Artist Fellowship

Meet an Artist Fellow: Illustrator, Courtney Ahn

Hi, I’m Courtney, but everybody calls me Courn! I’m a multidisciplinary designer, illustrator, and freelance creative based in Portland, Oregon. My direct experience as a Korean American has largely shaped my career philosophy, serving as inspiration for the social justice advocacy present in my creative work. Through my freelance studio, Courtney Ahn Design, I aim to provide accessible design services for small BIPOC business owners and partner with organizations working directly in the equity space as a force for good. In the past year, I’ve found purpose in using art as a tool for activism, sharing weekly posts navigating antiracism and oppressive systems through my Instagram account, @courtneyahndesign.

I’ve always felt an immense connection to nature growing up in the PNW; from as early as I can remember I’ve been surrounded by climbing forests of evergreens, winding hiking paths, and never more than a couple minutes away from the beach. Through the years, much of that connection was lost as I pursued a career in the design industry, switching to long work schedules, spending weekends managing my freelance business, and being too burnt out to do anything else in my free time. But it’s been such an empowering decision to make more time for myself the past year and reconnect in so many ways I was unable to before: actually having weekends off to enjoy the outdoors, making time in my day to walk my dog/actually work outside(weather permitting!), and being able to take more intentional trips to the outdoors. This reconnection has been incredibly impactful for me in sustaining my creative work and taking better care of myself.

I quite enjoyed it! I wish I could say I came up with this great big idea while I was away, but it was quite the opposite. I thought about nothing creative or work-related…and that was really empowering for me. As someone whose mind and body is always racing a million miles a minute for the next deadline, it’s incredibly challenging to turn it all off. I guess it took quite literally not being able to connect to it to remove myself from those worries. And while I can’t say that I’ve found a new lease on life after a couple days away, I will say that the intentional break in my schedule has really let me slow down and re-evaluate the pace at which I was working unsustainably.

You can keep up with Courtney’s work on her Instagram and her website.

Ready for your own creative escape? Book your Getaway today.

Artist Fellowship | Features

Artist Fellows of Getaway

With the hustle and bustle of city life, we know it can be hard for artists to find uninterrupted time to create. That’s why we created our Artist Fellowship Program, to give creatives a space in nature to work on their projects. We love seeing what our artists come up with and we’re excited to share some of our fellows from this past month.

Illustrator Fabiola Lara is inspired by a combination of pop culture and her own feelings, whether they are obsession, happiness, anxiety, or sadness. Fabiola has been illustrating since she was young, but she began sharing her work with the world in 2013.

“I’ve been creating since I was a kid,” Fabiola said. “I can remember spending hours drawing Spongebob and making elaborate paper Christmas ornaments.”

Fabiola, who recently spent some time working at our New York Outpost, hopes to one day create the illustrations for the next teen Netflix series.

Samantha Testa, who recently took to our DC Outpost, first began painting and drawing as a little girl with her grandfather. It’s a story that particularly resonated with us, as all of our cabins are named for grandparents.

“He was a phenomenal artist who taught me how to be patient with my work and find joy in creating things,” Samantha explains. “I still have a set of his old rickety brushes that I pull out from time to time.”

Since then, Samantha has drawn her inspiration largely from architecture and vast landscapes. Her dream would be to travel to different cities and paint the structures that represents their history, culture, and vibrancy.

“I love searching for symmetry, angles, ornate details, and color palettes that make me feel inspired to get them down on paper,” Samantha notes. “Aside from the tangible inspiration, there is sometimes just an abstract feeling that compels me to make something with my hands.”

Interested in tapping into your own creativity in nature? Escape today.

Artist Fellowship

Meet an Artist Fellow: Designer, Nasozi Kakembo

Fill us in on your background—personally and in your creative practice. 

My personal interests and career have always been oriented toward design. I studied architecture in undergrad, and urban planning and design in graduate school. I didn’t go into either field immediately because I caught the international affairs bug during grad school, and spent the next four years working squarely in human rights philanthropy. Although I had traveled to Uganda and Morocco long before that, that career path allowed me to see even more parts of the world and of Africa. It was eventually on a work trip to Senegal that sparked my interest to launch xN Studio. I came back from that trip with tons of fabric from le marche (the market), sketched ideas on the plane back, and started xN Studio as a side hustle almost immediately after my return to Brooklyn. That was April 2011. 

From that day forward, my creative process has relied heavily on travel, whether locally through museums and galleries (more often the case these days), or through books and travel features online.

How does your connection to nature influence you personally, and how does it influence your art?

The colors and patterns found in nature are an endless source of inspiration. But if I’m moving too fast, or spending too much time away from nature, then I don’t benefit from its generosity. I split my time between Maryland, New York, and Kampala (less-so now because of the pandemic), and I make sure to spend time in nature in all of those places. Spring time in Maryland (a stone’s throw from Getaway’s DC Outpost where I spent my Fellowship)  is one of the most beautiful seasons because of the medley of budding flowers. 

My collections are also made mostly from sustainable and organic materials, so in a very direct way, they are because of nature. I think that is a huge part of why the work that I brought to photograph during the fellowship integrated so well into the cabin and grounds.

How does your identity influence your art, if at all?

I identify as many things–a woman, a mother, Ugandan, American, entrepreneur, a benevolent contrarian (to each, their own!), and more. All of these things influence my work. My mother worked in an African art gallery during my entire upbringing, so not only was our home infused with African art and objects, but I also spent a lot of time with her at the gallery in Georgetown, Washington, DC as well as African-based cultural events in and around town. My Ugandan heritage is also central to my artistic inspiration. The baskets and other customary objects that we had in our home tied me to my family members in Uganda, many of whom I was not able to meet until my teens, and some whom I never got the chance to meet. But being surrounded by beautiful objects from Uganda as a child made it feel less far away. It didn’t occur to me until much later when I started my home decor line that these objects would resonate with non-Ugandan people the way they do! So it has been an honor to integrate accents from there into my product offering, and to use those accents as a channel for sharing Ugandan culture and for working with expert artisans.

How was your Getaway? Did your time in your cabin influence your process or inspire any new ideas?

My Getaway was incredibly inspiring and refreshing. I was able to tune out entirely from the common mode of always being plugged in. I brought some key pieces from my newest collection, which launches in July, and took the opportunity to photograph some of the work in the cabin and on the grounds. My textiles and other accents popped against the clean and modern design of the cabin. 

I even got to set up and photograph a curated picnic tablescape for an al fresco meal. It was the perfect opportunity to test drive the Cowhorn Inlay Trivet I just developed with my team in Uganda which just launched in July, as well as the hand carved Helix Salad Servers, which are already customer favorites. 

The cabin’s smart design inspired new ideas as well. I pride my decor and design approach on functionality without sparing style. There were so many clever and seamless nooks in the cabin where you could tuck away your woods escape odds and ends without taking up space, like the cut-out underneath the bed. It was perfect for my shoes! There was another one below the step-up to the bathroom that was ingenious.

As I am also in the process of revamping my interior design services, I will definitely be applying some of these clever ideas into my own projects (and have already started to implement them on a Brooklyn apartment project!).

Anything else you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear your feedback! 

It happened to be National Rosé Day during my weekend in the woods, and I dubbed one of my concoctions in honor of the occasion! Affectionately known as the Getaway Rosay, the Getaway metal cup and xN Fair Trade raffia coasters are a must 🙂

You can keep up with Nasozi on her Instagram and her website. Ready for your own creative escape? Book your Getaway today.

Artist Fellowship | Features

Artist Fellows of Getaway: Leah MacDaniel

While Virginia-based photographer Leah MacDaniel specializes in wedding photography, she has always had a passion for landscape work as well. As part of our Artist Fellowship Program, Leah recently took to Getaway Shenandoah for some uninterrupted time with her camera.

Leah, who owns and operates Flit Photography, she starting taking photos after she inherited a set of antique 35mm film cameras from an aunt who passed away.

“For a long time, those cameras felt too special to use, so I kept them carefully packed away and dutifully moved them with me from place to place,” Leah said. “However, when I started my journey with minimalism, I decided that I could no longer hold onto these cameras just as a sentimental token – they either needed to be useful to me or they needed to find a new home.”

Once she took the cameras out for a spin, Leah started sneaking around at night to search for new places to photograph. She began experimenting with portraiture after one of her friends let her photograph them.

