Jessica Grace Leahy was born Jessica Grace Hoel. Her father was a wood sculptor and started teaching her when she was only 3. He gave Jessica a 110 film camera when she was 6, her first set of oils when she was 10, and then a 35 mm film camera, when she was 12. Jessica started extracurricular art training as a pre-teen at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, on Saturdays. As an adult, she has taken art classes at: UMass Boston and UMaine Augusta. Jessica has a BA in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design from Bridgewater State College (now Bridgewater University). After receiving her degree, Jessica did some online instruction with Digital Tutors to brush up her Photoshop skills, plus learn Maya, Mudbox, and zBrush.
Before becoming The Unfolding Butterfly, Jessica was creating and selling her art as Jessica Hoel DBA The Hoel Studio. She sold her art in the Boston and Sacramento areas, under that name. She moved from Boston to Sacramento in 2007. Jessica moved back to Boston in 2012 and began another new chapter in her life. In 2016, she chose to go by The Unfolding Butterfly to symbolize the butterfly completing its transformation and emerging from its cocoon.
Other Info About Jessica: She has fibromyalgia. She is an early childhood trauma survivor. Jessica used to be an avid rock climber (mostly a boulderer). In the winter of 2009, she was also a skydiver in Davis, CA. At the time, Jessica earned her A license with the USPA. Her pug, Maya, is Jessica's adorable assistant. Maya sits by, while Jessica does her artwork.