Vacations are too often used as a way to “escape” our day-to-day life. With VAWAA (Vacation With An Artist) you bring back not just memories and trinkets, but new skills and passions that actually enrich it. Our intimate, multi-day studio sessions with master artists around the world let you become a student of their culture in every way. It’s more than just traveling--it’s learning by experience.
1. VAWAA (pronounced Vah-wah) stands for Vacation With An Artist. In a nutshell, it’s your own personal studio session, like a mini-apprenticeship, with master artists and craftspeople from all over the world.
It’s immersive and creative, and gives you a glimpse into the life of an artist and how they work: four days learning calligraphy with a grandmaster in Kyoto; painting a mural with the top street artist in Buenos Aires; learning natural textile dyeing from a sustainable fashion designer in Vietnam; or even making your own bicycle with India’s first bamboo bicycle-maker.
2. We thoughtfully curate masters of their trade who shape and carry culture forward. Many VAWAA Artists are award-winning and globally recognized, but are also eager to teach and share what they know and love.
Manoocher brings over 40 years of experience to his Photojournalism VAWAA in Italy. He is a globally renowned photographer, having been featured in everything from Newsweek to National Geographic, and has documented sociopolitical conflicts, and environmental issues around the globe.
3. VAWAAs are 3-7 day long studio sessions designed to really teach you the entire process of an art form, to truly immerse yourself in the experience. Slow down. Learn something new, the right way.
Exclusive access to the master artist for 3-10 days allows you to connect with them in a more meaningful way and better take in the richness of their knowledge. Oftentimes they’ll invite you to lunch, take you to places you would not have found otherwise, and introduce you to their community.
4. Each VAWAA is tailored to what you’re ready for. There is no required level experience, only a willingness to learn. Wonderful for beginners, incredible for experts.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll take it all in from scratch; if you’re experienced, you’ll further hone your skills. Each artist will work directly with you to understand the skills and goals that you bring. Each vacation is designed to nurture your artististic, no matter your age, job title, or prior experience. As Picasso famously said “All children are born artists”
5. Studio sessions are about 4 hours a day, so you still have plenty of time to explore the area on your own !
From Majorca to Hanoi to Goa, we’ll give you tips on things to explore and ways to get around the city in your down time.
6. VAWAA range from $300-$3000 – with artist fees, studio access, tools, materials, and a personal VAWAA experience coordinator to guide you through travel planning – all included.
Unless specified, airfare, travel insurance, accommodation, and food are not included.
7. Some VAWAAs include the option to add accommodation, meals, and local transportation with the artist.
During your Writing VAWAA in Vietnam, you can stay with Duc in the home he designed himself.
Some artists offer airport transfers, accommodation at their house, meals for an additional fee. You can add them at the time of booking or choose from the local recommendations provided by your personal experience coordinator.
8. Bring friends! VAWAAs allow up to 4 guests for each studio session so as to respect the master’s space and preserve the intimate nature of the learning experience.
Many families, couples, and friends have gone on a VAWAA together. We highly recommend it as a change of pace for traveling. Children are welcome too. 9 years or older recommended, although on occasion, 5-year-olds have participated as well!
9. Past VAWAA guests said they found this to be the safest way to travel.
Each VAWAA Artist is like your local friend, a respected professional and vetted by our team. Hear from past guests: Sarika on why artist vacations are great for solo travel, Julia chasing that “explorer feeling” in Goa, Karolien’s solo Slovenian journey.
10. Take part of your VAWAA home!
You don’t just return home with memories, your project comes with you! Whatever craft or artwork you finish while you’re on your VAWAA is yours to take home and use however you choose.
11. VAWAA is just the spark! Some guests have collaborated on large scale projects with their teachers long after their studio session has ended.
Juliet, an eco-fashion designer from France, learned how to make ceramic doll heads during her Contemporary Ceramics VAWAA in Slovenia. She and master ceramist Katja went on to collaborate for an exhibition in Paris!
12. Our mission is to preserve rich craft traditions and processes by helping artists sustainably pass down their knowledge to future generations.
And in the process, inspire everyone to make more, consume less.
Brass Etching in Morocco. Courtesy of Hamza El Faziki.
Already Chose Your VAWAA?
Okay, great let’s book! Once you browse and select an artist , select an available date listed on their page and send a booking request. We list availability 6-8 months in advance. If you’re looking to travel outside those times- no problem. Send us a booking request with your dates and we’ll do our best to make it work. If you're not ready to book quite yet, you can save your preferred VAWAA to receive periodic updates on their availability.
Once you book, you get a direct line to us for everything you need help with. We assist with travel planning, accommodation, possible project ideas, and even local things to do in your off-time.
Let’s get started! Browse all VAWAAs here.
If you don't find the city/artist of your choice, we have a diverse network of 600+ artists worldwide. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see what we can find together.
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