A Creative Vacation to Lisbon PortugalKristin Crane
Running your own creative business can be incredibly fulfilling and rewarding, and the life of an entrepreneur is never boring. But a creative business is not all drawing and drooling over color swatches. It’s also sending out checks, figuring out why your website isn’t updating and making sure there is toilet paper in the bathroom. It can be a challenge to switch on your creativity after an afternoon of boring bookkeeping. To keep her designs fresh and exciting, Design Pool founder Kristen Dettoni takes a solo trip once a year to power off and replenish her creative juices.
Going on a solo trip was not something in Kristen’s comfort zone, yet she knew it was something she felt compelled to do. When she discovered the creative trips offered by ACE Camp, she knew this was the format that would work for her. ACE Camp explains that each of their trips “varies and are created to uncover, develop and stretch your creative and cultural imaginations. You will learn and participate in hands-on learning enriched by lectures, demonstrations and practical experience and explore a destination in a unique way.”
Kristen’s first trip was to Lisbon, Portugal in 2017 for a block printing class led by South African artist Heather Moore, or Skinny Laminx. Lisbon is a destination that is an absolute feast for the eyes. If, like Kristen, you love pattern design, you will not know where to look first. Tiles, known as azulejos, are everywhere. They decorate storefronts, homes, museums, in fact, there’s a whole museum dedicated to azulejos! There is even a subway tour that takes you to various subway stops to look at contemporary artists using tiles to create bold public art.
On this trip, Kristen was among a small group that explored Lisbon, ate delicious Portuguese food, and learned about the history of azulejos. Inspired, they channeled that inspiration into fabrics using blockprinting techniques.
These designs that Kristen created were only just the beginning. Back in her studio in New Hampshire, Kristen kept exploring with block printing and designed a contemporary collection inspired by the tile work of Portugal for Let’s Gel anti fatigue floor mats as well as for Design Pool’s licensable library to be used by anyone!
Getting out of your comfort zone can be scary, as scary as running your own business! Are you a business owner? What do you do to get those creative juices flowing again?