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Her father may have been a painter, but Martina Crepulja didn’t always believe she could be an artist.

“I always thought maybe I would work in chemistry,” admits the Bosnia and Herzegovinian illustrator, adding that growing up in Bosnia meant stability was an important quality in a career. “But then, I started to feel like perhaps I could be more. Choosing to study art was certainly a leap of faith – I’m glad I took it.”

Martina Crepulja Brochure Cover ArtistMartina Crepulja

Here at Exodus, we’re pretty glad Martina took that jump, too. As the exclusive cover artist for Exodus Travels’ new collection of 2019-2020 brochures, this talented visual developer has used her whimsical artistic style to showcase Exodus’ unique adventure experiences through a series of colourful 2D conceptual landscapes. 

But this artist is more than talented – a passionate advocate for encouraging and supporting children through art, Martina has volunteered to donate a portion of her artist’s fee to Exodus’ Inspiration Project, an initiative that takes disadvantaged children from around the globe on exciting adventures within their homelands. 

Thailand Inspiration Project KidsStudents from Sarajevo

“I believe that children have the potential to build a better future, but only if they are encouraged to do so,” she says, explaining that as a globetrotter in her own right, she understands the profound influence travel can have on a person’s sense of identity, and confidence. 

And as Martina is always looking for ways to give back, partnering with the Inspiration Project as part of her work on the brochure collection seemed like the perfect fit.

In fact, it was one initiative in particular that pulled on the Bosnian resident’s heartstrings – an Exodus Inspiration Project trip that took 10 students, many of whom had never left urban Sarajevo, on a camping trip to Sutjeska National Park.

Sutjeska National Park BosniaHiking in Sutjeska National Park

The excursion, which was led by an Exodus trip leader and included a monumental list of firsts, including seeing mountains, drinking from a fresh spring, sampling wild strawberries and sitting around a bonfire, was all about connecting children with nature for the first time and showing them a piece of the world beyond their day to day – an invaluable gift, according to Martina.

“Kids from challenging backgrounds need to know that opportunities do exist for them,” she says. “The opportunities that the Inspiration Project provides – a greater knowledge of their own country and culture – can help shape them.”

Suffice to say, the transformative power of travel is something that should be experienced by everyone, no matter where you’re from, or where you’ve been. If we can all find a way to harness travel’s incredible capability for creating positive change and use it to inspire the next generation, who knows what can be achieved?

Kenya Inspiration Project Kids

For Martina, having the self-confidence and support to pursue her artistic ambitions made her realize just how important it is to give children the tools to believe in themselves – and follow their own dreams.

“Creativity and travel are a lot alike – they both create out-of-the-box thinkers and powerful individuals,” she says. “We need more of those in this world.”

Browse our trips to Bosnia and Herzegovina below.