10 Tips on How to be a Full-time Artist on the Road

By Kach Umandap - Howe April 1st, 2015 Posted in Inspiration and Love Stories, Travel Blog, Travel Guides One Comment

I create art installations, paintings, dream catchers, eco clothes, and jewelry. The dream catchers are born from a deep connection I feel with Native American Indian culture and their understanding of our relationship with Pachamama (Mother Earth).

After nine years of living in London (UK) working as a teacher and part-time artist, I felt inspired to leave my rented flat and take my passions on the road. Nine countries, five continents and a year and a half later, I’m currently living those dreams in the Costa Rican jungle, which is where I met ‘Two Monkeys Travel’!

Costa Rican dream catcher necklace

Along my travels one of the art installations I feel most humbled to have created was with over a hundred people last year in Auroville, India. It was designed to explore creativity within communities and raise awareness of ecological issues Worldwide. Before I left the UK Iset up a non-profit enterprise called Eco Art Installations and then funded this project by raising £561 through a Kickstarter campaign.

I’ve also created other site-specific installations with artists in Italy and Peru.The installation in the Peruvian Amazon was pretty wild as one of the artists involved was a howler monkey!

Monkey Sue eco art in Peru

During my travels the greatest things I’ve learnt are: To trust and let go of the control you never had, to transform pain into creativity is a form of alchemy, that gratitude manifests abundance, to listen to your body and follow your bliss, the value of strength in vulnerability, the importance of maintaining disciplines that are conducive to the creative flow such as walking in nature or meditation, and that there are so many different ways to wear a sarong!

Brazilian Amazon dream catcher

 Here are my ten tips on how to be an artist on the road:

  1. Exhibit – Have a website and share your art online and where ever you are in the World find a suitable local setting to display your creations.
  2. Set up shop – Make your art accessible for purchase locally at inspiring markets and through your website via a reputable online art dealer – I’m affiliated with Saatchi Art.
  3. Be accessible – Provide information on your website so people with enquiries know how to contact you about availability, prices and exhibitions.
  4. Inspire others to explore– Share your art, host workshops, be flexible and open to suggestions, collaborate with other artists and allow your experiences of travel and different cultures to be integrated into what you create.
  5. Document your art – Travel with a good quality camera and laptop to document your art. Also take a couple of hard drives with you to back up your work and some SD memory cards. SD cards also come in handy if your equipment malfunctions as you can always use them in a friend’s camera.
  6. Raise your vibration – Create space to be in an inspiring environment with a climate that suits you and around people who have shared intentions. I find being in nature, eating nutritious food, having a good nights sleep and mediation all help me to be in the creative flow.
  7. Manage your money – Set up a paypal and business bank account in your country of origin and keep a 12 month cash flow spread sheet of your accounts.
  8. Share your creativity – I recently sold a dream catcher necklace, which initially started with a compliment about the one I was wearing! People often like to purchase from artists they know and beautiful objects can reconnect us to a place, moment or simply be a great gift for a loved one
  9. Network –Join social network sites such as facebook, pinterest, twitter and youtube. Send press releases about your work to magazines that write about interesting projects and artists. Also create some contact information cards to give to people that you meet on your travels.
  10. Consciously resource materials – Nature offers an abundance of resources, be mindful and flexible about how you source them. Much of my art is created out of items I find from the environment such as vines, shells, feathers and upcycled items. I recently attended an event which had a white dress code, so created a dress out of an old mosquito net sourced from the local recycling bin!

Eco art installation India

 Monkey Dividers

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One thought on “10 Tips on How to be a Full-time Artist on the Road

  1. Thanks for this! I have always enjoyed the creative process I go through when I draw or paint. The problem is, I don’t feel like what I create has that something that makes it truly art. Do you have any tips for beginner artists? I get putting myself out there, but anything else?

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Written by Kach Umandap - Howe

Co-Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 136 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she got married then a year later bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.

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