Fusing Art & Travel – The Jaunt Book
Curator and travel planner Jeroen Smeets has kicked off 2015 with the launch of his first book, celebrating a grand year of The Jaunt - a project which takes artists to cities across the globe.
Having supported the project ourselves since it’s incepetion in early 2014, we were rather excited to check out the book which documents travel experiences by ten hand picked artists and illustrators who have each travelled to cities they have never before visited, from the stunning city of Helsinki in Finland to the hustle and bustle of Morocco, each city offers the artists a once on a lifetime experience.
When you are travelling all by yourself you have no other ways to share your experiences except for pen and paper
For most artists, being asked to take part in a project like The Jaunt is a dream come true. Getting to travel, funded by strangers’ belief in you and your work, with the sole aim of seeking inspiration – what more could you ask for? The few who have been lucky enough to be invited to participate share their stories and experience through insightful and revealing interviews, alongside photos, sketches and artwork.
The opening pages also feature an introduction / interview with Jeroen reflecting on the concept of the project, his passion for art and travel and his hopes for the project in the coming year.
I think I’m like most other people – the desire to travel the world is constantly present, but only sporadically acted upon.
A keen traveller himself, Jeroen has resisted the urge to join the artists on their trips (something Jeroen remarked about in our interview with him last month), preferring to keep the experience as authentic as possible to allow each artist the space to take influence from their surroundings.
When you are travelling you are so much more receptive and open to outside influences.. everything around you feels new.
Jeroen takes a vested interest in each artist and their trip, but none more so than David Shillinglaw trip to Denmark when he and his girlfriend hosted David in a Scandinavian Summer house. David’s trip presented a huge change for him as he went straight from the one of the busiest times in his career to spending a few days deep into the quiet countryside.
The trip to Danish countryside made me realise the importance of silence, nature, and space to be able to create new work without the distractions of your own world
His ‘jaunt-enduced’ epiphany reveals how the trips often trigger new ways of working, often becoming the creative catalyst for ideas and new found inspiration. It was clearly a poignant time for David, and reading about his experience opens up the possibilities of travel for everyone – whether you’re creative or not.
Miss Lotion’s trip to Marrakech is another highlight of the book. A Danish artist currently residing in Germany, Miss Lotion expresses her keen interest in North African culture, and for her the opportunity to spend time in Morocco was a dream come true. Her visual journal, illustrated in her quirky style is presented on the pages for readers to explore and makes for a fascinating read.
Slightly less exotic but equally inspiring, was U.S artist Amanda Marie’s trip to Glasgow – an industrial city with a bustling modern and culutral pulse. For her, adjusting to the strong Scottish dialect was an eye opener:
The Scottish use “ie” at the end of a lot of words which makes everything sounds super cute
Amanda also comments on how the trip has effected her work since the trip, reflecting on her penchant for water as a subject matter.
The book is a celebration in so many different ways. It celebrates art and travel as “the two best things in life”, and the power of great ideas and the joy of switching off and getting lost in a new place. Each artist is given space to truly shine at what they do best, and for all the supporters of the project to date the book is a fantastic keepsake revealing the heart and soul and spirit of adventure that encapsulates each trip.
Curated, collected and bound, this first book by The Jaunt offers a bundle of inspiration sure to make you grab your nearest backpack, throw in your sketchbook and a few foreign coins and jump on the first plane out.
The Jaunt book is available to buy online priced at €20.95.