“I am a firm believer that every person should have at least one portrait of themselves that makes them feel amazing,” Leah said. “I would love to be able to use portraiture in an affirming way to help trans youth feel comfortable and beautiful.”

In the short term though, Leah’s been dreaming of photographing a styled bridal shoot in a swamp. First though, she’ll have to find a client with the same vision.

While Getaway allowed Leah to be both bored and uncomfortable, it also allowed her to grow and enjoy the space she needed to create. Leah frequently craves solitude in nature, so our Outpost was the perfect place to escape to.

“As an introvert, my internal batteries get drained pretty quickly,” Leah said. “I don’t have to do anything fancy. I just need a quiet space where I can be alone with my thoughts and tune in to what I really need.”

Interested in a creative break of your own? Escape today.

Artist Fellowship | Features

An Award-Winning Digital Strategist Turned Rebellious Entrepreneur

Witnessing the drastic and rapidly increasing effects technology had on the wellbeing of those around her, the seed of an idea sprouted in award-winning digital strategist Jess Davis’ mind.

When her son was born in 2011, it was the final straw to push her budding idea into action. Motivated by her own burn-out after spending eight years deep within the tech world and her “mama bear’s desire” to spare her son from the same fate, Folk Rebellion was born.

Davis left her successful career to start a media company from her home in Brooklyn, NY with a mission of “leading a plugged-in world towards digital wellbeing.”

Fascinated by her path, we had to interview this rebellion’s fearless leader to learn more.

I guess I am the body for this idea. It’s bigger than me. It’s why I don’t stop.

Tell us your story:
I started Folk Rebellion quite suddenly, but a quick review of my GoDaddy purchases show that I have been playing with this idea for about eight years. The long and the short of it is that I was the stereotypical plugged-in New Yorker, wearing busy like a badge of honor. I now consider myself a recovering digital strategist. My career had taken off and after winning awards and gaining more clients which I was communicating on behalf of digitally, I started to get really sick in my head. My brain was struggling. Memory, attention, fog, disassociation, and creativity were all lacking. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what and neither did my doctors. It wasn’t until a family imposed digital detox on a vacation in Hawaii that I began to feel better. On day eight a lightbulb went off. I was well again and the only difference was my presence, lack of technology, and slower pace.  I quit my job the day I returned to New York.

 I quit my job the day I returned to New York.

Jess Davis at home

I didn’t know this was going to be my life path. My road here is a squiggly mess all over the map. Only in looking back can I see that there was a way all along. I had no idea that this big and busy career was giving me the skill set I needed to story tell and create communities at the same time it was burning me out. When I had my son in 2011, four years after the iPhone was created, I was already able to see the effects of addicted adults….I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for my son. I guess I had to have the burnout, the info, the view from the proverbial “inside” of the tech industry, and a mama bear’s desire to protect her son at any cost. It was like a magical concoction. I had no choice. I often say that I am just a conduit. I am delivering a message outside of myself. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about Ideas finding homes… I guess I am the body for this idea. It’s bigger than me. It’s why I don’t stop.

I was sitting on a mountain when the words Folk Rebellion came to me. I believe nature allows space for breath and ideas. It only made sense for me to create a lifestyle around nature and to get people into the idea…without scaring them. No one wants to be told they are scrambling their brains… or worse yet, their kids’ brains.

And so my new life was born…I’m a Chief Rebel leading a Folk Rebellion — a media brand on a mission, leading a plugged-in world towards digital wellbeing.

What occupies most of your time during the day?
I really compartmentalize my time. I am ALL IN each bucket of time. When I am with my son, I am not working and when I am working, it is not from my kitchen counter. I need to single-task and focus. So, I would say my time is a balance of work, the mission of Folk Rebellion, and leisure time with my friends, family, and self. What constitutes an average “work day” as an entrepreneur is ridiculous. One moment I am handling shipping and customer service and in the next, writing a new methodology for a school initiative or planning an off-the-grid adventure in Greece for 20+ executives. It’s wild. I guess that’s why I love it.

I had no idea that this big and busy career was giving me the skill set I needed to story tell and create communities at the same time it was burning me out.

What occupies most of your time during the weekend?
My weekends are MINE. Not work’s, not clients’. I spend it with my son and we usually try and get outdoors somehow. Living in Brooklyn, I used to think that’s a challenge; but with a little planning, you can be camping in the woods within 2 hours. Outdoors can mean a bike ride to Red Hook with a friend or a rooftop bar, too!

