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Humans of Eumundi - Hans Lian


Do what you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life....unfortunately, there is no such thing as a professional taste-tester for all things chocolate. 

While life is like a box of chocolates, if you find yourself stuck in a black hole of stress, boredom or downright unhappiness from 9 till 5, here’s your golden ticket out.

Sometimes, all we need is a little dose of inspiration to escape comfort zones and pursue the things we love, and that inspiration is Hans Lian.

Hans was working as a graphic designer for 10 years. Stuck to a desk, computer screen and deadlines, Hans life was stressful.

One day he was sitting under a tree waiting for his wife to finish a tutorial at the University of the Sunshine Coast when he spotted something remarkable - a monkey.

Well, not exactly.

In reality, it was just a little rock, but through Han’s eyes it was the first stepping-stone to a cheeky career change and complete lifestyle overhaul.

He took the rock home and started to paint the monkey he envisioned. Fast-forward seven years and Hans not only makes a colourful living from painting all kinds of creatures on rocks and selling them from his Unique Stone Art stall at the Original Eumundi Markets, Hans also created the life he always wanted.

“Life is short, time is limited and I would like to enjoy more in this life,” Hans said.

“Artificial arts are exciting, but to create by hand and follow my imagination, that’s closer to my heart. So, I gave up the computer and picked up an old tool from the shed, the brushes.”

Hans remembers the moment he first fell in love with art.

A young Hans started to sketch the faces of authors on the margin of textbooks in grade one and two.

One day, the teacher caught Hans tune out and focus his concentration on his drawings rather than her lesson. But to his surprise, Hans didn’t get in trouble.

“Instead of blaming me, she was so surprised by my sketches and showed them to the other classmates,” he reminisced.

“I think that was the first time I felt encouraged. Since then, art classes became my favourite time.”

Now, his favourite moments are the ones spent painting rocks surrounded by fascinated faces at the Original Eumundi Markets.

“The people at my stall, especially the kids, they fancy my work so much. They like to stand around me and watch me turn a rock into a living animal. Live music is playing in the background, that moment is the best - I really enjoy it,” he smiled.

“People also appreciate the idea to paint their loved ones on a rock that they can hold for life long. Not always for the memories of the past, also for celebrations of new life. If I miss the markets one Saturday, I will receive a phone call to check if I’ve moved somewhere. I feel I’m doing something meaningful.

“I found where I belong by painting rocks.”

Finding a sense of belonging has been an ongoing challenge for Hans. Having grown up in China, Hans and his wife were tired of the big smoke and were on the hunt for a more laidback coastal town full of sunshine. The Sunshine Coast ticked all the boxes and in 2010, they left their home country behind for the land down under.

“I did struggle a bit learning English as I picked it up late, but I love and enjoy the challenge, especially in the Markets,” he said.

“I meet new people, make new friends, and learn about their talents, their stories and their lives.”

For Hans, art is his talent, story and life.

“The shapes of art, the colours of art, the sound of art, the feel of art, the touch of art, almost every perspective of art, I live in it.”

Hans hopes to share his love of rock art with others with a vision to open an art class to teach children how to paint rocks.

Just as every stone is different, every living being is too. For Hans, art is what brings his life purpose, passion and happiness.

What’s yours?


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