Friday, May 8, 2015

The World's Canvas

I truly believe art can change the world.  Be it music or painting or interpretive dance or writing or the list goes on forever. Unlike a lot of fields/careers though, art doesn't always pay the bills (i.e. this blog has made a total of about $5 dollars...ouch) and word of mouth is the best way to spread good art. But artists don't really do their art for money or fame (but, uh, wouldn't that be nice?), but because they have to. That need to express yourself comes from deep inside and it's impossible to contain. The ability to create is powerful and unstoppable. 

I happened to run into some pretty outstanding artists while travelling around the world. I think they're world-shakers, ground-breakers, and people that are talented enough to deserve your attention. So, here are some of them, and I think you'll love them just as much as I do.

Mi Viaje por el Mundo

Alejandro is pretty much living my dream. I met him on my way out of Chiang Mai and didn't get nearly enough time to pick this man's brain. He quit his job and just started traveling. People probably thought he was insane, but here he is, a professional travel writer after taking that first scary-as-hell leap into the unknown. His blog is what every travel blog should be, deep and informative and honest. I can't say enough good things about Alejandro and his writing abilities. If you read any travel blog, this is it. Hands down, the very best of the best (his India blogs prepared me more than any Lonely Planet, that's for sure). It's in Spanish, but if you need, Google Translate will help if you have Chrome. Well worth every second of your time.

I met Zandile in Zimbabwe after missing a bus in Bulawayo (thanks to a friendly taxi driver named Simba [edit: yes, I did indeed do a Lion King joke with him] who took me in for lunch off the street! Zimbabwe is pretty cool like that) and was blown away to see such beautiful art. I had wonderful conversations with her about the power and soul of art. And this woman is talented like no other and has a passion that burns as hot as the sun itself. The above is a link to her Facebook page (check out the About Me section to learn more about her and her technique). She's fantastic.

I met Alberto on a three-day hike in Burma. Not only is he an incredibly nice dude, but he has a pretty amazing travel blog that is stuffed with great information and has absolutely gorgeous pictures to boot. He has so many entries from so many different places that it's sort of ridiculous (read: it is ridiculous! He has been everywhere!). If you don't read Spanish, there's an option for Google Translate on the side (I know, I know, Google Translate can be horrible most of the time, but it still works). Here's a link to his entry about our hike, which I never got the chance to blog about myself (I'm way to lazy). Another wonderful travel blog you must bookmark and keep up to date with. It'll help keep that travel bug sedated (or make it awake and alive and ready to do the same...!).

Never really been a fan of electronic music. But after traveling with this man, who has become like a brother from another mother, I can honestly say that I just wasn't listening to the right music. I can only hope he picks it up and makes more (if you're reading this, that's a huge hint that YES, you need to keep at this!). Check out his Soundcloud page above, but most certainly go to his website and listen to the first track, AB. It's superb.

I met Brooke on a lazy beach in Cambodia. As you probably guess, I absolutely love meeting people who do their own thing and have taken travel and made it a career. Brooke travels around playing and teaching people how to play the Ukulele! To be honest, I had never even heard one before I saw her perform and now I think it's a one of the coolest instruments out there! Here's her info! Give her a listen at her Youtube page. I swear you'll love it!

Okay, this is more a non-profit than "art", but hey, it's such a unique way to tackle a serious problem that I have to include this. I met Will in Cambodia (or, uh, was it Thailand?) who works at this company with a tagline of "code and cows to alleviate poverty". How cool is that? They find eligible Cambodia small plot farmers and people (like you!) help them purchase a cow - and bam! a cowoperative is born. Absolutely incredible way to fight poverty.

T4T South America
I met Exequiel in Sri Lanka and he's trying to start up a Facebook group that has a single goal: make travel to South America easier. It's a great beginning: gather tips, information, and share experiences with people that will, have, or are currently travelling in South America. Join them, it's a free group and the more people he has contributing, the better the little project will become!

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." -Van Gogh