Boarding Pass – Nina Still

I still haven’t gotten over my fear of drawing, but today’s Boarding Pass with Australian artist and mobile maker Nina Still is providing that much more of a nudge to make me buckle down and do it during my summer travels. It seems like such a great way to slow down, take in a place, and as she points out, meet interesting people/onlookers. {Thanks for the inspiration, Nina!}
last trip taken:
Fiji, a kid friendly holiday which involved lots of snorkelling. I have had a lot of great experiences in Fiji – one of which was a 3 week camping trip to Taveuni.
next trip on deck:
India hopefully, I would love to take my kids to the kite festival in Ahmedabad . On the Australian front, we are heading off camping to a remote stretch of wilderness coast near Eden, NSW.

one place you would go back to again and again:
India – Gujarat in particular, and Penang in Malaysia – to eat mind blowing food. But I really could just keep going back to India even though it is very frustrating and depressing sometimes.
place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
India; for the food, colours, people and cities.

preferred method of transportation:
Any, but no more unseaworthy boats !
place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Yemen – but it looks like I will have to wait until it is a little safer. The architecture and landscape look fascinating. I would love to explore Micronesia and the Andaman Islands too…

place you’d never go back:
Jakarta, but I could be persuaded. I think it had something to do with being sick at the time, the depressing pollution and a long overnight bus trip. Jaipur isn’t on my list either.

most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
A trip to Mexico when I was 4, I remember opening my eyes underwater and still recall the turquoise of the sea.

how do you prepare for a trip?
Research travel guides and architectural books, I usually plan a proper itinerary. I have to repack a few times as I take too much crap with me – clothes I ‘may’ just need. I always forget that it may be better to pack less so you have an excuse to buy clothes when you are there! I am now paranoid about packing my current passport after going to catch a plane with an out of date one!
how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
I love to draw, find a discreet spot and get out my sketchbook. It is a great way to remember a place, through the drawings you made. In India it is quite a challenge to draw as you are quickly surrounded by a crowd, usually commenting on how your drawing doesn’t look anything like the view. I have met a lot of interesting people who come up to you when you are drawing. Now I have kids I don’t always have uninterrupted time to draw.
what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
Buildings, street life, water, I am obsessed with step wells so in India I take a lot of pictures of them.

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
I used to take slides but now only take my digital camera, so hundreds. In one way it is a little sad having a digital camera as you aren’t restricted with the number of pictures you can take. It would be great not to take pictures but do a quick sketch instead, but it takes discipline, which I don’t always have!
what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
I take 2 A4 sketchbooks and my aquarelle crayons. I use an Olympus digital underwater camera.

what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
I don’t do too much after a trip, but influences may come out when I am creating, for instance I did a series of monoprints based on a diving trip to Somosomo strait in Fiji. We still sometimes have old fashioned slide shows with a rusty slide projector.
favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
Fabric, its such a reflection of the place you have been. I have a stack of beautiful Indian handloomed fabrics which I still haven’t made anything out of yet. Recipes too, and lots of cookbooks. Hopefully some new friends too.


Click HERE for past editions of Boarding Pass, or check the column on the right for the complete list.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *