In old ages, before photos, radio or electricity people gathered in a warm place when ancient vagabonds returned from their journeys to listen to their stories.
Stories about never seen lands, wars, mystic animals, new solutions, surprising weather conditions, adventures and knowledge that these travellers have learnt on their trips. The reason of the journeys might have been similar to the ones we have today: seeking for new opportunities, exploring untouched places, learning about the world, bringing messages to far away places, looking for new home, fulfilling an adventurous heart wishes, searching for remedies, gods, survival tools, or hoping to find connections to other humans.
In these program series we will invite travellers who are happy to share their meaningful stories, so we can learn and get to know about places and happenings that we have never known before. We will listen and ask questions, talk and discuss about all the stories that are ready to be shared.
Our aspiration is to challenge ourselves and learn from each others without the sparks of instagram photos and filters. Without the „branding” of a nomad influancer. Lets try to do the old-fashioned way of communication: storytelling.
Our first gathering will be on
12th November, 2024
Camino Art House
After the storytelling we invite you for a simple vegan dinner and some drinks
Emily and Andrii, two of Camion’s volunteers, decided to make a children’s book together. It took them only a few month from the first idea in december ’22 until the book was published on 22nd of May, 2023. Camino is a great place to find new ideas, and to act on them, either by yourself, or with a collaboration with someone else. I got very interested on how this book creation happened, so I asked a few questions of my ex volunteers. I am hoping there will be many similar, creative and beautiful stories in the future.
The Butterfly Dance follows the fun and surprising journey of a young child and a butterfly as they discover true beauty, even in the ordinary.
I first questioned Emily about this arty experience.
How did you come up with the idea of the butterfly dance book?
It all started last summer when I was walking to my local lake. It’s a long, scenic walk so I write poems in my head. I can’t say exactly what I saw without giving the story away but a very simple sweet moment happened and it inspired a poem. That poem then sat in my notes, forgotten, until I met Andrii at Camino.
Did Camino inspire you in any way? How did it help in the process of creation to be in Camino?
During my time at Camino, I wrote 50+ poems and filled two notebooks with thoughts- the most I have ever written at one time. I had never shared my writing before, nor really believed that it would be enjoyed by people other than me. With time, and great people around me, I started sharing my poems. I soon mentioned a possible book and Andrii said he could illustrate it. The book would still be forgotten in the notes app of my phone if I hadn’t met the incredibly kind, creative people in Camino.
What is your experience, is it easy or difficult to work in camino, in the term of making art?
Like I said, I didn’t stop writing during my time there. I would sit and watch people talk over dinner and write, I’d watch Andrii and Hannah draw and write, I’d get lost on a sad day in nature and write. Everything and everyone inspired me, the environment allowed it to flow effortlessly.
Is this book a starting point? Are you planning to write/publish more books? Will you stay with children’s stories?
I’d love to write more children’s books. I think I want to write as many stories as possible, I’m sure some will be good and some not so much, and then choose 1 to make the next book. I’ll also keep writing poetry but I think I will return to keeping those private.
What is your favorite thing about this book? If you think of the whole process, starting from the first idea until the publishing, which part warms your heart the best?
I think the sense of accomplishment from holding a finished copy is the best part. I was part of creating something beautiful and it feels incredible to have that in my hands.
How was it to work in collaboration with Andrii? Camino is a great mixture of different artists, and one of the ideas of the art house is to find partners in art making, or in other creative works. Do you think Camino fulfills this idea?
I think the book would have never been created without Camino. Camino mixes music, art, poetry and nature – it also brought together incredible people to share art with.
What is the thing that you like the best about Andrii’s work? What do you think about how his drawings and your stories fit together? Did he deliver something that you planned or did you let him create freely, and it was a perfect match?
I think Andrii’s art is by far the best thing about this book. I adore every single page, every thought and idea that I had was made even better by him. I’d say for the most part, he created freely – we wanted his style in the book. We discussed word placement and logistical things together but the art all comes from him. He brought the story to life and made it breathe.
What is the message of the book?
The message of the book is that everything has beauty, even hidden in ordinary things. There’s a little bit of magic everywhere, even if you have to look a little deeper in that thing or yourself to find it.
Andrii arrived to Camino a few weeks before Emily, and they quickly had a strong bond. Andrii is a great artist, spent many hours in different spots of Camino in silence, and just draw on a piece of paper he found or on his laptop.
How did you come up with the idea to cooperate in making the Butterfly Dance book?
Well, it was a spontaneous idea, as far as I remember. Emily saw me painting and she asked me if I wanted to make a book together. She already had the poem written. After she read it to me, without any hesitations, I said yes.
Did you illustrate others books already or is it your first book?
I was working as a book illustrator for about two years and illustrated a number of books as well as other projects.
What was your experience in working in Camino? Was it difficult or inspiring?
I think it was a perfect place for it because it has this special creative atmosphere and incredible nature. The place itself is a pure inspiration.
This is the first time when two volunteers collaborate and make an art project come true. How do you feel about that? do you think Camino is a good place for collaboration? or for actually making a dream come true?
