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 I am now paranoid about packing my current passport after going to catch a plane with an out of date one!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.

links:

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

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