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Preserving your Holiday Memories – Custom Artworks and a Tip for Building Lasting Memories

After my last holiday (Swedish Westcoast), I thought about how to preserve my holiday memories in a better way, than just saving the photos on my laptop and having written in my bullet journal about our days. While browsing, I came across various suggestions and had to shake my head when reading that it might be helpful to set up a photo wall. But I go on holiday every year. Have weekend trips. I take hundreds of photos. Imagine that photo wall! Dissatisfied with the results, I reflected a while on the topic and the creative inside me said: Why not have your memories painted in a custom artwork?

Are you a collector of stones or a taker of pictures?

Some excessively take photos with their phones from every tiny piece of the holiday, every experience is stored. Others collect postcards or take something special home with them. Before we had our digital photo walls and folders in our phones, people created photo albums. My grandma still likes to show them to us – from their wild times, holidays spent in the European south, us as kids. It has a nostalgic touch I like a lot.

Though seriously, who has the time and energy to go through all pictures of a holiday, select the meaningful ones, have them printed and organised in an album? I love the idea. The reminiscent mood brought into modernity. The journaling feels of giving the photo album your personal touch. Nevertheless, my life is lacking the time – and often I’m to erratic in my creativity – to do this after every vacation (and I know there are digital printing options, but it’s almost the same, right?). And in the end, we probably wouldn’t have a look at it very often either. But anyway, why are we so eager to uphold our travel memories?

Why we want to preserve our holiday memories.

In our busy world, with its hustle culture and yet open doors to every destination we might imagine, we have these perfect islands of peace and quiet. Living into the day or exploring unknown places. Visiting our dream place to live, where we can’t actually live, considering our life back home. It’s escapism at its best, dreaming, forgetting, loving life and earth. When I go back home, I’m happy about seeing family and friends again, my animals and my home. But I also grieve about the place I must leave. The light and lightness of days, as I don’t know if I will ever visit this place again.

So, I guess, we like to hold onto our memories, because they make us remember great days spend in delight, of special moments, great landscapes, travel goals and nice humans we met. We can daydream, thinking about this great place we were able to see and explore.

Whereas, as an artist I can tell you: Nothing is better than seeing your memory enfold in an artwork. It is made to stay with you forever, it honours your experience, brings beauty in your home, and gives you the possibility of daydreaming as often as you want. Don’t take me wrong, I love photos and hanging special ones, but an artwork feels different. Sometimes it elevates and enlarges your imagination, adding special tones and tunes. Giving it the spark, you might be looking for, to preserve your holiday memories.

A commissoned painting made with watercolour.

This custom painting made with watercolour was created with several reference photos, all made by the art collector on a holiday trip to the Greek Islands.

Choosing a Custom Painting: No Need to Hesitate!

Many artists – me as well – offer custom paintings as commissions. You might think, having something painted just for you is a thing for exceedingly rich people, but it’s not. Prices vary depending on the medium used, the size of the artwork and the recognition, establishment, and skill level of the artist. Mostly, you can send an inquiry and the artist – like me – will guide you through the process and answer all upcoming questions.

To give you an idea, what to expect, I give you a short insight into the process, if you were to buy a custom painting created by me. Think, you’ve sent me your first inquiry that you’re interested in a custom artwork to preserve your travel memories. If you already have an idea about the size and medium of your artwork, feel free to send them directly. Otherwise, I would inform you about my options – watercolour and oil painting – and ask you to pick one reference photo for me to paint.

When everything is set, I’ll send you a first sketch, a contract and a bill, as you would need to pay 50% of the final price in advance (I’m on the safe side and you’re as well). Then I start painting and keep you updated within the process, while I try to include your ideas as best I can. When I’m done, you pay the final 50% and I’ll send you the finished artwork with advice on how to take care of it. Then you can love and enjoy your holiday memory in a very special way for the rest of your life.

I think this is one of the best ways to preserve a dear memory, choosing one picture as a representation of everything you’ve experienced.

My Tip for Building Lasting Memories:

Don’t take many pictures, but special ones!

Seriously, – and I had to learn this as well – you won’t remember your holiday and travel destination better, just because you took pictures of everything you’ve seen or experienced. Though modern / social media taught us to believe that our holidays are just valid when we have incredible pictures to share and that we will build lasting memories through posts that make our social feed look gorgeous. That’s not true.

What I experienced is this: After a holiday trip to Iceland almost 10 years ago, I noticed that I had shot thousand pictures within 8 days of holiday. However, I only have very few memories. I remember the pictures and some very special moments, but that’s it. It was then, when I decided to take less pictures, but more special ones. I try to catch details and the light. Or special moments, be they calm or adventurous and exciting. Yet, I step away from excessively photographing every inch.

The problem with spending your holiday behind your phone or camera to take photos is that you will literally remember less, as your brain is in “short memory mode”. It basically knows everything will be stored to look at somewhere. So, it doesn’t have to take everything in. Why bothering about using mental capacity, when you can open your “Iceland 2014” folder and have a look? Though you might be sorry someday that you forgot that much.

Soak it all in!

 Therefore, to build lasting memories – not only on your phone or laptop – put away your camera device and just soak it all in. Observe, smell, touch, admire – without a camera lens, but with your own eyes. Then take pictures that might be really important to you and that you could also have painted to hang in your home. Through this you’ve preserved your holiday memories in your heard, mind and on your walls.

So, where does your next holiday go to and would you choose a custom painting to preserve your holiday memories?

BTW! Don’t forget to support local artists!

Another great way of upholding and at the same time making great travel memories is to buy a print or original artwork of a local artist living at your travel destination. That’s what I do as well.

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Get first access to original paintings, studio insights, and latest blog posts. It's my studio's journal for you to read. Open and honest, stress-free and always accessible for you.

PLUS: get this booklet for free.

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