I’ve been dreaming about and planning this project for years: I want to make a difference in the world and I want to do it with my existing set of skills and strengths: I am an artist; I have spent my life building community in the art; I have an easy time connecting with people; I have loved motorcycles since I was 8 years old. I decided to combine all of that and make it the basis of my new adventure.
It seems to me that fear and prejudice have been growing in the past few years, and after thinking about this a lot, I realized that I truly, sincerely believe that making personal connections worldwide is the solution. It is a powerful way to contribute to a better world, and it is already “here”: I have the skills right now, I don’t have to go get another degree or look outside. It is here, now, inside of me: I can travel, listen to people’s stories, record them, share my experience, do art, and basically engage deeply with the world I live in and am a part of.
Because my main objective is to connect with people, I became a member of Servas (www.servas.org), MotoStays (www.motostays.com), and couchsurfing, so that in addition to camping, I will stay with those organizations’ hosts to deepen my understanding of their culture and daily lives.
My plan is sell my artwork in order to raise funds to defray my traveling expenses. These include international health and vehicle insurances, motorcycle, food, fuel, plane ticket, campgrounds’ fees, etc. Print subscriptions are based on the principle that I sell prints now and create them after I come back from my trip. This is an opportunity for participants to expand their collection of art in an affordable way, and become not only partners in my new adventures but an active link in the web of human connections that I am creating.
My friends and supporters will benefit in several ways: they will receive an original art piece (delivery date: October 2017), regular blog update alerts by email, and access to my blog and posts. In short, they will be exposed to a “real life” account of our world: they will hear real stories about real people.
How do I know I can do this? I have done it before! In my twenties, I traveled around the world for eighteen months using local transportation and hitchhiking (with a few plane rides in-between!). In the past twenty five years, I founded and managed four businesses: my career as an artist which, in addition to Seattle, has taken me to Switzerland, Mexico, Nigeria and China, to exhibit my art and teach printmaking at local universities; the Sev Shoon Arts Center, a professional printmaking studio with 24/7 access, classes, workshops, exhibits, and an international artist-in-residence; BallardWorks, a large artists’ studio building with exhibition space and a vibrant community of talented artists; and now 4Art&Adventure to pursue my vision of a better world.