Textiles & Talismans: Oaxaca, Mexico Art Workshop & Tour

Textile Art Tour and Workshop in MexicoTextiles + Talismans: Creative Passport Art Workshop & Tour in Mexico with Lisa Sonora

Adult Spring Break Edition 

March 22 – 28, 2017 

Location: Oaxaca, Mexico (Oaxaca is pronounced Wa-Ha-Ka, and is both a city and a state (like New York, NY) in Southern Mexico)

For: 10 Women who love textiles and crave a little creative adventure.

In the Textiles + Talismans Creative Passport workshop you’ll the experience the beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca, explore indigenous textile villages like an artist, and create a beautiful, richly textured and layered visual travel journal that documents your journey.

Oaxaca, Mexico is a land of magic, mythos, and art. You’ll find traditional weavers, sculptors, potters, dancers, musicians, storytellers and curanderas (indigenous healers) mixing it up with modern painters, photographers, writers, and poets.

We’ll go on artistic treasure hunts in Oaxaca City and in the nearby old villages in search of the images, collage elements, stories and inspiration that we’ll use to embellish our travel journals.

Travel journal from Mexico art and textile tour

A page from Lisa’s travel journal.

We’ll visit ancient villages off the beaten path, where master weavers still spin and dye their own wool using all natural pigments.

We’ll also visit Oaxacan artists in their studios, and shop and eat in the bustling Mercados, right alongside the locals.

Did you know that Oaxaca has one of the most beautiful zocalo’s (town centers) in all of Mexico?

Embroidered pillow cover from Oaxaca, Mexico

Embroidered pillow cover from Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca is a Unesco world heritage site, with no less than 21 cathedrals within the historic center, towering limestone walls, and secret gardens behind every adobe walls and doorway.

During our travels, I’ll help you experience Oaxaca, Mexico as an artist, with tips on getting great travel photos, sketching in public (even if you can’t draw!), collecting stories to remember, and finding symbols and signs that support your creative journey.

Mixed-media travel journal by Lisa Sonora

Mixed-media travel journal by Lisa Sonora

During studio time, I’ll show you how to create your own, one-of-a-kind, portable and expandable travel journal out of beautiful papers, maps, ribbons, envelopes, and other ephemera we find in Mexico.

You’ll also learn how to create talismans, out of things we collect, that you can use as adornment for the body, home or your studio.

You’ll get plenty of instruction in mixed-media techniques, plus guidance on how to use the experience of travel to increase your own creativity, including how to break through creative blocks.

Travel is the perfect way to awaken and enliven your creative spirit. Being in a foreign land awakens our curiosity, brings our senses alive, and requires us to navigate the unfamiliar. These are just a few of the qualities that play a part in artistic expression, and you’ll learn how to harness these qualities as you craft your travel journal.

tales of adventure - creative passport workshop

Everything you learn in the workshop can be applied to any journey you are on in life – whether it’s a travel journey, or a life journey.

All you need to participate is a willingness to explore, curiosity, and your passport!

Everyone can travel artfully, and anyone can make a beautiful travel journal that captures their experience.

No prior experience in art, writing — or even travel — is required! Absolute beginners are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Fact: Many people who come to my international workshops are getting their very first passport and passport stamp on the way!

If you are a creative soul who yearns to combine meaningful art-making with foreign travel, then you’ll love this experience.

In this workshop you’ll learn how to:

  • Create your own portable, expandable travel journal out of beautiful papers, maps, ribbons, envelopes, and other ephemera that we find in Mexico.
  • Create a talisman out of symbolic items you collect on our journey
  • See with the eyes of an artist, and find ephemera and stories for your journal.
  • Make fantastic use of the stuff we find on our treasure hunts through Oaxaca’s magical streets, shops, cafes, artistic haunts, and historic monuments.
  • Use paint, drawing, and collage to create richly textured pageseven if you have no experience in painting, drawing or collage.
  • Photograph and shop for handmade textiles — weaving, embroidery, objects for the home and to wear
  • Take better photos with your smart phone or portable digital camera, the apps you can use to create compelling travel photos, and how to weave them into your travel journal.
  • Capture your own meaningful travel stories to add to your journal, even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer or are afraid to write.
  • Find and work with unlikely materials. No matter where you go, even without traditional art supplies, you can create a wonderful artifacts of your journey.

