We’re loving How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum, illustrator Keri Smith’s 59 ideas for how to creatively “shift” and wake your mind by engaging with your surroundings in new and interesting ways. As Brain Pickings noted recently: “…they’re potent training for what Buddhism would call “living from presence” and inhabiting your life more fully.”

We’ve long been fans of Smith’s work which is exemplified by the interactive drawing space she offers on her Home Page with a sign that says simply: “right in front of you”. It yells: JUST DO YOUR THING…NOW!!!!!

Smith urges people to make their own “portable life museums”:
I am interested in the idea of taking art (or museum shows/collections) out of the realm of ‘institution’ and into the hands of the individual, one does not need a formal space to put things in, in order for it to be valid. A museum is what YOU make it. You decide what goes in it, what is interesting, why it is interesting, how it could be displayed. It gives the reader permission to create their own portable (or not portable) show. 


Smith seems to follow her own advice (and the wisdom of the many artists she quotes throughout the book). We’ve read that How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum grew out of a Eureka moment when she couldn’t sleep and jotted down the wonderful list, above.



If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

2 replies on “how to be an explorer of the world

  1. eek! I’m losing my balance, about to go over the edge and do it! so inspiring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *