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Art and Music

  • USA Creative Culture – Stagnant, Traditional, or Niched?

    American Creative Culture — I am sitting in a theater in Flagstaff, Arizona. I am watching a Grateful Dead cover band playing Grateful Dead cover songs. (Entrance was free — and, well, free is free.) But what is interesting is not the band, nor the music, but the fact that the crowd spans three generations: [...]

  • Vagabond Journey Art by Justin Catania

    Vagabond Journey Art by Justin Catania: I am pleased to announce that the Brooklyn based woodblock print artist, Justin Catania, will be doing illustrations for Vagabond Journey.com.

  • Bedouin Tattoos in Jordan

    Tattooing has long been a custom for both Bedouin men and women. Today, the old style can still be seen over the hands and faces of older men and women, and it is very common for young men to still get tattooed with modern designs on their upper and lower arms. The tradition of hand [...]

  • Carving into the Ancient: Woodcarvers in India

    JAIPUR, India- I was picked up in the morning at the front gate of the Rajasthan Hotel by the master wood carver, Umesh Singh, and we rode off on his motorcycle through the busy streets of Jaipur. As we criss-crossed lanes of exhaust spewing traffic, dodged holy cows, honked at broken down beggars, and plowed [...]

  • Eskisehir Meerschaum Pipe Story

    Eskisehir Meerschaum Pipe Story I came to Eskisehir with one intent: to write a story about Meerschaum pipe production. I am pleased to report that through a course of fortunate happenstance, I have completed the research phase of this objective. Meerschaum, called luletasi, aktas, or patal in Turkish, is a white sedimentary stone that has [...]

  • Graffiti In Portugal: The Other Side Of The Wall

    “I write graffiti because my head and my heart demands me to write. Because I wake up and I go to bed with graffiti in my mind. Because it’s the only thing that makes me forget my problems and my sadness completely. Because it makes me happy.” -Mister Dheo, Portuguese Graffiti Writer. LISBON, Portugal- Portugal: [...]

  • Nazis, Communism, and Wine in Moravia

    HODONIN, Czech Republic- “Wine is made by god. The wine maker can only damage it,” spoke the old wine maker Vlasomir Gloss,  as he sipped reverentially from his glass of wine. He then paused for a second as his words took effect upon his audience, and then added with a coy smile, “Most wine makers damage [...]

  • In Search of a Tattoo in the New Japan

    Tattoo in the New Japan By: Wade P. Shepard After hearing that Tsukasa was dying, I went back to his studio to find out how everything stood. It was true: the master was in no condition to tattoo. The apprentice seemed to coldly shrugged this news off though, as if it was to be expected. [...]

  • A Dying Art – Traditional Japanese Tattoo

    KYOTO, Japan- It was the apex of spring in Japan: the cherry blossoms were in full bloom and the fierce winter winds had died down to a gentle, welcoming hum. I was on a bus with an acquaintance headed to Kitaoji Dori, a fashionable district in downtown Kyoto. There, I would be formally introduced to [...]

  • Woodblock Print Artist Justin Catania

    When I walked into Chaya’s Brooklyn apartment for the first time I ran smack into a 10 foot tall face of an old man with a long beard staring me down. The enormous portrait was carved out of wood and was gazing at me with eyes as large as my cranium. All of the details [...]