One of my favorite things about traveling is finding neighborhoods, alleyways, or other local areas that show the essence of a community, a town, or a city. While traveling, I was always most intrigued by the murals—and variation of murals—that could be found within communities.

During the few days I was in Lisbon, Portugal, I was overwhelmed by the amount of art scattered across the city. I found portraits of famous Portuguese singers, a beautiful outline of Lisbon’s landmarks, multiple stencils that read “Dance Your Problems Away” (with little arms and legs popping out of the sides of dance and away) and “Pura Poesia” in an arrange of different colors, an outline of a woman’s body, exposing her unicorn head for a boob (that one was interesting), and so forth.

My favorite one, however, was found in the center of a small town in Lisbon. To get to that small community, you have to climb about fifty steps inside an alleyway—and that’s where the art begins. The walls are plastered with different words, graffiti, and stencils. Once at the top, you are greeted by a multitude of mural paintings in about every direction, depicting Lisbon’s culture.

The mural in this picture shows images of musicians playing Fado music—a genre of music that originated in Lisbon, Portugal—red roofed buildings, which are seen all across Lisbon, typical foods of the city, and other cultural snapshots that capture the essence of Lisbon.

Prior to traveling, I didn’t pay much attention to street art—mostly because it wasn’t as heavily available in my hometown. But, also because I was always rushing to get to places and forgetting to take a moment and *breathe*, look around, take the moment in, and jot down any inspired ideas or questions that arose from looking at my surroundings (like “what is translation for cheira bem?” Smells good).

So, if you are ever in the presence of a beautiful mural, some amazing graffiti, or any other kind of street art, I encourage you to pay attention. Take a picture. Look at it again later. Use it as your opportunity to create something new, to better understand the city you are in or maybe even the artist who drew it.

Art…inspiration…is everywhere my friends.

Nayeli Castaneda-Lechuga|Chief Financial Officer