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News & Advice

Draw away to create a home victory

Snaps of the children or holiday keepsakes needn't be forgotten in albums or laptops, there are new ways to display your precious photos

As much as we like to shoot away with our digital cameras while on holiday, the classic travel snap, locked away in a photograph album or, more likely these days, on a laptop, is rarely appreciated as it could or should be.

We spend months planning and saving for holidays. Then, as soon as we return, most of us are guilty of moving on to the next thing without stopping to really enjoy the memories. Nor do we sufficiently exploit anything we might have brought back from the trip, be it a digital snap of an exotic sunset, or a token souvenir.

There are much better ways to record your favourite holiday memories, such as creating artwork which you can display at home and admire every day.

Crispin Finn is a collaborative project by graphic artists Anna Fidalgo and Roger Kelly. The pair describe themselves as hoarders and have collected a large and unusual selection of ephemera from their travels, ranging from bar bills to soda bottles, playing cards, a bowling pin and a foam Statue of Liberty hat.

"Once these items are all home, away from their usual context, they create a unique and vivid travelogue of places and moments that we can both look back on and cherish," explains Anna.

They also take lots of photographs whenever they're away, but find these are just as likely to capture mundane everyday objects such as food wrappers and supermarket shelf displays as the traditional holiday images of smiling friends and family.

Crispin Finn creates screen prints and fabric and paper goods in a simple and striking palette of red, white and blue. They have brought together some of these items from their travels in a series of prints called "Pack Rat", which, says Anna, describes people who "engage in the excessive acquisition of possessions, even if the items are worthless".

The Pack Rat designs are £40 for a 38cm x 48cm print, but Crispin Finn also does commissions.

Artist Helen Bridges also records her travels in her work, in particular extended periods visiting family in California. The intention is for her multi-layered prints to tell a story and evoke memories rather than capture a single moment.

When travelling, she'll take hundreds of photographs and use more than one of these images in each work, as well as text such as song lyrics and other items to evoke historical or cultural memories of the location. With a commission, clients might bring their own photographs and she will discuss what she can add to create a fuller narrative with the final piece.

If you want to keep your own photograph but turn it into a more prominent piece, transforming it into a piece of wallpaper for a single wall is one option. Julie Henwood and her husband used to live in Stockholm where this is a popular trend, and brought the idea back to the UK with them with their company Better Wallpaper. They can make paper out of a single image or create collages out of a selection of snaps, from £40 per sq metre.

For a complete DIY job, turn your photographs into postcards while still on holiday with the Simply Postcards app, which you can use from an iPhone or iPad or online. The app is free, all you have to do is choose the image and add a personal message. Then the Simply Postcards team will print and mail your card the very next day. The postcards cost about £15 for 10. Either send them to family and friends or post them to yourself, adding faraway verisimilitude to your snapshot souvenirs.