a cell phone to blog with, and a sketchbook to throw ideas around.

To show my thanks for your generosity I’m offering rewards for your donations! ALL DONORS will have a chance to win a 4x4inch original painting inspired by the trip.


- The top collective donor (highest total amount donated) will receive an original 12x12inch painting on wood panel inspired by this trip once completed.


- $200 donations or more will get a special signed limited edition print on an 8x10inch wood panel of a piece inspired by this trip, a “Bear Forest” t-shirt, and a personalized thank you note.


- $100 donations a special signed limited edition print on an 8x10inch wood panel of a piece inspired by this trip and a thank you note.


- $75,60,50 donations will receive a regular signed 8x8inch print and a thank you note.


-$45, $40, $35, $30, $25 donations will receive a handmade keychain of one of the new pieces and a thank you note.


-Donations below $20 will receive a personalized thank you note.


 At the end of the trip, regardless of how much you have donated, you will have a chance to win a 4x4inch original painting inspired by the trip. The more amount of times you donate, the more chances you have to win in the drawing! For example, if you donate 3 times, you will have 3 times the chance to win.

To keep up with my adventure I suggest you follow my blog and Facebook page! This account will be open throughout my journey, so feel free to help out whenever you can.  I will be updating whenever feasible to keep you in touch via GoFundMe, Facebook and my blog. <3

If you have ANY questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to send me a message or e-mail at: I would love to have a conversation with you.

Find me on:




Official Website:

Thank you for reading my story, and I sincerely hope you choose to be a part of it.

Gratefully yours,



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