No matter what level of experience, you’ll absolutely fall in love with your own creative work. Even if you are an absolute beginner or have old hangups about not being creative.

P.S. Everyone pretty much has some kind of creative hangup at some time – so don’t let that stop you.

embroidered blouses at the market in Oaxaca Mexico

Handmade, richly embroidered blouses at the market in Oaxaca, Mexico

You’ll take away:

  • A magnificent, one-of-a-kind handmade travel journal, brimming with color, texture, images and stories of your time in Oaxaca, Mexico.
  • Your own Creative Passport Kit, with Lisa’s favorite travel journal supplies, packed inside a unique, lightweight, colorful tote. Your supplies will always be at the ready for any spontaneous adventure!
  • A meaningful talisman of your journey, to accompany you home and inspire your next steps.
  • Textiles! If you care to do some shopping… I’ll take you to all of my favorite artisans and shops. Pack light so you can take home your treasures.

Outside of the studio, our group will:

  • Take a walking / photo tour of Oaxaca’s historic center, (where we will be lodging!) with the best cafes, restaurants, and textile and crafts shops identified
  • Enjoy tasting Oaxaca’s famous mescal, chocolate and moles, with the makers and chefs that make Oaxaca’s cuisine world-famous and a destination in itself.
  • Tour artisans studios, learn their techniques, and shop in Oaxaca’s indigenous craft villages
  • Shop and eat at a bustling local market – where people have been gathering for centuries
  • Go on treasure hunts around town for fun stuff to add to your travel journal
  • Visit Oaxaca’s Textile Museum
  • Have time to shop for textiles and crafts!

This is an experiential travel workshop in the company of kindreds who also love art and travel.

Creative adventures await you! Get your passport and start packing!


Textiles & Talismans: Creative Passport to Mexico Workshop with Lisa Sonora

Adult Spring Break Edition

Dates: Wednesday, March 22 (arrival day) – Tuesday, March 28 (departure day), 2017

Double Occupancy Early Registration: $1575  (before February 15, after $1,975)

$500 deposit to hold your space. The balance is due by March 1, 2017.

Click Here to Register Now, Double Room

Click Register Now button, above, to reserve your space now with a $500 Deposit. 

Please make sure you’re OK with the policies, below, before you register.

Single Occupancy Early Registration: $1925  (before February 15, after $2,250)

$600 deposit to hold your space. The balance is due by March 1, 2017.

Click Here to Register Now: Single Occupancy



Location: Art House Oaxaca, in the historic center of Oaxaca City, Mexico

Please make sure you’re OK with the policies, below, before you register.

For Double Occupancy rooms, you’ll be assigned a roommate, or you can let us know who you’ll be rooming with if you are attending with a friend.

Your registration deposit confirms you’ve read and accepted the policies.

Registration includes:

  • Workshop instruction and kit
  • Pre-trip notes and guidelines
  • Six nights double occupancy lodging –  Check-in on Wednesday, March 22 — Check-Out on Tuesday, March 28, 2017
  • Six breakfasts
  • Three lunches
  • Demonstration of natural dye process
  • Visits to ancient villages where whole families do weaving, embroidery,  sewing, painting and pottery
  • Indigenous market visits
  • Guides and transport for our outings
  • Advice on travel plans before or after the trip, if desired
  • Option to arrive early or stay on later here at Art House Oaxaca, if you’d like to extend your stay


By registering, you agree to these terms.

Confirmation: You’ll receive an email after you make your deposit. This is your registration confirmation, and contains helpful info to get you started planning your trip to Oaxaca. Please keep this email in a safe place. It’s recommended that you print it out.

