Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.―Thoreau

Happy Wednesday, Everyone,

I began this blog series because I thought our young adults somehow stopped dreaming, and the very idea scared me to my toes. Well, my guest today, Hanna Yangilmau, has blown my previous assumption right out of the water.

My daughter and Hanna met in freshmen English on their first day of high school. Hanna, Megan and five other students bonded that period. The English Mafia was formed: friendships for life.

From Left to Right
Chris, Shannon, Melinda, Megan, Hanna, Joe, Cole


I have always considered Hanna to be the quiet, peaceful member of the group. After graduation, like the other members of the Mafia, Hanna set off to college. But sadly, circumstances beyond her control forced Hanna to place her college dreams on hold. What Hanna  does not tell you in her interview is that today she holds down two jobs, helps her sister with her tuition bill and has started her own business. Check out her shoes below. They are brilliant! And she doesn't just paint shoes. Hanna can paint anything on almost any surface.

Hanna still has a way to go to reach her dream, but this incredible young woman won’t be able to stay in the background for long. Her strength, determination, and amazing talent one day very soon will burst her into the world and she’s going to soar.

Hanna, I am very honored to have you as a guest today. Thank you for sharing your dreams with us.  Would you take a minute and tell us a little about yourself.  

My name is Hanna Yangilmau. I'm twenty years old, currently taking some time off from school and figuring out where I want to go to study while I make lattes and frappes at Starbucks. I'm an illustration major, a hopeful animation major, and currently make a little bit of money on the side decorating accessories. Shoes, for the most part.

People of all ages have forgotten how to dream. What inspired you to dream?

My parents have always been very supportive of my art. It's sort of surprising, considering how many kids you hear of who have talent but whose parents want them to go into something more practical, something that makes more money. Maybe it's because they're so spiritual, but my mom and dad have always put less emphasis on practicality and money-making and more on doing what makes me happy. Most of the time they're more enthusiastic about my chances than I am.

We all place obstacles in our path which brings our dreams to a dead stop. I call these obstacles dream killers. What was your dream killer and how did you overcome it?

I'm still in the midst of mine, actually. Not being in school is difficult, especially when I have friends in universities like MICA and CIA and I can see the leaps and bounds they're making in such a short time under awesome instruction. It's disheartening, and when I'm disheartened the inspiration comes to a screeching halt. But my teachers, family, and especially my friends are all so encouraging and believe in me so much. I remember one professor telling me that I had an unteachable talent, and a friend who almost exclusively hangs out with art students telling me that I'm better than all of them, and that's how I know I need to make time for art and I can't let my love for it die. Because I'm not imagining that it's what I'm meant to do. Other people can see it as well. Sometimes I just need reminding. 

How do you keep the dream alive under extreme adversity – external or internal? 

Honestly? I watch movies. I read books. I look at the changing leaves. I see a pretty girl. Every time I feel my dreams slipping and my future changing into this hard, unhappy, unfulfilled expanse, something small will remind me that I need to be painting. Sometimes it's reading about other amazing artists, sometimes it's a gnarled old tree or an interesting face or a weird pose my cat's sleeping in and my hands will just itch for a sketchbook and pencil. It's, uh, really cliche and all that. But it's true. 


When you reached the top, how did it feel?

I still haven't gotten there yet! I'm hoping it'll feel pretty nifty.

How did realizing your dream change you?

Well, right now I'm focusing on me, for the most part. Hopefully realizing my dream will give me the time and peace of mind to help others. I'm still a kid, kind of, and I know I make mistakes and I'm pretty selfish right now. But someday I want to be a lot more about other people. I want to adopt some cute kids with names like Harper and Gideon and volunteer a lot more and travel to other countries, not just to see all the touristy areas but to know what it's like for people who don't live in the richest nation in the world. That's just what I hope, anyway. That being an artist will make me a better person.

What's next? What new dream would you like to reach for?

Well, my dream first and foremost is to be an illustrator and to travel. After that, I have some other ideas in mind - animator, writing my own children's books, having a family, owning a dozen or so pets - but who knows? I have time. I can change my mind. That's the beauty of being young and imaginative.

For more about Hanna Yangilmau, you can visit her blog at:

Leave a comment:
I would love to hear about your dreams. Please click on the word comment below to leave me a message


  1. Beautiful artwork, Hanna. Hope you hit upon something that resonates during your gap!

  2. Hi Laurel,
    Thanks so much for dropping by. I so agree with you. Hanna's artwork blows me away. I bet she could make an old brick look priceless!

  3. Hanna, first let me ask, what do you charge for those amazing shoes? Second, let me say that I like your ambitions and I can't wait to hear how you've managed to accomplish your dreams, and all you've learned in the process. Yours is a wonderful life and you have a gift that can't, or shouldn't be quenched.

  4. Hi Mary,
    I so agree with you.Hanna's talent will never be quenched. As for how to order her amazing shoes, contact her on her blog:

    Thanks so much for coming by. HUGS

  5. Hannah,
    I applaud you for all that you've done and all that you will continue to do.
    -your foolish friend Cj

  6. Straight up amazing! You inspire me, both with your determination not to let hard times get you down, and your refusal to let your dream of pursuing art die. Good luck, and God bless.

    Liz J.

  7. Hi Elizabeth,
    I agree with you.Hanna's art is straight up amazing!Thanks so much for stopping by. I wish you all the luck in pursing your dreams. Best of luck and God bless,