Portrait 026 - Andrea "Raven" Sampson


MODEL: Andrea "Raven" Sampson


I remember the first time I met Andrea. It was at a TEDxToronto programming meeting in 2013. I remember her intelligence and strength filling up the room. It was undeniable and sometimes even intimidating.

It took 3 more years until our hearts would officially meet, on a hot summer's day, in a magical cabin full of friends. 

It's a profound experience to really see someone. It can be terrifying and at the same time there is nothing more liberating. It bonds you forever. It's that moment when you shed body, ego and all notions of self. Then, all at once you see the Universe in their eyes and you see yourself in the Universe.

When I think back at our shoot, I remember witnessing the battle between Andrea's mind and heart. This struggle comes up during every single shoot, but Andrea's was unique in that her sharply tune mind was working overtime to get ahead of me. Anticipating what I was about to ask and doing it before I could even finished my sentence. This skill can be very helpful in our lives and careers. It allows us to impress people and move quickly through our days. Here's the thing, moving quickly is meaningless to a timeless soul. 

I needed Andrea to rest her mind, so that our hearts could finally play.

The mind is like a loving, but overbearing parent. It's afraid that if it lets go and allows us to play in the world, we might get hurt, so it uses all sorts of tricks to protect us, but doesn't realize how much it's actually holding us back. 

As the shoot continued, Andrea's mind eventually tired out and like an over worked parent finally gave-in.  "Okay darling, go play. I know you're safe here and I know you'll be okay." That's what I imagined Andrea's mind said to her heart.

Then, it happened again. I got to see the Universe in Raven's eyes and it was truly beautiful. 


Really smart people require more work to rest their minds. Don't give up on them or yourself. Be patient. Be loving, but also be tenacious.