Exploring illustration during adventures

The messy, expressive movement of transferring ideas from the brain, through the body and down to the hand, mediated by a certain time and a certain place, has captivated philosophers, wanderers and neuroscientists alike for centuries. The action of the hand and of the tools action in the hand; the pen, pencil and other drawing tools, some say, really is a world forming action. It delivers a thoughtful, reflective experience and a visual representation of the world that words simply cannot describe.

At our illustration workshops, we encourage participants to embrace the concept of the “hand as thinker.” We urge them to interpret their daily adventures and surroundings through patterns, forms, textures, and colours. It’s intriguing to witness the diverse approaches people take in visually reflecting their experiences. Some may choose to illustrate a scene, capturing the tents and trees in the background, while others might focus on the intricate veins of a leaf. Some enjoy creating illustrative maps of their hiking routes from earlier in the day, or capturing the way the sunlight made the native grasses dance in the breeze.

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Tristan, a professional illustrator with 25 years of experience designing brands, graphics, artworks, and maps, guides participants through various options to represent their ideas. Techniques such as perspective and composition are explored, and a wide range of mediums, including pastels, pens, pencils, and specialty markers, are available to best express their creative concepts. The choice of paper as a canvas adds another element of enjoyment to our workshops. And yes, the brand, graphics and illustrations of Heart & Lava are Tristan’s handiwork.

Our Heart & Lava illustration workshops are truly special. Participants often express how the combination of physical movement during adventure activities, pilates, or yoga, followed by the immersion in illustration workshops at basecamp, evokes positive emotions. They find that it allows their minds to explore and integrate their experiences of place in profound and holistic ways.