Tea Gudek Snajdar – Culture Tourist
December 2018 | Sofia Simeonidou
Tea’s passion for Art is striking. In a world of general knowledge and high-level information it feels good to talk with people who offer products and services with tangible value. Education and studying Art brings us together and Tea knows how to do that through her Art tours and Art & Travel blog.
Tell me about Culture Tourist?
Culture Tourist was founded three years ago in an effort to connect art and travel and promote cultural over mass tourism. I’m running a travel blog focusing on art and culture in Europe and I’m organising art tours in Amsterdam Museums, at the Van Gogh, the Rembrandt House and the Rijks. I’ve also created some art related travel products, my colouring postcards, I’d love to do more of that in the future.
Are you offering private Art tours?
Yes, I’m mostly doing private tours. The maximum number of people is six. It’s nicer to be in a smaller group in order to have the time to ask more questions and have more detailed conversations.
Is it a competitive market?
I think Amsterdam is receiving many visitors and there’s a lack of tour guides. We can’t cover the demand so we need more art/history educated guides who also have experience with managing groups. Most of us tour guides here in Amsterdam, we work well together and support each other so I don’t feel a certain type of competition.
Where do you find your clients?
I’d say most of my clients find me via word of mouth. People come to my Art tours and then they send their friends. There are also a few big platforms for art tourism where interested people can book a tour via these platforms. And I’m also collaborating with agencies that are promoting art tours as part of their offerings.
How did it all start?
Ever since I was a child, I was always saying I was either going to become a painter or a writer. I had a great teacher that she was into art and she transmitted this love to all her students/kids. I went to the Art high school and then I studied Art History and History. My Master’s is in Art History. While at the University I worked at a museum and so I could both finance my study and gain work experience related to my field.
When did you move to Amsterdam?
I moved to Amsterdam after I finished University together with my partner. We wanted to travel and live in another country to savour the international experience.
Who’s your favourite painter?
Which museum would you visit first if you were a tourist in Amsterdam?
Rijksmuseum is in the top museums in the world and it has a great collection so I’d visit that first.
Do you have any fav artist?
I like the very first modern artists, impressionists or first expressionists because they changed the course of art history. My favourite painters are Monet and Van Gogh. I can appreciate Van Gogh so much more now.
What is it that you love about having your own company?
The freedom to pursue the changes you want for your company. You have the freedom to pursue your own ideas and prioritise the projects that matter to you the most.
What are the challenges?
The freedom comes with a price. For me it’s the uncertainty of future projects and whether I’ll have a job/project in the next months. That’s a challenge. Another challenge is all the administration and financials.
Would you go back to a 9 to 5 job?
Not now. Maybe in the future but to be honest I can’t see myself as an employee now. It’s great for some people but it wouldn’t work for me and my company at this point in my life.
If you had to suggest to me three places to visit around the world?
I love Paris for the art and its lifestyle vibe. I try to visit at least once a year. I also love Scandinavia and cities like Stockholm and Copenhagen. I like the way of living, nature and I was always lucky with the weather. And my favourite summer holiday destination is in Croatia, where I come from. Istria is really beautiful for the summer holidays.
How do you feel about social media?
It’s not what I enjoy doing the most. I open my FB account when I moved here four years ago. I understand the importance of SM for business purposes but I also find it to be a big time wasting activity. I’m spending enough time on it and not sure about the results. Offline networking is best for me. I’m better with people when I meet them face to face. I really enjoy talking to people.
Would you live somewhere else in the world?
Yes, I’d live in a different country. I feel there’s so much out there so I’d live somewhere for a few years and go back to Croatia at some point. When I think about my life in 10 years I don’t think I’ll be here. At the moment is great, it’s a great place to raise a family and to be an entrepreneur.
I've already started shifting my work more into doing business online. I'm going to offer less of the art tours and focus more on my travel blog and creating new Culture Tourist products in the following months. More of my colouring postcards sets will be launched soon, Paris postcards are next. I'm already planning some really exciting travel campaigns - let me just say I'll be going on a trip where I'll be following the footsteps of a famous 19th Century painter!