If you are an artist that likes to travel, such as I, you will quickly learn that it’s not quite that easy. There are quite a few things to care about. I’d like to share my own experience in hopes it can help someone, and also help myself remember what I need to do better the next time. Now, I can only speak from the perspective of a visual artist, but even if the type of art you are creating doesn’t fit this category, keep reading, you still might pick up some useful advice.
I am going to assume that you are traveling on a budget, like myself, otherwise, why would you even be reading this? To me, creating art is portraying your experiences in an artistic form you find suiting, and traveling is an experience of a lifetime. Combining that with art can create some of the best art your soul will produce.
My first problem was deciding what to take with me, and how much of it I can carry, as you can only carry a limited amount. Some of the items that you might need are not allowed to be carried on a plane, and if you need such items, you must immediately set aside some funds for purchasing those items once you land. I learned that the hard way, but luckily replacing few of those items wasn’t expensive.
If you are traveling by land, things can be a little easier, since you can carry more stuff with you, BUT, you might seem more suspicious to the border police, because very often smugglers are as creative as artists, if not more. Personally, I believe it was more of an exception than a rule that I was thoroughly checked, but I have to say, the police did check all of my items for drugs.
Since I couldn’t always carry everything I needed, I immediately said goodbye to a good part of my funds, and I set it aside for purchasing what I needed when I needed it. This would significantly shorten my journey if I hadn’t started working in hostels, mostly creating art in exchange for something (place to sleep, items I needed for painting, food, simple necessities).
But I didn’t only pay for what I needed with my art, I also paid with labor, helping in any way I could when hosts or hostels needed help. A good artist never puts himself in a cage, but lives freely and finds inspirations in everything, even physical work, which certainly helped me clear my mind and relax.