Dear Bird Lovers meet The Jaunt, The Jaunt, meet The Bird in Space.
I know you two will love each other as your passion for art and travel is tattooed in the most profound and nurturing part of your soul. The Jaunt is a Netherlands-based project that was launched in 2013 by Jeroen Smeets. It provides incredible opportunities to artists from all over the world to travel to a place they’ve never been, to shake off what they’ve known to be ‘safe’, to let that place get under your skin, and use that inspiration to create a hand made, limited edition screen print. But beyond the moment and the actual trip, The Jaunt aims to stimulate a creative process within the artist.
The screen prints range in price between 80 – 200€, they’re made in editions of 50 and can be purchased online.
I see you salivating, artists. It’s genius, we know.
Give me Jeroen in a nutshell.
My name is Jeroen Smeets, I’m from the Netherlands originally although living in Copenhagen, Denmark nowadays. My parents obviously never thought I would leave the Netherlands, and chose to give me the most unpronounceable name ever. It’s something only Dutch people know how to pronounce. Oh well. I used to make some art myself, but figured out quickly that my friends around me were much better at it. And ever since I’ve been more of the behind-the-scenes-guy who’s organizing projects, exhibitions and events.
In your words, what is The Jaunt and what do you hope to accomplish with it besides granting artists their wish to travel?
What I hope to accomplish is that the experience that the artists have becomes a catalyst for them. I hope they find inspiration during their trip and thereby learn something new in, or about, their own creative process. In that sense, The Jaunt is not so much about traveling, but about opening up and stepping outside of your own comfort zone. The traveling is just a tool to get to that place.
Can you talk a little about the history & business side of The Jaunt?
We’ve been running for four years now, and have had a total of 36 trips up until now. We do 10 trips per year, and 2 of these trips are Jaunt Forma trips for which we send artists on trips to work on a type of edition that is not a screen print but rather, for example, wood sculptures or original watercolor paintings. The first trip we launched in April 2013 and I only communicated this to family and friends. To my surprise it was sold out within a few days, and we’ve been running ever since. We’ve always worked with pre-orders as our funding. There are no funds, grants or other ways of financing. The entire project is funded by people who order the prints before the take place and put their trust in our project and of course our artists.
Is there a criteria that artists must meet in order to be invited?
I like to think that all the artist that we work with share the same creative energy. But there is no strict criteria that I follow while curating the artists, rather it is a combination of factors that make an artist a good match with our project. I hope that someone will have a look at our roster of artists and will agree that there is a red thread throughout them all.
A memorable anecdotes from one of The Jaunt’s trips?
Every trip has a great story, but the one trip that is extra special to me is the trip with David Shillinglaw. This is actually the only trip that I joined. I never join any of the trips, because I feel I would just be in the way. For David’s trip I had invited him to come to my family’s summer house in Denmark which is a beautiful secluded spot on the coastline. It was very special to be a part and a witness of his creative process.
Favorite place you’ve travelled to: A spontaneous road trip from Oslo to Stavanger in Norway.
All time favorite book: Changes almost with every other book I read.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?: Hanging out and having fun with my kids
What is your most treasured possession?: Memories of great experiences
What are you excited about?: The art projects I work on.
What is travel to you?: Looking around and being open to new ideas.
What’s your current state of mind?: Excited about projects to come.
Travel essentials: Aside from a passport nothing is essential to travel. Just go!
Because travel changes lives & art prolongs it.
Share The Bird, spread the love.
All images courtesy of Jeroen Smeets, The Jaunt.