Camino is full of artists and creative people and it’s just a matter of time when the next art will happen. People here collaborate on a daily basis doing yoga, meditation, art, all sorts of things. And it all happens naturally. I feel really lucky to be there and actually to have a chance to participate as a volunteer.
Did you need to face professional challenges? What were they and how did you deal with them?
The main challenge was to decide how to break the text in to pieces and create and illustrations for each of them. Honestly, it was more or less smooth process with just a few adjustments we arrived with solution that worked for us. The challenges kind of solved themselves and the answer came with the time. we took it slow and the book was ready in a few months from an idea to the finished project.
How was the working flow with Emily? The Butterfly Dance book was her original idea, how did it feel to when she wanted to include you into this project? How did your working process develop?
The project developed very smoothly without any problems really. Mainly because it’s our book and a collaboration 50/50. Therefore i felt it was more like making a personal project rather then work.
what do you think of your ready art pieces in the book? Are you satisfied with your work? What is your next step? Are you going to make more books together?
It’s very difficult for me to feel satisfied with my art, but this book specifically is an exception. I had full creative freedom to do illustrations in any style as I wanted, as long as it communicated the idea. Emily fully trusted my personal taste and I hope the result is speaking for itself. So far we don’t have any plans to make the next one, but we received many positive comments and reviews which can be a good motivation to create more books in the future.
The Butterfly Dance book is available on Amazon or contact @thebutterflydancebook on Instagram directly for a cheaper price.
Emily Rose is also known as Emily O’Reilly. she is a 25 year old poet, teacher and now author. She was born just outside of London and started writing as a child. She wrote short stories and attempted novels throughout her childhood until she fell in love with poetry as a teenager. For as long as she can remember, she have experienced life through the lense of poetry; it has become a way of thinking as much as a hobby.
At Camino, she wrote something new to her – a children’s book. Together, with Andrii, they created ‘The Butterfly Dance’. Although her poetry will return to the privacy of her notebooks, she wants to keep writing and sharing stories for children. It’s an exciting and surprising direction that would have never been possible without the incredible, artistic environment of Camino or the people there.
Andriy Klumchyk is a self-studied illustrator and artist, born in 1995, Ukraine. From 2018 he was working as a freelancer for international clients. Had worked on various projects including character design, book illustrations, song covers, picture film, nft, game design. In 2022 had started to work on personal art, making murals, and had an exhibition in Camino Art House. In 2023 made a book with E. Rose called Butterfly Dance, which is mostly a charity project made to support children’s of war in Ukraine and around the world.
“It felt like they were so witty, smart and intelligent, at the same time”…
Interview with Václav Wortner, improv performer and teacher, and long-term guest of Camino Art House
An interview with Václav Wortner, improv performer and teacher, and long-term guest of Camino Art House
Václav called me from Tasarte as he was looking for a place to work on his book. When I continued asking him questions concerning his background, I quickly discovered that he was an improvisation teacher, which made me think to myself, “what if we do an improv training/camp/workshop in the hostel”… From this phone call, an amazing program as well as a strong friendship evolved…and the book is progressing well too.
How do you feel about Camino?
Wow, I feel really good, the place is very suitable for what I am looking for. It is a place where I can focus on writing my book, and at the same time not being alone, having the possibility to meet others too. There is sufficient space for me, enough freedom. Also, the distance to Las Palmas is perfect, far, but not too far.
What was your journey to find theatrical improvisation?
It was a nice, long journey. I studied psychology, I was very interested in group dynamics, group therapy, and group leadership. I never thought of theatre back then. However, later at the university, I accidentally saw an improv show. I was actually just passing by, and I didn’t even come to this event, just stopped to have a look. All in all, I was very impressed. I thought, this is a way where you can work on so many personal skills. The actors were able to react fast, to sing, move and dance, it felt like they were so witty, smart and intelligent, all at the same time. They were not only brilliant in the way how their brains were working but also their bodies. So, I had a strong feeling that I had to do this! As a result I started training. For some years I was learning improv in Brno, but I felt I needed more, so I started to attend international improv festivals and shows abroad in France and Germany. After these experiences, I understood that if I wanted to go even deeper, I had to study theatre.
I thought I cannot be a good improv actor if I am not an actor. I was already 29 at that moment, a bit old for starting an acting carrier or studying drama school, but I felt I had to do this in this life, I could not wait for my next life when I would be younger. I really had to do it right away. So, I discovered that I could enter a theatre school by doing a PHD at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. My dream came true: I studied acting for 6 years, finishing last September. Following my graduation, I went on performing in Prague and abroad. With my classmates we created a theatre company; we performed in Tallinn. I went to Chicago, the birthplace of modern improv that can be traced back to the 60s’.
Does language matter when improvising?
So far I have performed these shows in Czech, English and, Spanish. And I must say that not speaking the same language on stage does make a difference, because there’s a higher chance of misunderstanding. However, this makes it interesting, because if we are good improvisers, these small mistakes and errors can be great gifts that we can include into the story. It can be a blessing in disguise if something like this happens. In France, I also lead a workshop where the participants didn’t speak French as they were immigrants from Africa and from Spain. We improvised the whole weekend without words. We even had a show, and people loved it! We executed proper scenes, and it was always clear what was happening. With that said, I consider improv a universal language just like music. We don’t need to speak the same language and we still understand music, right? I think improv has the same potential.
