BY: CAROLINE ROLF
So you want to travel but aren’t satisfied with being a tourist? Neither is designer Geetika Agrawal, who discovered her love for learning and travel during college. She spent summers working alongside local artists in India and continued to seek experiences where she could create something with her own hands, gain inspiration from like-minded individuals and connect with culture. She knew she wasn’t alone in what she sought from travelling, but connecting with local artists and designers was becoming increasingly difficult. This is how Vacation With An Artist (VAWAA) came to be. In June of last year, Agrawal began her journey to 12 countries in 12 months, pairing eager travellers with creators across the globe.
VAWAA is much different from taking a one-time workshop abroad. The program helps travellers connect with artists and book studio time to develop their craft over a period that ranges from days to weeks. Time is spent with a small group in the artist’s studio learning about your passion, assisting with projects and sourcing materials. By the way, “the artist’s studio” can be in the mountains outside Hanoi, Vietnam or the forests of Slovenia and “developing your craft” can be dancing in Istanbul or rattan weaving on the island of Penang.
The program doesn’t only enrich travellers, as Agrawal makes sure the creators benefit from VAWAA as well. This is a chance for artists to get their work shown to a much larger audience and also profit from the learning experience they provide by being able to set their own fees. The ultimate goal of the program is to encourage travellers to keep learning and sharing their artistic talent and knowledge wherever they may find themselves.
“It’s what you make of it. That’s why it’s so personal. Every person’s experience is going to be very different and it’s about the relationship you build with the artist,” Agrawal tells The Creators Project. “I’m trying to help people realize travel can be a life-changing experience and lead them in many directions.”
Image sourcing: espanyolet.com