You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Creative Travel in Brazil: Mosaic, Mandala & Street Art Graffiti Workshops in Porto Alegre!

Creative Travel, Travel With Locals, City Travel, Brazil, South America, Travel Blog , 0

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Today, I need to tell you a lot. Yes I do. Brazil, and more specifically the capital city of its southern province Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, have really infused me with both passion and enthusiasm. For more than a week, I have enjoyed speaking only Portuguese, finding pleasure in training my Brazilian accent: Tacale pau, Elena! Capaz. Bem legal. 😉 Surrounding myself with local artists revealing “their Porto Alegre” to me – either during a Street Art Graffiti workshop, designing my own, hand-made felt-postcard (!) or making a mosaic. I feel at home. And this is exactly what all the courses & workshops I experienced thanks to Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo have done for me: They open up doors to people’s homes, studios & art spaces, allowing me to experience the city like no other visitor does. Besides the many discoveries you find simply walking around Porto Alegrecreative travel is just so much more meaningful & powerful – as you will know from following #CreativElenaRTW!

If the eyes are a mirror of the soul, looking at Porto Alegre reveals a city that can only live up to its name – a “happy harbour” of creativity, arts & culture in the south of Brazil!

Porto Alegre truly deserves being proud of its status as the country’s first destination for professional creative tourism development – and thanks to the size of Brazil, we talk almost half of South America here! Gaúcho culturecontemporary art as well as dancecreative food experiences and crafts make up the colourful palette of the around 30 service providers gathered as “Creative Travel in Porto Alegre” – Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo. Let me thus share the colours with you that have helped shaping my experience of this country and its people as a happy, unique and very hospitable travel destination.

"Bem legal" - da ist er wieder, DER klassische Spruch unter Brasilianern, was so viel bedeutet wie "echt lässig, cool, super"! Bem legal zu meinem allerersten Street Art Graffiti Workshop in Porto Alegre, Brasilien!

“Bem legal” – there it goes again, THE classic saying out here in the south of Brazil, meaning “great, cool, fun”! Bem legal therefore, to my first ever Street Art Graffiti workshop here in Porto Alegre!


Inspiriert von der farbenfrohen Vielfalt der hier arbeitenden jungen Künstler ...

Inspired by the colourful design patterns of the young artists working here …


... denen die Besitzerin dieser Samba-Schule mit ihrem Gebäude Freiflächen bietet ...

… who this lady, the owner of the local Samba school, assists in providing mural space of her school …


... erklärt mir der junge Lucas Anão hier auf dem Bild zunächst, worum es bei seinem Projekt sowie der Verwendung der Farben an den Wänden geht.

… young Lucas Anão here first talks to me explaining the background about his project, purpose and mission. “Tudo de cor para você” – all those colours are for you!


"Hast Du selbst Lust, etwas auszuprobieren Elena? Heute ist Deine Chance!" Das lasse ich mir nicht zweimal sagen - #CreativElena round the wooorld ...!

“Fancy trying something yourself, Elena? Today’s your day!” I love it – #CreativElena round the wooorld … my very own round the world trip hashtag is what I choose to immortalize here in Brazil!


Eine ganz ähnliche, farbenfrohe Vielfalt bieten die Werke dieses Künstlers von Porto Alegre mit dem Namen "Britto Velho", der unter anderem diesen einzigartigen Fussball anlässlich der FIFA World Championships 2014 entworfen hat.

A very similar celebration of colours is what we find visiting local artist “Britto Velho”, who among other works presents us with this football he has designed (and painted) on the occasion of the FIFA World Football Championships 2014.


"Britto Velho" ist ein herzensguter Mensch, der es trotz (oder gerade wegen?) seiner über 70 Jahre ungemein liebt zu scherzen ... Ich genieße das Gespräch mit diesem bemerkenswerten Künstler Porto Alegres.

“Britto Velho” ist a beautiful, cheerful, and warm-hearted person who despite (or because?) of his over 70 years of age just loves joking and being open-minded … I very much enjoy talking to this remarkable artist here in Porto Alegre.


Bemerkenswert unter anderem, da er wahrlich einzigartige Werke schafft: "Das habe ich gerade erst gestern gemacht", schüttelt er bescheiden aus dem Ärmel. Faszinierend frische, jugendliche Kunst!

Remarkable indeed, as he creates one-of-a-kind works of art: “I have only finished this piece yesterday”, he notes modestly. Fresh and surprisingly young, don’t you think?


