Flights and Hotel Rooms…an Artist’s Inspiration

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As an artist it’s good to step out of your comfort zone…

I have a good friend who’s always on the move due to the nature of his job. This entails countless flights across the country and endless nights checking in and out of hotels. He started saving his key cards and generously “donated” them to me with the challenge of creating art.  It WAS a challenge because as a mosaic artist I’m accustomed to using plates and tiles for my artwork.

I laid them all out on my table and started to notice a subliminal message.  This was the start of my “No-Tell Motel” piece.  It was part of the LA Chocolate & Art Show and it was fun to watch people come up and read my little story I created.  That night I ended up meeting another artist who really connected to my piece and he left with it that night.
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Here’s my friend and fellow Artist Kim Phillips…Shhhhhh!!!

So…my friend Justin shows up one day and dumps out his backpack with…

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Another challenge and I was again left to ponder what I could create with this mess of sticky tags.  I started cutting them up and organizing my new tesserae. There was a certain thing that caught my eye and made me laugh.


It conjured up memories of racing through the airport to catch a flight.  It made me think of something that’s happened to most travelers at least once.  The lost piece of luggage.  You know that feeling…you rush down to the baggage claim to retrieve your personal belongings.  You vie for the premium spot closest to the chute where the luggage slides down.  It’s been a long flight and all you want to do is get your bag and get on your way.  You’re waiting and the empty carousel is spinning.  You look around at the other passengers and size them up, try to figure out their story in your head.  You wait…now you’re thinking how fun it would be to ride around in the carousel.

More waiting…you hear something…the luggage is about to come down the slide! Here it comes, mostly black suitcases or navy…they all look alike. Some have colored ribbon tied on for quick identification. Some have stickers. I have a purple suitcase, why bother with that stuff, can’t miss it!



You watch as the lucky people whose bags have made an appearance haul them off and get to leave.  You wait…you see that one bag that goes around and around and around.  Where is the owner you wonder???  The place is emptying out and only a few people wait.  Then it happens. There’s no more luggage coming down…you look up the chute. You listen for any rustling, any sign of life…dead silence.

You are now the only person standing there watching orphan luggage go around and your bag is MIA. UGH!!!


So back to my art challenge…with all these high-tech luggage tags with bar codes you would think that luggage would never lose it’s owner.  But I can tell you from experience that it still happens!  I have titled my piece “Lost”. I had so much fun working with all of these lines and airport codes.

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A big THANK YOU Justin for taking the time to save all your traveling mementos for me!

Safe travels my friend 🙂





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