Travel for the Artist – How Creativity Can Be Found In Quiet Leisure Time

The Artist’s Muse
photography by Mia Laing

How incredible it is to travel…especially for the artist.

I dont know how you fare, but as a typical passionate creative, I can find days and weeks go by where I have barely moved beyond the walls of my studio and the constraints of home and family. The days blend into one and routine becomes predictable.

I love what I do. Totally. I am consumed by my art. But as with anything we indulge in often; it can become an addiction and can isolate us from experiencing life to its fullest.

Right now, 13,324kms and nearly 24 hours of travel later, this self confessed artaholic, is sitting in a hotel lounge in Baveno, Italy, with the beautiful Lago Maggiore within a few metres of where I sit. I have an Aperol Spritz at hand and I am watching the elegant Italians taking their afternoon stroll along the promenade, towering gelatos and their dogs vying for attention.

I am so grateful.

I can barely believe I am here and just 8 weeks from my last trip to Italy, when I spent two weeks settling my eldest daughter into her new studies at the Milano Polytechnico, where she is studying a Masters in Yacht Design. A trip that was mostly to help with the last minute paperwork, visas and accomodation issues that a young adult is perfectly capable of solving, but is made just that little bit easier with Mum and sister by her side. It was a fun, hectic and all together indulgent girls trip.

Isola dei Pescatori, Lago Maggiore, Italy

Im travelling with my Mama this time. A gentler pace, a quieter lakeside destination; the solid, majestic mountains embracing the village in a soft draping of light and shadow; billowing clouds caressing the dark water with tones of grey, reminding me there is creativity to be found in quiet leisure.

Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

– Chinese Proverb

Ive come with a sketchbook of ideas, a travelling kit of carefully selected watercolour paints and pencils and a preconceived idea of what I should be achieving.

See that word there? Achieving. Yep. That’s a nasty word to take on holiday. I didn’t remember until I landed, that once again, the sights, smells and tastes of a new land will work their magic and disappate any lingering thoughts of actually getting any work done!

And that’s okay. Quiet introspection and pondering are one of the greatest tools for any artist, writer or creative.

pin To Pinterest - photo of lake Maggiore
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So for now, my camera is the only thing working overtime and I’m reminding myself to just look. The work and achievements will come later, when my soul has rested and my creative reservoir has been replenished.

Ciao for now…I’m off to eat Gelato!

Mia x

3 thoughts on “Travel for the Artist – How Creativity Can Be Found In Quiet Leisure Time

  1. Ooh yes. I have the same “achievement” expectations when I travel, and I need to remember since I’m about to leave again that I need to lower my expectations!! I do always come back full of new ideas and creativity though (not the artistic kind unfortunately but words and projects!).

  2. Sounds like a perfect way to treat your creative selves, Mia and Amanda. Filling our creative wells is an essential part of living creative lives. Be grateful and enjoy your special times.

  3. I’ve just come back from vacation myself and can attest to how important it is to take time off to fully recharge. My day to day is so filled with planning for “the next thing” and it was really nice to just slow everything down and not worry about anything except where I’d eat for my next meal. Hope you have a great trip and come back feeling refreshed!

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