Jeden Mittwoch gibt es bei "Britto Velho" die Chance, eines seiner Künstlerateliers für bis zu acht Personen zu besuchen und noch tiefer in die Materie des Künstlers und seine Vision der Stadt Porto Alegre einzutauchen. Da komme ich wieder, ganz bestimmt!

Each Wednesday, “Britto Velho” opens up his studio doors to a maximum number of eight participants in the painting courses he teaches. A perfect occasion to come back, for sure!


“Porto Alegre woven in wool” – now how should you imagine that? COLOURFUL, is my answer. “Enriching”, local artist Claudia Horn Ilha says.

What is really interesting here in Brazil is that almost everyone I meet immediately starts talking about their origins, their travels as well as the creative variety and freedom that has helped shaping them and their art. As her name suggests, Claudia Horn Ilha originally hails from Germany. Her parents have moved to Brazil, she was already born here – this is how many travel tales & meetings with the artists & locals of Porto Alegre start. “My grandfather arrived in Rio de Janeiro all the way from Lisbon at only 11 years of age”, Maria Luiza, of Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo, marvels, whose very name accounts for the family adventure – Maria Luiza Lisboa. In this one week of travelling in Porto Alegre, I have gathered so many stories and feelings owed to the impressive openness of the local people around here is: Always shiny faces upon each greeting & goodbye, always heartfelt hugs, kisses and new friendships who really do their best at helping you out. None, seriously none of the clichés about Brazil is confirmed here. On the opposite, what I find is a world that beckons you to immerse yourself in it over and over again.

Ein Sinnbild für sämtliche Begegnungen hier dank Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo: Die Herzlichkeit der Menschen welche Besuchern wie mir Tür & Tor zum tieferen Kultur- und Alltagsverständnis der Brasilianer öffnet, sowie gleichzeitig unser aller Kreativität fördert.

A symbolic smile for the many heartfelt meetings I have had thanks to Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo: Meeting local artists such as Claudia Horn Ilha allows for a better understanding of the everyday life (and culture) of a city such as Porto Alegre, and Brazil in general.


Kreativität, die nur so sprüht vor Ideen & Gedankenreichtum: Claudia gereicht uns Vorlagen zur Gestaltung unserer eigenen Postkarten aus heimischer Filzwolle.

Creativity is omnipresent here: Ahead of our workshop designing our own felt-postcards, Claudia gathers inspiration for us to start.


"Wie war das noch mal mit der Kreativität?" ;)

“So – what was this thing about creativity & inspiration, again?” 😉


In jedem der hier bereisten Kreativ-Workshops gilt: Hilfe und Unterstützung ist stets zur Stelle, die liebe Claudia rundum bemüht ...

Rest assured: Virtually all the creative workshops I have been to here have all but shown that support is never far away: Claudia helping out Cinthia …


... meine Kollegin Cinthia & mich zu begleiten: Selbige hat sich für ein Porträt der Stadt Porto Alegre mitsamt der typischen Brücke über den Fluss Guaíba entschieden!

… in designing a postcard portrait of the city of Porto Alegre with a view over the bridge crossing the local Guaíba river. Beautiful – well done Cinthia!


Meine Inspiration hingegen gilt diesem wunderschönen Sonnenuntergang, welchen wir am Strand von Ipanema, in der Zona Sul von Porto Alegre wenige Tage zuvor erleben durften ...

My own inspiration comes from the magic of a sunset we have had the pleasure of experiencing only a few days ago at Ipanema Beach, Zona Sul, Porto Alegre …


... so ist Kreativ-Reisen wieder & wieder ebenso eine Verarbeitung & Verknüpfung der zahlreichen Momente und Begegnungen auf Reisen in ein und derselben Destination wie Porto Alegre ...

… and as such, creative travel provides the perfect opportunity for deepening those very travel moments that mean pure magic to you!


Die Wolle lässt uns auch bei diesem Besuch von Renata Ilha, einer vormaligen Psychologin und aktuellen Mandala-Lehrerin, nicht "kalt" ...

Wool also “wraps us up” visiting Renata Ilha, who besides being a psychologist has opted for teaching the art of Mandala in this local wool shop here …


... in der Sommerhitze Brasiliens gestalten wir zwei Wochen vor Weihnachten unsere eigenen Weihnachtssterne aus heimischer Schafwolle. Diesen Kreativ-Workshop werde ich wohl so schnell nicht vergessen - einzigartig!