What do you wish you had more time to do?
Reading and idleness. I plan my idle times, so I know I do them a lot more than most but I still wish I had more days of nothing. And books. Always more books.

What do you wish you did less of?
Less email. Less communication. Folk Rebellion has been well-received and as I’ve bootstrapped, I have been the main point of contact for vendors, partners, writers, press, etc. I’ve trained most to not expect responses from me for 24-48 hours, but living that way you get your inbox down and in a day it’s back up to 250 unread messages.

I plan my idle times, so I know I do them a lot more than most but I still wish I had more days of nothing.

What is your favorite non-digital activity?
Listening to live music – or analog.

What is your favorite tech or app that helps you balance your life?
BOOMERANG! I cannot live without it. I “PAUSE” my inbox every day while I work on projects and then also boomerang emails back to the top of it. I also use Voice Notes for everything. That way I’m not staring at a screen typing all day. It allows the phone to be out of my face. And the Moment App to make sure I am living up to my values.

If you could have a day off to spend anywhere with anyone, what would you do?
I would spend it with my son Hays. We would go in an old Westy up to Nova Scotia. We road trip, camp, and sleep under stars each summer. The Northeast is next on the list.

Jess with her son, Hays

What would you pack in a suitcase if you had to live with only those items for the rest of your life?
Does Hays still fit in a suitcase?

  • Pencils and Paper
  • As many books as I could fit
  • Printed pictures of my family
  • An iPod and Solar charger to keep it playing music all day 🙂
  • Fave tee
  • Ripped Jeans
  • Chapstick
  • Sunglasses

Who are your favorite writers?
I feel a huge affinity towards Elizabeth Gilbert because we were both old school NY honky tonk bartenders in another life. I’ve admired her path for decades. Brene Brown, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Bukowski, and so many more.

When and where are you happiest?
In the mountains near the water with family around. Or an open road. No devices seem to be another must-have for happiness these days.

How do you create balance in your life?
I have rituals that I stick to: two weeks offline at the end of summer in the woods, no business between Christmas and New Years’, no cell phones or devices in bedroom, no working in front of my kid, no emailing, scrolling, while in movement (cars, walking, subway, etc.), and when I feel out of whack, I press pause until I don’t.

Which living person do you most admire?
That’s a tough one! Maybe Arianna Huffington? Jean Twenge, Brene Brown. I guess I never thought about this. Oh! I love Tim Ferriss too.

To join Jess Davis’s Folk Rebellion and get empowered to find your freedom in a digital world, check out their website, printed publication, and events. To press pause yourself, you can book a Getaway here.

Artist Fellowship | Features

Noah Kalina: The Guy Who Takes A Photo Of Himself + Bed Mounds

Our increasingly digital society paradoxically expands and shrinks the world all at once: it’s now far easier to connect with a stranger thousands of miles away, and it is also so clear how massive earth is and how many infinite lives and experiences we’ll never touch.

Coincidences are still surprising no matter how frequently they occur in this ever-expanding universe. Which is why we were surprised to learn that one of the photographers for the popular book Cabin Porn—of which a copy resides in each of our tiny cabins—is also the creator of the viral project Everyday, in which a young man takes a photo of himself every day for six years.

You may have seen this and even recognize this face:

The name to put to this face is Noah Kalina, and this face is often found behind the lens—he lives and works in New York City as a photographer. Noah recently came to one of our cabins as part of our Artist Fellowship program to create a piece of art he’s called ‘bed mounds;’ temporary sculptures made out of blankets, which are vaguely reminiscent of the European avant-garde Dada movement and readymade art. 

Photo by Noah Kalina
Photo by Noah Kalina

We chatted with Noah a bit to learn more about how he (doesn’t) keep balance in his life:

What occupies most of your time during the day?
My schedule is completely unpredictable so no two days are the same. I have a few normal routines like checking my email and trying to eat food at the normal times so I can appear to be a functioning human.  I like to make sure I attempt to make at least one photograph at some point during the day.

What occupies most of your time during the weekend?
My weekends are the same as weekdays. I don’t really operate on what would be considered a normal schedule. Holidays take me by surprise. What do you mean the post office isn’t open!?

