This is 29-year-old, Kseniya Simonova, a Ukrainian sand artist or “Lady of the Sand” as she likes to be called.

This piece is beautiful.  She is clearly dedicated and has put in A LOT of hard work. I appreciate that in anyone, not just artists. In this clip, from the semi-finals of Ukraine’s Got Talent, she uses her art, music, setting, theatrics and her costume to good effect. It clearly moved the audience. Even without sand in their eyes, many were crying.

She eventually won Ukraine’s Got Talent.

This 8-minute piece is called “You are always nearby” and it is a story of a young couple who were separated by the war. “The young Lady and little Son were waiting for the Man to come from war, but he was killed. In the end he came to their window and watched them with a sight of love and hope.”

Not only is she talented and passionate, she dedicates her time to help children who need medical treatment and economic help. She also a champion for pregnant women who had considered abortion because of lack of resources but decided to have a child in spite of economic challenges.

I can also learn from her dedication. Together with the help of her husband, they spent months looking for the right sand to use (reminds me of Michelangelo looking for the ‘perfect’ slab of marble). Eventually they found the perfect sand – volcanic sand. The only place they could buy it from was from a group of geologists. However, it cost too much. Instead of giving up, her husband Igor, sold all his printing equipment from his little magazine business to buy 3kg of sand. When she started on sand art, she was a mother of a little boy – cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, playing with her son during the day.  She would start working on her craft from 10pm to 4am every day. It was so difficult that she felt like giving up in three days. But she persisted, and in her words, her discouragement “vanished into thin air.” The craft was physically demanding, requiring her to stand for hours on end but she kept going. I salute her passion, commitment, dedication and hard work.

She attributes her gifts and success to God.

Read more about Kseniya and her story here.

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