What’s in Your Backpack features members and guests of ClickSpace. Within our breezy cafe a creative energy inspires passionate, unique people from around the world. Often arriving with just a backpack, they’re letting us tell their stories.
Travis mural
I try to draw every day when I wake up, for an hour. I make a habit of doing what I love everyday.

Coloring books don’t age discriminate for this busy bee. Artist by trade and Hanoi transplant from the USA, Travis Risner is the brainchild behind Art Night and kindling the blossoming creative scene in Vietnam’s capital.

Starting with just leisurely spare-time doodles in Korea, Travis evolved to produce a coloring book for adults. The launch was so successful that ClickSpace now holds a bi-monthly event uniting drink specials and coloring. What better way to unwind?

“When you have the art night you are breaking down a lot of barriers. You bring everything to them and give people a chance to be creative. It takes away the excuses and stresses of finding the stuff.”

Travis lights inspiration more than twice a month. Leading workshops in Hanoi focused on mindfulness for adults and creativity for kids, his ultimate goal is to see people get excited about the creative process. Aside from the workshops he assists GingerWorks- an art installation group for music events like Quest Festival.

“There’s a growing creative community here in Hanoi. People are actively creating events, multiple events happen every day. ClickSpace is a part of that.”

Travis mural 2

Then he starts answering my key question before I can ask it. Maybe it’s time to start making “What’s in your backpack?” my surprise zinger. Too late now.

He begins to list: laptop, drawing tablet- because it’s easier to draw on photoshop, sketchbook, drawing pens, planner and a notebook.

I press to see if any sentimental items are hidden among the crafty bits.

“Not really, just sketchbooks. I draw and sketch in different coffeeshops when I travel. I can look back and remember where I was at when I drew each thing. It is more sentimental than buying stuff” he says.

An event creator, self-starter, and regular patron, I ask him why ClickSpace.

“ClickSpace is my second living room. Working at other places just doesn’t work for me. It is so friendly, the staff knows my name, they’re helpful, supportive and encourage me to share art here” he says.