You might say that the artists of Anderson Design Group are perpetually inspired by wanderlust. If there's a travel bug, we've certainly been bitten by it! We love creating artwork here at our Nashville art studio, but we're always looking forward to our next big road trip across America.
Since we do quite a bit of of traveling each year to visit the American National Parks (as well as loads of other National Monuments and other natural attractions along the way), we end up traveling through our fair share of American cities. So, back in 2010, our team of artists began creating artwork of all our favorite American cities, documenting and displaying in vintage art the highlights of each city and how these urban regions have inspired us.
And so the Illustrated American Travel Collection was born. And believe it or not, the collection is now our most extensive vintage poster art collection of them all! With over 370 retro designs and classic posters, we've added about one illustration per week to this collection for the last ten years. And we continue to add more handcrafted artwork as inspiration strikes!
I think it goes without saying that the beauty of America, both urban and natural, has had a profound effect on us.
A Look Back - How American Travel Came to Be
We learned a long time ago that something about physically traveling across the States gave us some of the most incredible inspiration for our artwork. In fact, much of our classic artwork takes its inspiration from vintage travel art, the travel posters and promotions that hung in shop windows and on billboards during the early and mid-1900s.
Two things happened in the early and mid-1900s that suddenly made traveling all the rage. The first was the completion of the Second American Industrial Revolution. That began around 1850 and ended shortly before the First World War. Suddenly, Americans had the methods by which to travel the nation, thanks to advances in automobiles, passenger rail, and airplanes.
The second was the implementation of the American Interstate Highway System. That was an Eisenhower Administration effort, following World War II, to create a simple and easily navigable highway system across America. Post-World War II leadership wanted a more efficient means of moving troops across the nation if ever the U.S. was invaded.
By the mid-1950s, Americans had the methods (technological advancements in transportation) and the means (an interstate and rail system), of traveling across the country, just for the sake of traveling! And throughout this entire period, American companies, individuals, entrepreneurs, and artists were promoting and enjoying the freedom of travel.
The American Journey - How Traveling Affects Us
Today, traveling across the United States is still one of the great American pastimes. In fact, some have even theorized that there are immense mental, spiritual, and personal benefits to traveling.
The great travel writer, Pico Iyer, said it best:
"The traveler, I decided one day, is part photographer and part philosopher: His aim, as he sets out, is to catch some aspect of his subject - a tilt of the head, a glint of eye - that exists out of time, and to show us, as a portrait-painter might once have done, that aspect of a place that was there when he was 8 and will be there when he is 80; and yet his deeper purpose, what elevates his mission, and makes it worthwhile, is to take his subject out of space, too, to explore those larger questions every place dramatized and that apply to almost everyone."
Iyer's words resonate with us, artists and travelers as we are. When we take to the great American roads and travel to our next National Park, we become inspired to eternalize the beauty of America in vintage poster art. We travel, filled with the sheer joy of life and the wonder that surrounds us.
When we travel, we effectively leave our comfort zones and our routines behind. We pack the bag, load the car, check the oil, and off we go. Suddenly we're not hitting that same old 9-5. We're driving new roads, seeing new sights, experiencing new cultures, immersing ourselves in new cities, and exploring nature.
Traveling inspires us in different ways. We grow as individuals when we travel. We might experience an entirely different culture or demographic and then come back home, feeling a bit more humbled. Maybe we'll come back feeling more compassionate about the lives of those in harsher socioeconomic positions. Traveling takes our attention off of the routine and instead puts it out there into the world.
American Travel and Vintage Poster Art
When our art team returns from a trip across America, our first thought is always one of, "How do we give back? How do we show the world our joy?" And we immediately take pencil, brush, and stylus in hand and we get to work. We take our inspiration from our travels and use it to create vintage poster art, whether it's of the deep urban sprawl of New York City or the long, winding curvatures of California's coastal highways.
From New England college towns to Alaskan mining and lumber communities, from military bases to scenic parkways, famous lakes, ancient buildings, nature conservatories, untouched forests, historic districts, and preserved, protected lands. There is just so much to see across America. We don't think we'll ever be done working on this vintage art collection. There are always new things about American travel that inspire us and fill us with the joy of creating classic artwork and retro designs.
Our American travel art can be ordered as art prints, canvases, framed prints, canvas banners, or metal signs. You can even order your favorite illustration as a set of notecards or postcards, or as a framed postcard. We offer our artwork in several different sizes, making our vintage classics instantly available under any budget.
Whether you are looking to decorate a living room or bedroom, bathroom or kitchen, office, garage, man cave, or outdoor porch or patio, our vintage-styled and retro-inspired art makes for classy conversation starters and impressive centerpieces. And all the while, these unique, original creations emote a sense of nostalgia and love for all the beautiful corners of our country. From the natural wonders to the urban cultures and the history that presides over it all.
This collection is America's story told in vintage poster art.
We hope that our American Travel Collection inspires you to get out and experience all that America has to offer. This art collection is meant to adorn walls and decorate homes in the kind of vintage decor that inspires nostalgia and a longing for the two-lane highways and the cities of our great nation. We know that traveling these highways and seeing these cities has changed us, as artists and as individuals. We hope this vintage art collection does the same for you.
I'll leave you with these words from Ralph Waldo Emerson, renowned 19th century intellectual and avid traveler:
"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go where there is no path and leave a trail."
See you on the trail or the two-lane,
Anderson Design Group Writing Staff