WorldSmith of the Month is a new feature, showcasing traveling artists and creative professionals around the world. I believe travel in itself can be a creative pursuit, but there are so many ways travel and art can (and do) intersect and fuel one another. Travel can bring you closer to creative endeavors, and living creatively can help you travel more. Read on to meet the newest addition to the WorldSmith community and learn how she balances art and travel.
From creative writer to professional artist’s model to costume-designing Wasteland Warrior, Faith Roswell is the picture of what unique, winding roads creative travelers take to fulfill their passions. “It’s strange to think that it was never an ambition of mine to travel,” she says. “I just wanted to make art, but over the past ten years, it is travel that has had the greatest influence on my art.”
Over a decade ago, Faith was a creative writing student with an alternative, video-game-inspired sense of style she believed no one shared, when she “accidentally” became a sought-after, globetrotting model. She was at InFest, the UK’s annual three-day homage to industrial music, huge boots, and neon clothing, when a talent scout approached her and in that surreal, TV-worthy way, asked if she had ever considered modeling.
“I did my first photo shoot the next day wearing my festival outfit, joined some portfolio websites and within a year I was modeling alt clothing, vintage fashion, and posing nude for artists and sculptors,” she says.
Modeling propelled Faith into the world of travel, and she found herself scheduling photo shoots and artist sessions in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia. She says, “I worked in studios, stately homes, on mountains, in the sea, and even posed with Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower.”
Sometimes her work took her to especially unusual scenes. “I once posed nude with enormous stone sculptures in the garden of a rather eccentric English millionaire, and modeled a collection of beautiful fairy tale gowns in a Victorian crypt,” she says.
Modeling isn’t always glamorous. Faith notes, “I had to do my own marketing, taxes, accounting, and advertising…but it is what introduced me to traveling.” Years later, she’s found she can’t stay still and though she only models occasionally, she’s found herself reborn as an adventure traveler, chronicling her intrepid exploits on her blog, Life Out There.
Now, she says, “I spend as much time out of the country as in, but with more abandoned castles, armored cars, and rock bars than high heeled shoes and photo studios.”
Blogging about her unique style was what connected her to the “post-apocalyptic creative powerhouse,” the Wasteland Warriors, and one of her biggest adventures to date kicked off.
Faith says, “I hadn’t realized there was this end-of-days, Mad Max fan, costume-making subculture, and had thought I was alone in that style. Finding the group gave me a tribe for the first time.”
To join, all you need is a movie-quality costume, though other skills are a bonus. Wasteland Warriors events, which include role-playing conventions, music videos, and photo shoots, often feature cage fighting, stage dancing, fire performing, and making armored cars. “We go where we’re summoned!” Faith says.
Since becoming a Wasteland Warrior, Faith has joined the group at Wasteland Weekend in the Mojave Desert and the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany, and she’ll be speaking about her experiences with Wasteland Warriors this June at Junktown in the Czech Republic.
“[My travel and art] work together almost seamlessly,” she says. “I couldn’t be an adventure writer without going on adventures, and if I didn’t travel, I couldn’t support the Wasteland Warriors the way that I do.”
In addition to her jaunt to Junktown, Faith has many upcoming summer travel plans, including adventures through Denmark and Germany. She’ll also return to the Mojave Desert in September, joking “As a pale, heat-hating Brit, I never expected to like the desert, but fell in love with it!”
“While I love my home [of three years] on a canal boat in England, I love the freedom and independence that comes with traveling,” she says.
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