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Being an artist, I’m always looking for something creative to do, or something that will inspire a creative output. I very nearly never leave the house without a camera or a sketchbook. Everywhere you look there are potential points of departure.
I feel that if I was to go anywhere on an excursion without a camera, it would make that excursion null and void. What is the point of going anywhere if you cannot capture it and take a piece of it home with you?
I like to go away to a place where there is a strong, rich art culture. I like to compare theirs to ours and get inspired by theirs too. I once went to The Algarve when I was an art student. On Christmas Day I discovered that a local art museum was open so we went along to it! There was a lot of contemporary post-modern sculpture assembled with abandoned scrap pieces of metal and car-pieces. This was fascinating for me as it closely aligned with my own practice at the time.
Seven Years Later…
Fast forward 7 years and I have a long history of getting away as much of the year as possible. But the current state of the economic climate rules this kind of freedom out for a lot of us. So being stuck in England with no holidays to look forward to can really bring out the dullness in someone!
So after much contemplation I decided that I needed to take the plunge and live somewhere else. After weighing up the pros versus cons of many places, I decided that The Algarve was the place for me. It is an up-and going place for artists to reside, there is a rich arts heritage, there is stunning scenery, and the property is reasonably priced. This is a decision that can’t be taken lightly as wherever you move to you will be spending the majority of your existence there.
The key things that we should look for when we re-locate are:
- Beautiful surroundings: Our happiness pretty much depends on it! No matter what negativity life presents to us, when we are faced with beautiful scenery, we feel like the severity of any situation loses its edge. Also from an artist’s point of view, our photographs would make pretty bland souvenirs if it weren’t for these! It’s important to build a rich memory-bank so you can re-live it whenever you want to draw from an inspirational source.
- Outlets for your interests: If there are lots of opportunities to indulge in whatever your hobbies are then this is, to be honest, 90% of a good re-location decision. For example, if you love to go on frequent walks in the countryside, then you will probably see your move to a noisy urban town a mistake!
- A good community. Bad neighbours can make your life a bit hellish no matter how stunning the scenery is so it is worth doing some research on your chosen location before settling there.
- (Relative) peace and quiet: It is in the stillness of the day that our thought-trains can do the most travelling. I have always found that it is a healthier position to be in if your base is serene rather than chaotic. Then if you want some noise, go away from your base to find it safe in the knowledge that the place you return to is your tranquil haven.
- Space: Getting a private home not only gives you the sense of peace mentioned above, but you have your own space and plenty of it.
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