In about a week and a half I'll be on my way to Iceland for two weeks of traveling, sketching, and taking lots and lots of reference photos. I'll be joined for part of the trip by Wylie Beckert and we're brewing up a little sketchbook/travel log collaboration for our return.
Why Iceland? I haven't left the country in four years and recently my wanderlust has been fed by Iceland showing up everywhere. First, it appeared in books I was gifted. Then, Cory Godbey posted about his experience. I stumbled across Rovina Cai's amazing Iceland sketches, and then people I came across kept mentioning the country in passing conversation - so I shrugged and assumed I would probably end up in Iceland within the year; It seems I never quite plan for travel - it just happens. Finally, I'd had enough convincing so I bought some tickets and asked Wylie to come along. I decided to go during the winter months because of the aurora (during the summer months the sun doesn't really set, so it's really impossible to view the aurora), the lighting during parts of the winter is apparently amazing (because the sun sticks close to the horizon most of the time), and everything is cheaper with less tourism.
I'm excited to take a bunch of reference photos, which I'll be sharing for free once I return (possibly on gumroad). The sketchbook/travel log is a new venture for me, but we're thinking of doing a free digital version and then kickstarting a physical copy with lots of extra content.
I could use some help to be sure this trip goes smoothly and is as productive as possible (especially since my car decided to self destruct last week and I spent a huge chunk of Iceland funds to fix it). I've already covered a rental car and a good amount of the lodging, but if I'm able to afford it, I'd like to go to a few places that require you to hire a guide for safety (like these ice caves - can you IMAGINE the reference photos I'd be able to share?).
I'm making for 3 commissioned paintings inspired by the trip to Iceland (they will be painted and shipped once I'm back in April). These open-ended commissions are always the most enjoyable for me to create and I've produced some of my best work this way. Past open commissions include "Tender" (which got into Spectrum 22) and "Turn of the Tides". If giving me some loose guides, receiving a beautiful painting, and helping me spread inspiration to other artists sounds interesting, let's talk more details! Email me at email@example.com.
If you'd like to help but can't commission, I've made an etsy coupon for my shop (ICELAND16 will get you 15% off) and I have original paintings for sale here (If there's anything you've seen, but don't see on the original painting listing, don't be afraid to ask if it's available). And of course, you can share this! I can't wait to spread all the inspiration around when I return.
To follow our iceland explorations, follow me on instagram (@samguayart)!