Artist Noah Kalina

What do you wish you had more time to do?
I actually have plenty of time. What I wish I had was more money. It’s a catch 22!

What do you wish you did less of?
Agreeing to interviews. I always tell myself I am not going to do them and then I end up agreeing to them. They end up taking up way too much time and give me incredible anxiety.

*A note from team Getaway: we apologize for subjecting Noah to another interview.


What is your favorite non-digital activity?
I was just thinking how I actually still enjoy taking and making photographs. But I use a digital camera. Does that count? The act in and of itself is analog but the tool is digital. Is that a hybrid? If that doesn’t count I really enjoy walking around in vast secluded and empty spaces.

What is your favorite tech or app that helps you balance your life?

I actually don’t use any apps that help with my life. It has never really occurred to me that I should. Should I? What do you use? Why? Wait, isn’t that a hassle?

I actually don’t use any apps that help with my life. It has never really occurred to me that I should.

What would you pack in a suitcase if you had to live with only those items for the rest of your life?
I am going to assume that in this hypothetical situation something terrible has happened to the earth and all the skills that I possess will no longer be valid. So I am just going to pack a bunch of socks and underwear and see what happens next.

What do you think you’d be doing in a world without technology?
I think I would be a horse and buggy driver, a hole digger or possibly a flower farmer.

When and where are you happiest?
Lumberland, New York where my house is but only between late May and September.

How do you create balance in your life?
I don’t. It’s totally out of balance and I am completely uncomfortable every minute of the day but I don’t think I’d want it any other way.

How have your feelings evolved in regards to your Everyday project?
The mission of the project, to take a photo of myself every day until the day I die has remained the same. I still take a photo every day and I plan to do it until the day I die. What the project has become (YouTube, Museum shows) and what it has inspired has created a whole lot of feelings most of which are very complicated.  I’ll tell you about that in person around a fire.


To follow Noah and his photography work, or to drop him a note about hanging out by a fire, you can visit his website and Instagram here

Artist Fellowship | Features

Artist Fellows of Getaway

With the constant hustle and bustle around us, we know it can be hard for artists to find quiet time to create. That’s why we created our Artist Fellowship Program, to give creatives a space in nature for uninterrupted time to work. We love seeing what our artists come up with and we’re excited to share with you some of our fellows from the past month.

This Month’s Artist Fellows

It’s been a little over two years since Samantha Reuter decided to paint full-time. She says she’s been an “art-room kid” from the time she was little and she fell in love with studying the female form during her time in college.

Samantha recently took to our New York Outpost to spend some time painting. As someone who loves to see the world, Samantha says travel is imperative to her process.

“The world is the greatest form of inspiration,” Samantha said. “My sketchbooks go with me everywhere. I often record whatever stands out on the trip- just recording little moments for fun. I’ve recently found that I love traveling solo as well, and plan to push myself to do more of that.”

Photographer James Corbett rarely goes a full day with taking a picture. His love of photography began in 2014 when he began shooting mountain bike races.

He finds inspiration in pursuing technical excellence, as well as the search for a unique angle or a special moment to capture. Recently, James says he’s been finding more inspiration in portrait photography as well.

“I am working on a project concept around challenging gender norms and stereotypes,” James said. “I plan to explore in portraiture how individuals would express their true self without restrictions.”

Stephanie Harvey has dabbled in everything from photography to print making to graphic design. Now, Stephanie runs her own greeting card and giftware company, exit343design.

“My goal is to create work that is both fun and functional,” Stephanie says. “I draw inspiration from everyday circumstances, a love of color, typography, textile patterns, flora, fauna, and a penchant for junk food.”

The artist, who recently spend some time creating at Getaway DC, says she dreams of one designing packaging for a brewery, a fabric line, or a mural.

Interested in becoming an Artist Fellow? Apply here.

Artist Fellowship

Getaway Presents: Claire Gohst’s Playlist

Looking for a blend of classic and modern for your road trip to Getaway? On her recent Artist Fellowship at Getaway Blake Brook, Claire Gohst of indie rock project Paper Citizen put together her ideal escape playlist.

With a mix of classic hits and new indie rock tracks, Claire’s playlist is a great listen for a pleasant, upbeat drive to our Outposts. Listen along for some tunes from the Beatles, George Ezra, and Paper Citizen herself.