My Favorite Kind of Souvenir: Local Art

I am the WORST at collecting souvenirs on vacation. I hate cheap touristy figurines, love vintage pieces that are too big for my suitcase, or spend too much time eating in restaurants to shop for reminders of the trip. I always come home empty handed. Well, I take that back, following a recent trip, I did come back with electrical tape that I bought at a gas station to tape up the hole in my shoe. Horrah!

But, I have a solution for bad travel shoppers: Artwork created by locals in the vacation destinations. The first thought may be to buy artwork OF the vacation destination like paintings of sweeping vistas or photographs of the city. However, by purchasing artwork made by people FROM the region, you can find pieces that speak to you more than the scenery of your locale - even though I'm a sucker for landscapes!

The Gold Hive art collection by New Zealand and Australian Artists.jpg

While not all artists exhibit in shops and since I may not even stumble into galleries, I like to look for artwork after-the-fact on the world wide web. I've rounded up pieces created by Australian and New Zealand artists following my recent vacation to these two fine lands.

Each of the below images is artwork by an individual artist. Click through to get the piece in your home, learn more about them, and see the rest of their collections.

We've already been to Phoenix and Boston since NZ and Aus, then we have Chicago, Pittsburg, Ojai, and several more trips coming up this year. So, should I make this a regular blog series by featuring artists from the locations I go to?

Valentine's Day Art That Isn't Cheesy

Ross and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day, but if we did, I'd probably use it as a reason to buy more artwork. The new piece would be a gift for him, but I'd get to enjoy admiring it on the walls. A win-win! I've rounded up my favorite artworks that aren't super mushy, overly romantic, nor too cutesy. Any would be great to gift or to decorate with during the love holiday - or even throughout the rest of the year.

valentines day art that isn't cheesy.jpg

Click the thumbnails below to shop 'em!

If you want to go for a customized sweet and sentimental gift, here are a few faves. There's Framebridges' Heartstagram which mattes a photo of a loved one in the shape of a heart (get $100 off four of them with code HEARTYOU). They will also frame notes, cards, shirts, buttons, photo strips - you name it! Minted has some custom gift options like maps of a meaningful city and graphic ways to display a special date. One of my favorites is a print of what the sky looked like on an important day.