What is this quest
Welcome to the National Park Quest, a journey of Andres, an artist who is inspired by an idea that protects our natural world. On April 16th, 2016 I left Ohio with no strings attached and headed out with just my Outback and tools to tour this great country via the 61 natural National Parks.
After completing the first half of this quest with my partner Karla Sanders, I am now finishing the second half on my own, tent camping most of the way and showcasing the parks through creative storytelling.
Along this journey I am gathering ideas to create the Centennial Poster Series, a collection of 61 historic styled posters, one designed to honor each park as I visit them.
Why do this
We strongly believe in the mission of the park service, inspired by an idea that protects our natural heritage. Artists played a key role in the establishment of the park service by capturing the essence of our land, using imagery and words to inspire protection efforts. Through these efforts, we have public places where ordinary folk can find meaning in forests and valleys, where researchers can study ecosystems and impact conservation efforts, and where new stewards are born.
Far from idealistic, artists are influencers who can use their creative voices to tell meaningful stories about our shared environment.
It’s also a challenge to move beyond the comfort zone and go on a quest of discovery.
This quest is a way to share stories of the parks and our connection to the natural world, meet folks who share similar interests, and develop my work.
Who is behind the quest
My quest started four years ago, I decided I did not want to wear a suit or sit inside a cubicle anymore, so I left my 8 to 5 job in Advertising and Web Design and traveled far away to the city of the Renaissance to master my skills as a designer and creative.
Today I feel really privileged to design the art I love; that is the art of maps, the art of the wild places of America. The obsession with the outdoors and National Parks started while I was still a kid watching Yellowstone’s mighty Bison on TV, dreaming of visiting such a surreal place one day.
It seems that the time has finally come for me to move to the next chapter of my quest, one of going back to the mountains and designing as a steward of nature.
I am living nomadically…showcasing parks through a creative lens.
I am a girl from the Pacific Northwest. I grew up in Olympic National Park, I love going out and getting lost in the HoH forest, and hiking the Olympic Mountains, dreaming on Kalaloch Beach. I used to spent most of my days in jobs, wishing for the time to work on the things I really care about like capturing the beauty of the Northwest through my art. Now, after jumping into this grand adventure with Andres, I feel so happy to have the time to invest in the things that I truly care about. I can’t wait to see where this journey is going to take me next, nothing is holding me back anymore and no excuses to say ‘if only I had the time’.
The most exciting thing about this nomadic life is that I get to wake up under a different sky every morning and celebrate with my Art all the natural treasures that this great nation has. From Alaska to Florida, from Maine to Hawaii, from Michigan to Texas there is a magnificent treasure to be appreciated and protected which lies in the heart of the National Parks.
For the first year of the national park quest, I joined Andres through half of the parks and discovered insights I could never have imagined. In March 2017, I decided to edit my journey and begin to listen to an artist’s voice that grew from experiencing 29 national parks in my 29th year of life.
In fact, the first time I wrote about this was after Yellowstone in June, 2016.
Now I continue to cheer Andres on this incredible quest while developing new works and focusing on a few career opportunities that seemed too important to ignore. My personal quest to make art inspired by our natural world has only begun, and I see national parks as invaluable places to learn important lessons about ourselves and the way we live with our environment.
Meet Oscar the Outback
I am doing this quest with a Subaru Outback, camping most nights between National Parks and National Forest land.
I plan on spending a week on average in each park, organizing the time between experiencing the parks, meeting park enthusiasts, and creating our own work.
How will I create new art? I have learned how to design on the go using our mobile equipment and working with a U.S.-based partner who prints and ships our work, so we can focus on creation and interacting with our audience.
Your thoughts, questions and partnership opportunities are welcome. For general inquiries, get in touch at hello(at)hikeanddraw.com comment on a post. Tell me I am crazy or you love it – I can’t wait to hear from you!
This blog is fully written and edited by Andres Quintero and Karla Sanders.
This blog contains intellectual property owned by Andres Quintero and Karla Sanders of the studio Hike & Draw, LLC. All content including photography, writing, illustrations, art, maps, banners, and graphical elements contained within this blog are property of Andres Quintero and Karla Sanders, or property of the individual specified and credited.
The descriptions, views and opinions expressed in this blog are 100% those Andres Quintero and Karla Sanders, unless otherwise stated.
Any claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.