Traveling and the Artist

Hemingway and Picasso
Hemingway and Picasso

It can’t be denied that for a long time artists have been going abroad in order to expand their perspective and learn different techniques of art. 1920’s Paris literally became a who’s, who of the literary and visual arts luminaries of the time with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald rubbing shoulders with Pablo Picasso. The point of this blog is to consider what is it in traveling that stokes the flame of the artistic spirit. What is it that the artistic type personality gains from going abroad?


New worlds and new realities are the artists muse – 

The basis of art is an individual showing aspects of reality to others that are not readily visible to them. Now there can be no better motivator, or engine for this process, then getting a new vantage of reality to use to filter what you see around you. Artists constantly pour over in their minds what they see around them; considering it, dissecting it, rearranging it and this is for a reality they have regularly been exposed to. If they end up in a foreign country that challenges all the positions they have reached previously, well it’s like the artist’s crack… they will be taken aback, addicted to these new impressions. This will become the building blocks and fuel of new art.


Connection to other artistic people – 

When a person travels they have a higher than usual chance of meeting other artistic, creative people – as those are the types that choose to travel more often than not. Naturally, the chance for great minds tossing around ideas or even collaborating on artistic projects is an amazing opportunity for the artists. For of an example of this, think the Bohemian Paris of the 1920’s mentioned early when the artistic minds came together.


Strife brings out good art –  

Some say that the best art comes from strife and the artist being put into positions that illicit tension. Perhaps this isn’t true for every artist, but it is for enough of them. There are no shortage of writers that used time abroad and the abject poverty they were experiencing to fuel their efforts. For a short list think of George Orwell and Henry Miller while they lived in Paris and the king of the beats Jack Kerouc as he sashayed across America with a ruck sack and a typewriter.


In the end, the creation of art is a subjective process and no one can truly put a finger on the creative fire of a single artist. Travel still, as factor to consider in the creation of art, would seem to have been a muse for many an artist. How couldn’t be?… being thrown out of your comfort zone into a world of radically different norms, aesthetics, and customs is bound to awaken the artist within.


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