… faced with the heat of Brazilian summer, and only two weeks away from Christmas, we design and create our own Christmas Mandalas with the help of Renata – another first-time for me in this series of creative experiences in Brazil that I shall never forget!


Die Wolle Brasiliens ...

The wool of Brazil has already been coloured to match the upcoming Christmas celebrations …


... begeistert Jung & Alt!

… infusing everyone around here with a sense of pride!


Dank Renata's angenehmen und entspannten Anweisungen ...

Thanks to Renata’s soothing voice and perfect instructions …


... gelingt mir schon bald mein ganz eigener Weihnachtsstern hier aus Brasilien: Danke Dir liebe Renata für Deine Geduld und Deinen Empfang hier in Porto Alegre, Brasilien!

… I am soon able to create my very own Christmas Mandala: Thank you so much, dear Renata Ilha, for your patience and inspiration in sharing your art and your life passion with us here in Porto Alegre, Brazil!


Last but not least, I want to tell you about Adma Cora.

Adma talks fast, like a waterfall, happily laughing all the time. She is forever concerned about our wellbeing: Creative travel means a lot to her. “Seja sempre bem-vinda, Elena!”

What a heart, what a soul! I love Adma !!! All enthusiastic, and with real “saudades” is how I end up finishing my creative mosaic workshop with this sweet lady here in Porto Alegre. Maria Luiza, Cinthia & I have arrived in the Avenida Bage 189, Porto Alegre’s Petrópolis district. It is here where local artist Adma Cora lives with her family. Despite – or because of? – her son needing intensive care, she is full of life and positive energy! It is thanks to her efforts that we find her ceramics atelier & workshop fresh & inviting, the sunny inner courtyard full of greens leading us on to her house and workshop. Once more, we have come home. Once more, the passion & enthusiasm of Adma encourages us to develop our own sense of creativity, expressing the inspiration that Porto Alegre has for us. As a mosaic, it is, this time. My cute little masterpiece, which I end up finishing in only a few hours, deserves to be shown: Muito OBRIGADA, Adma querida!

Herzlich Willkommen: Am Hof der Keramikkünstlerin Adma Cora hier in Porto Alegre ...

A warm welcome: Adma Cora’s colourful home here in Porto Alegre …


... nehme ich liebevolle Details wie diese sofort wahr ...

… boasts many little details whose love and careful expression I perceive immediately …


... wenig später schon hat mich die kreative Energie ein weiteres Mal erfasst: Adma zeigt mir, mein eigenes Mosaik aus bunten Sternchen zu setzen ...

… a little later, all the creative energy has got to me: Ahead of laying out my mosaic, Adma shows me how to work the little glass cubes we use in the preparation of the finished work …


... eigentlich ist es ganz einfach - oder was meint Ihr? :)

… it really is quite simple after all, don’t you think? 🙂


Lust auf Kreativität: Die Spirale in den Farben meines Reiseblogs hier in Brasilien ...

Fancy creativity: The colours of my travel blog, expressed as a spiral, the very symbol for life & energy, here in Brazil …


... lässt mich glücklich und Adma & mich neue Freundinnen werden!

… makes me happy & really connect with Adma the artist!


These beautiful people have really grown on me: THANK YOU so much, dear Maria Luiza & Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo (right) and Adma Cora, local ceramic artist, for all these hours of intensive sharing and creative inspiration. I shall never forget you - and already end up vowing to come back to Porto Alegre one day! "FOREVER GRATEFUL" is what I truly am - have a look here to read the full story of how I travel with this special T-Shirt around the world.!

These beautiful people have really grown on me: THANK YOU so much, dear Maria Luiza & Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo (right), dear Adma Cora, for all these hours of intensive sharing and creative inspiration. I shall never forget you – and already end up vowing to come back to Porto Alegre! “FOREVER GRATEFUL” is what I truly am – have a look here to read the full story of yet another inspirational world travel tale.!


Looking for further creative-culinary travel inspiration on Porto Alegre? Here is my hand-picked selection of creative foodie travel tips for you, as shown in this Flickr Photo Gallery:

Disclaimer: I have been invited by Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo to enjoy the creative city of Porto Alegre in Brazil. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
Creative Travel in Brazil: Gaúchos, Christmas & Hot Vibes in Porto Alegre
Florianópolis, "Floripa" or simply "Ilha da Magia": My trip to the island of (culinary) enchantment in Brazil.


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