How can improv be useful in real life? If someone is not doing it for living, can it be still useful to try, or learn even for longer period?
Yes, of course! Beside the joy that it gives, it is amazing for team building, for example. I would not use the word “therapy”, but it is a perfect tool for personal development. Many people start to practice improv when they feel weak or not that skilled in social situations. By improvisation they can learn to make mistakes, accept these failures and just go on. Ultimately, they learn not to get scared in any kind of situation. When you are able to perform on stage in an unknown situation, you will for sure handle such situations off stage, when everything is more relaxed and nobody is watching you.
Improv can be also useful for learning co-operation, and enhancing creativity. The spirit of co-operation on stage really works elsewhere too, not just when creating a story, for example, for innovation of new products and/or strategies. I also enjoy this application of improv, outside of the world of theatre.
How was your first workshop at Camino?
It was a nice combination of two topics: writing and improvisation. People were learning improvisation, but also learning how to write and edit a short story. Participants were mostly expats living in Las Palmas. And with these people, after the worskhop, we formed an improv group, so now we have regular weekly trainings in the city. In the next workshop I want to focus on how to build a scene, how to build up your character, and how not to get lost in the scene. We will make sure that the scene has a beginning and an ending too. It might sound simple, but when you are starting with improv you are happy when you come up with anything, and it is great because you have created something from scratch, but after a while, as your teacher, I want you to come up with a more complex story to create real scenes with an interesting twist, and maybe a conclusion at the end. This takes time and requires practice.
What is your plan for now? How long are you planning to stay in Gran Canaria?
At the moment, I am planning to stay until the end of April – or more, perhaps. If I finish my book, it would be beautiful, if not, it doesn’t matter, I don’t have a deadline. I like finishing things though, and focusing on projects until the end, so I will just go on working on it. I have sent the first 30 pages to my editor. The book is an autobiography, dealing with the last 8 years of my life, and now I am entering into a more challenging part of the story. As I am getting closer to the present moment, I am becoming more attached emotionally and it is more difficult to see it from a distance. I am now struggling a bit. The text is still raw and I have to sort it, cut it, and organize it, but this is what I chose to do here, so I am happy to work on it.
My life back in Prague still exists, I still have my theatre company, my students, so when we get permission to go on working, we can start right away. I am actually very lucky there is a lockdown now in my country, because I have the chance to stay away from my home for a longer period. Earlier I could not travel for long, maybe for a weekend or a week, but I always had to return home to perform in the theatre. I am really enjoying this moment, and it feels good to spend this time here, on the island.
Daniela Isabela Nusitz (aka Kornera), a half Hungarian and half Gran Canarian artist is one of the oldest friends of Camino Art Hostel. She knows our story from the beginning and had been visited events for many years. We were happy to invite her to exhibit her psychedelic art doodles on the “Find love” exhibition in November, 2018. We asked her about creating art, and about the arty scene of Gran Canaria.
Camino: When did you start to create? What do you create? What is the form of your art?
Daniela: I started to draw fantasy worlds and things that were far from reality already in the early years of elementary school. I like to use many different techniques, colour pencils, ink, black pens, acrylic paint. And often I use many of them at once, combined.
Camino: What is the process of your psychedelic doodling? Do you have an idea before you start? Or it just goes with the flow and the spontaneous imagination?
Daniela: Generally, when I am not doing an ordered job I just let spontaneous thoughts and inspirations find me, which might arrive while travelling on the bus, or sitting on a boring mathematics class so I just start to draw. Or I try to create the forms from an interesting dream. These days I make more art inspired by anatomic or natural shapes and forms, and I add my fantasy world while drawing. Usually, I don’t plan, I just follow my inspiration and the flow of creating.
Camino: How can you fit art making in your daily life?
Daniela: Sometimes it happens that I got so occupied with the daily job that I can’t even touch the brushes for half a year. I wish I had time all the time to make art, I could have so many art pieces! But still, I have a sketchbook with me all the time, so when I have a moment, or I have finished with my daily tasks I can draw any time even at my work, or on the bus. I used to work in a tattoo salon when I had much more time for art, and I could spend more time with graphic design and drawing.
Camino: What do you think about the art scene, art making, arty inspiration on Gran Canaria? What is your experience? How do you see the art scene on the island?
Daniela: I live in the south, a little bit isolated from cultural happenings. Most of the time I have to work. Here in the south, there is not really an audience for art, especially not for psychedelic art. It seems that they are more realistic and are more interested in traditional local art.
Camino: You know Camino Art Hostel for a longer time, how do you feel about this place?
Daniela: I know the hostel from the beginning when it was still located in Hoya de Pineda. There are several programs and cultural events in the hostel time to time, and if I have time, I love to participate, I especially like live concerts and exhibitions. I know Bea and her son Benji for a longer time, so I really like to visit the hostel, and there is always a chance to get to know new people and artists.
To see Daniela’s artwork please visit her facebook page: Kornera