Travel Sketching: An Interview With Traveling Artist Esther Franchuk, Pt 1

By Milan Art Institute on July 5, 2021
Travel Sketching: An Interview With Traveling Artist Esther Franchuk, Pt 1

Photo caption: Esther Franchuk’s brand as an artist aligns with the explorer archetype. As such, she does a lot of travel sketching. Photo courtesy of Esther Franchuk.

As an artist, being bold and going after your passions is part of the calling we all share. For most of us, traveling the world is one of those passions because not only does it expand our horizons, but it keeps our inspirational cup full.

At the Milan Art Institute, we don’t just love to travel, we love to encourage our students to travel, often with us. 

One artist who took us up on our offer of art and adventure is Milan Art Institute coach (and former student) Esther Franchuk. She has spent time with us in Greece and has taken the time to talk with us about her experience as an artist in Greece and in other parts of the world. 

This article is the first of three that highlight Esther’s experiences as an artist who’s known for being a traveling artist. The purpose of these articles is twofold: to offer you some inspiration and to give you some idea about how the explorer archetype plays out in an artist’s career. 

As an online art school that’s known for teaching artists how to find their brand voice and their brand archetype, we know how important it is for our students (and would-be students) to see these different archetypes in action.

Photo caption: For Esther Franchuk, travel sketching and painting is all in a day’s work. Photo courtesy of Esther Franchuk.

How Did You Become a Traveling Artist?

For Esther, becoming a traveling artist was an organic process that came about when several elements of her life converged. More specifically, she cites her experience of painting outside during art school, as well as her explorer archetype tendencies for eventually creating the artist she is today. 

She explains:

It doesn’t feel like something special, I would say, because it was just the way I was taught. You always go for plein air. You always go for painting outside, like every time you have the opportunity to, you always bring art on the go because you’re an artist and you cannot go on a trip and not paint there...At one point, I just discovered every time I go places, my art changes and the way I’m painting changes and the subject matter changes…the color changes and it’s affected by the culture and colors and so many things that I see. 

However, it took her some time to officially brand herself as a traveling artist, even though that’s what she had been in practice pretty much all along.

When I moved to Italy and I was living in Florence and I was taking trips to different parts of Italy from Florence, I think that was when I finally started to brand it, like “Yes, I’m an explorer.” 

Can You Speak About Your Experiences On The Greece Trip?

Photo caption: Travel sketching and painting allow artists, like Esther, to see the world in a different way and paint it according to their vision. Photo courtesy of Esther Franchuk.

I really loved the art retreat to Greece. It enriched my art in so many ways. I felt like it was not about just art because every single trip for a while was about art for me and about capturing this moment. 

I felt like during the trip with Milans, I just allowed myself to feel more and to be more in the moment because we had a lot of different techniques and different workshops and also different mediums. 

Esther admitted that she used to always be in production mode, which meant she pressured herself to finish every piece that she started. While that attitude has its merits, particularly when you’re trying to become a professional artist, it also has its drawbacks. She explains it this way.

And I felt like during the trip with Milans it was like, Okay. It’s not about finishing anything or creating a final product. It was more about being in the moment and to actually allow yourself to have this experience and to make a memory. 

As you paint and as you remember everything, about how you felt, what you did, what was better, what were the smells in the air, what have you seen with your eyes, what have you felt in that moment? It’s about the beauty of the moment itself.

I felt like Greece helped me to slow down and just enjoy life and enjoy the simple beauty of being and living and feeling. It was life-changing but in a different way than the school itself or other trips I took. It was a great experience. I loved all of the community and being able to connect with the artist community from all over the world and meeting people.

Travel Sketching and Painting: Some Takeaways

Travel sketching and painting offer artists a good way to meet like-minded people while sharpening their art skills at the same time. Photo courtesy of Esther Franchuk.

As with any life-changing experience, Esther had some useful and uplifting knowledge that she took away from the Greece trip. Here are a few.

  1. Social media and online learning are powerful ways to connect with like-minded people. These platforms allow artists to meet artists from all over the world. They build a solid foundation for relationships that are only more solidified once the artists meet in person.
  2. Meeting and traveling with other artists feels like home. The artists that you meet on your next trip may come from different countries and cultures and yet, they feel familiar. They are the same as you in many ways. 
  3. Traveling allows you to see different things and work with different materials. This informs your artistic choices and makes your art take off in a different, more inspired direction.

Want To Learn More Helpful Travel Sketching Tips? Read On…

A Case for Urban and Travel Sketching: Why Draw in the Age of Photography?

Art Workshops Abroad: The Mighty Impact of Small Scale Paintings

Milan Art Institute
Milan Art Institute

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