Getting Inspired in San Antonio

I’ve been gone for a while, but it feels good to be back! Last week I was in San Antonio, TX for a conference. The majority of my time was spent in workshops and taking advantage of plentiful networking opportunities. My experience in consulting has certainly been unique in that sense. There are so many people I’ve worked with that I lost touch with after finishing a project and even more people that I only know through phone or email. Even introverts like me enjoy catching up and putting faces to the names.

The Alamo - San Antonio, TX

The Alamo at dusk – San Antonio, TX

Needless to say, I had a full schedule and my creation stream went on hold. But I like to think that there’s always ways to stay creative, even on the road. For this trip I decided to get inspired.

Fountains - San Antonio, TX

Fountains at San Antonio, TX

I was fortunate enough to have some time to explore bits of the surrounding area. Some of it was under construction, but what I did see was beautiful. There were big fountains, old architecture, outdoor sculptures, and other art. Though I guess just the fact that it was a change from the dull grey of this Pennsylvania winter was enough.

Artwork - San Antonio, TX

Outdoor artwork at Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center – San Antonio, TX

What I really enjoyed was seeing the Spanish influence, bright color palettes, and patterns. I’m hoping to take this as inspiration for upcoming pieces!

Artfully Megan Signature

What trips have you been on recently? How did you get inspired?

Ideas – 4 Tips for Taking Your Art on the Road

As the new year starts, I can’t help but wonder where the road ahead will take me–both literally and figuratively! I don’t know how much of this is apparent to the outside world, but I live a pretty mobile lifestyle. I spend a lot of time on the road–due mostly to my consulting job, long distance/long-term relationship, and distance from my family. I had never really anticipated living this way, but even though I’m still young I already know life has a way of throwing in these kinds of kinks.

4 Tips for Taking Art on the Road

2014 was really about finding ways to nurture my inner artist and I know 2015 will be about continuing to find creative sustenance. Here are some things that worked for me over the past year:

Tip 1: Find travel-sized sketchbooks or journals.

This probably seems like a no-brainer, but enabling myself with the proper tools made all the difference. When I first started traveling, I didn’t bring anything with me at all because I worried about transporting my big, clunky sketchbooks. After finding books that were compact and easy to stow, it made it easier for me to express myself on the go. There are plenty of books in all different sizes out there on the market or you could even bind your own!

Tip 2: Don’t feel pressured to bring every art supply in your arsenal.

Until I started traveling every week with only my backpack and 18″ carry-on suitcase, I was a chronic over-packer. I frequently brought things I never even ended up using. With such limited space, I knew I could only bring a few supplies with me. And you know what? It was perfectly okay! I didn’t need every art supply in my possession to be able to work in my journals and make pieces that were satisfying. My travel essentials consisted of pencils, erasers, colored pencils, a pencil sharpener, and black ink pens.

Tip 3: Maximize your free time for creativity.

I know when I have free time I spend a lot of it tinkering around on my phone. It’s easy for 5 minutes to turn into 30 minutes or more without accomplishing all that much. Over the last year I spent a lot of time sitting at the airport waiting for flights or through delays. While I can’t say I didn’t spend any time on my phone, I did manage to reclaim bits of it for my journals. Instead of working on a page all the way through, I worked on pages incrementally throughout the week. It was actually nice and a little bit different for me. Looking at something with new eyes on a different day can really add to a piece.

Tip 4: Spend time getting inspired.

For me, living the creative life isn’t totally about creating all of the time–part of it is also about getting inspired. When I wasn’t able to sit down with my journals, I spent some time looking around me. Nature is ever changing and always has a lot to offer for all the senses. In 2014, I especially liked being in an airplane because I got to see it from another perspective. I also spent a great deal of time looking at architecture since I was traveling to different parts of the country. In some cases, I was fortunate enough to visit parks and museums. When I was in Mississippi, I got a chance to walk through their art museum. Their rich quilting history continues to inspire elements in my journal pages. And of course, good, old-fashioned people-watching is always fun, too!

Artfully Megan Signature

Do you travel frequently? How do you nourish your creative side when you’re out traveling?