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The Muse Inside Your Suitcase: How To Unpack Inspiration On Your Next Vacay

Art is something you will inevitably encounter as you travel the world. From pots and pan pipes to painting, art is almost as basic and necessary as breath to people all over the world. It’s an avenue to communicate the truths of the human soul through various media and materials. Ever wonder how the French do their prints? Thought about the ceramics of India? Or the Japanese art of Ikebana? Luckily, there’s a company out there that will let you try these things firsthand.

Enter VAWAA (Vacation with an Artist), the company that dreams of connecting craftsmen and artists from all across the world.

Launched by New York-based traveller Geetika Agrawal, Vacation with an Artist has positioned itself as a new—and highly unique—way of travelling the world. As opposed to regular, leisurely travel, VAWAA connects tourists with master artists and craftsmen from all over the world for a short-term mentorship programme. Geetika and her team target the art-hungry traveller, hoping to meet their need for foreign culture with a wholly immersive experience.



How does it work? The first step to hooking up with VAWAA is to select an artist. VAWAA’s roster is worldwide and diverse, featuring sculptors, musicians, tattoo artists, photographers and many others from 17 different countries, from Japan to Uruguay. Book a request with the artist of your choice and wait for them to get back to you. Don’t expect service to be instantaneous—each of the artists on VAWAA’s roster is busy with their own practice, and will do what they can to make room for you in their schedules.



Once you’re on your VAWAA journey, you’ll find it to be a very intimate experience. The mentorship programme will have you bunking with the artist you’ve enrolled under. From there, you’ll encounter their country in a truly up-close-and-personal fashion, going about as a local would in between art sessions with your mentor. “The beauty of VAWAA is the surprise of the unknown,” says Geetika, explaining how VAWAA allows for a magical experience different from what other vacations stand to offer.

VAWAA has had a number of clients sign up with them for mentorship programmes. Candy Reyes, local production designer, had her own VAWAA experience in Vietnam where she learned the art of natural dyeing under the tutelage of Vietnamese fashion designer Vu Thao. The trip took her up to Cao Bang, a province in the mountainous North of Vietnam, famous for its winding rivers and stunning limestone formations. Here, she learned alongside the Nung-An women. Candy had always been interested in natural dyeing and had been looking to include it in her production process—a skill she would now be able to do after having mentored under Vu Thao.



Much of the enjoyment in travelling comes from the opportunity to experience new things. Geetika Agrawal has put a spin on travel with Vacation with an Artist by putting an emphasis on that whole novel experience. Come see the world, experience something new and pick up a skill while you’re at it. Check out