Important: All retreat information will be emailed to the email addresses you used when registering. If you require the materials be sent to an alternate email address,  please email Lisa’s assistant, Jen (jen @ lisa sonora (dot) com) and let her know right away.

Cancellation, Refunds, Payment  Schedule…

A deposit of $500 USD will hold you space.

Deposit is fully refundable until December 31, 2016. On or after January 1, 2017, your deposit is non-refundable.

The balance is due by February 1, 2016.

You’ll receive an invoice from us for the balance. If you’d like to pay the balance in smaller payments over time, no problem. We’ll set up a payment plan that works for you at no additional charge.

Cancellation Before January 1, 2017: full refunds will be issued to those that cancel their registration by emailing Jennifer at Jen(at)LisaSonora(dot)com. Please include Cancellation Request in the subject line, and in the message, include the name and PayPal email address you used to purchase your registration.  A full refund will be made to you via Pay Pal within 72 hours of receiving your cancellation email.

On and after January 1, 2017 ALL SALES FINAL.

Cancellations on and after January 1, 2017: Registration is non-refundable.

Got Questions?

Please feel free to email us with any questions or concerns about the workshop. Not sure if this is the right workshop / retreat for you? Got travel questions? Please do get in touch.

Hurry! Lodging on site is limited to 10 women maximum, double occupancy.


Because Oaxacan cuisine is so wonderful, dinners are not prearranged to give you freedom to choose where and what to eat. We will point you to our favorite restaurants and even make reservations for you.

Everything is an easy walk from Art House Oaxaca (where you’ll be lodging and enjoying studio time). Taxi’s are abundant and affordable if you prefer not to walk.

We also have a lovely cafe on site. Most people pair up or go to dinner in groups, so don’t worry about dining alone.

Travel Tips:

You DO need a passport that doesn’t expire for six months from your date of entry to Mexico.

You’ll fly into the Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca airport.

Airport code is: OAX

Oaxaca does have a direct flight from the USA from Houston, on United Airlines. I love this flight, as it’s a small jet with really comfy seats.

Otherwise, you likely change planes in Mexico City (really easy) from your city of origin.

From the Oaxaca airport, you’ll take a taxi to the lodging and workshop location, or your own lodging. We’ll give detailed instructions and the address with your trip welcome info.

Taxi fare is about $7 per person, and there is just one taxi counter inside the airport. Easy and stress free!

I like to search for airfares on Skyscanner.com

You can see recommended travel routes by train, plane, ferry and car to and from any destination on the Rome2Rio website.

Lisa with paintbrushes

Lisa is wearing an embroidered blouse from Oaxaca, and skirt from Chiapas – find these beauties here in the Oaxacan markets!

About Lisa Sonora, your hostess and guide (guidess!)

Lisa Sonora is an American artist, author, and intrepid traveler, based in Oaxaca, Mexico, who wants to live in a world where everyone remembers that they are an artist.

Originally trained as an art therapist, and a long-time student of meditation, Lisa brings a compassionate and contemplative approach to her teaching.  

Her first book, The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Guidebook to Making Business Ideas Real (Quarry, 2008) launched a movement that has helped thousands to live their creative dreams.

A sought after facilitator, she’s led international writing and creativity workshops on five continents for more than 20 years: at schools in Africa, inside tech companies, coach training programs, churches and zendos, and at retreat centers and in universities.

She trains others to lead creativity workshops in her Creative Journey Facilitator Training program.

Lisa is passionate about demystifying the creative process, and takes a practical approach to getting creative work done. If you’ve got resistance, bring it!

Her 30 Day Journal Project brings together a global audience online twice a year to celebrate the power and magic of regular daily writing.

She loves guiding creative souls in making their own art and magic in the world’s most inspiring places.


Image credits: All images taken by Lisa Sonora in Oaxaca, snapped with an iPhone.

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