The Artist Guides Behind Our Travel Tote Designs and Their Stories
Not only can our guide team tend to bike tune-ups with ease, classify wines in a single sip and turn traffic jams into a party (true story), many of them have other behind-the-scenes talents that deserve a moment in the spotlight.
B&R’s Brand Manager, Hannah Lind, gave our artist guides the canvas they deserve on the tote bags we give to travellers on every B&R trip.
“My vision behind this was to tell a story. We have such an amazing pool of artists within our B&R family, and I wanted to share that with our travellers. It’s a way to inspire conversation, and each traveller will receive one at random.” says Hannah.
Here’s the first look at their designs and the stories behind them.
B&R Guide for Greece and the Balkans
Sakis delves into the world of snakes and ladders, a game that was originally created in India around the 2ndC.
A subset of a larger body of work, this piece, titled Keen-brained & Patient, uses snakes to represent the vices in our lives, and ladders to represent the virtues.
You may notice more snakes than ladders. This is because Sakis believes that in life, you often find that the path of good is always more difficult to tread.
B&R Guide for Portugal
“I feel most of us are hustling through life and forget to simply stop, be and contemplate. It’s not about procrastinating or being idle. It’s about paying attention to our surroundings.”
“Inspiration and beauty exist all around us. They are in the food that we eat; in how we settle into our homes; in how we connect to other humans; in how we allow ourselves to feel a cool breeze touch our skin; or how the leaves dance, or the clouds change shapes in the sky.
“There is so much to see. And to be appreciated. And so I ask—are you giving yourself the time for that? Beauty is everywhere, and it matters. Slow down, be present and take it all in.”
Tatjana’s design was inspired by a picture she took when she went for her first ride up Col de Suzette in Provence behind the Dentelles de Montmirail—the jagged-edged mountains near the Mont Ventoux.
“I chose this image because it was one of the first climbs I fell completely fell in love with when I was first discovering Provence and cycling. It’s magnificent—with vines, olive trees, challenging climbs and epic switchback descents. It’s one of many gems in Provence, and one of those places where your heart wants to explode with joy and awe.”
For more of Tatjana’s designs, you can check out her Tumblr page here.
B&R Guide for France and Spain
Sebastian’s artwork draws on influences from his upbringing and artist father. “Having grown up on Lake Constance, water has always been important to me. Early on, I was influenced by the aquarelle paintings by my father, Stephan, that often used water as the main subject. But my artistic work as an illustrator took me to new shores and styles.”
“One thing that is ever-evolving in my creative pursuits is my travel journal. Some of my sketches and illustrations are done while I’m guiding or preparing for a B&R trip when my imagination meets with real travel and memories merge with dreams and stories.”
Rather than telling you the story behind his design, Sebastian would prefer that you interpret it for yourself. “This illustration, titled Pine or Palm, is intended to be enjoyed, discussed, questioned and requestioned.”
“Perhaps you portray it as a lush landscape somewhere on the beautiful Mediterranean coast. But there might be also a thin line of smoke rising up next to the pine tree that catches your attention. Maybe it’s from some local farmers that burned some cut down olive branches. Or two young hitchhikers who forgot to extinguish their fire the night before. The possibilities of stories and interpretations are endless.”
“Marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands are a sight to see. I have been to the islands many times with B&R (around 18 to be exact!) and started going there when it was still relatively quiet.”
“The main town, Puerto Ayora, was comprised of a few thousand people, no paved roads, and one white pick up truck. When walking down the main drag, the roads were gravelly lava, and the iguanas would dig out shallow nests in the loose dirt on the surface.”
“They would hang out on the rooftops, and you could see them nesting everywhere. It was amazing. Their very dark skin contrasted starkly with the blue of the sea and the sky. As the years passed, I have seen many changes there. The biggest may even be the fact that the roads are now paved, and there are hundreds of pick up trucks now.”
“The iguanas do not nest on the roads anymore. But you can still see them on the less populated islands, and sometimes even swim with them when you go snorkelling. It is incredible to see them diving down into the deep waters in search of algae growing on underwater rock formations.”