Art: Tommy Kane

Since it’s officially Summer, we will be focusing some posts on travel and how a sketchbook makes the BEST travel companion. This week, we solve a conundrum facing all of us who have ever experienced limited space. Whether it be an overhead bin on a plane or a glove compartment in a car, we can’t always bring home every delightful thing we see during our travels.

For instance, take travel souvenirs. You can buy them on your way out when visiting a museum, or in the postcard rack of a kitschy gift shop. But an even better way to bring back mementos and gifts is to record them in your sketchbook. Who says a drawing can’t be a souvenir? And more importantly, capturing the essence of something one experiences like a sunset over the water or an architectural monument is so much more meaningful when done with a pen or pencil as opposed to the quick click of a camera shutter. If you set out to draw something, chances are you will remember so much more about that experience than when you’re rushing from object to object with a camera in front of your face. In addition to capturing objects and places, you can also record more personal information via writing that will mean so much more to whoever is getting that souvenir than simply being handed a magnet or a keychain. Here is a list of our community’s favorite travel souvenirs to draw:

  • Meetings with both people and (exotic) animals
  • Odd shaped rocks or other environmental objects that need to remain where you find them :)
  • Something handmade
  • Meals or foods you eat that are local to a certain place
  • Labels, tickets, or receipts from cultural attractions
  • Unique paper bags or wrappers to draw on for a change of media!
  • Paper placemats with the menu printed on them (adds a nice dimension to a drawing of that enchilada you had for lunch)
  • Maps like the featured image above. What places did you frequent? What routes did you take?
  • Stamps or postcards. Make your own versions of cheesy travel postcards to add a personal touch or even make one into a cartoon like Jean Christophe-Delfine's book covers (in Storytelling)

Wherever your summer takes you, don’t forget to tell the story and bring back lots of drawings. And you can take Sketchbook Skool klasses with you wherever you go and watch them on your laptop, tablet, or phone.

Filed under categories: Inspiration, Tips