top of page

Why make a travel art journal?

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

Art Travel Journaling

Don’t you wish you could imprint your travel memories in your mind? Those golden afternoons exploring, delicious meals, the interesting characters you meet. Taking tons of selfies or posting on Instagram isn’t quite the same as really remembering being IN that moment. Why not keep a travel art journal? Art journaling allows you to spend a little more time to soak in and meditate on those special moments while building on and improving your skills as an artist. There are loads of reasons to let your inner artist run free before, during, and after your next voyage!

Pre-travel Art Journaling

Great, so you’ve picked up your travel notebook (Moleskine and Field Notes are popular brands) and art supplies kit – now what? You can start journaling before your adventure even begins! Sketching and planning before your trip helps you focus your planning, gather information, and prolong the excitement! Gather together travel documents and paste them into your travel sketchbook. Draw some of the essentials from your packing list. Most importantly, get creative and have fun with it!

During your trip

Daily life is often go-go-go, and many times we end up traveling in the same way! We feel the need to see and do everything and don’t take time to stop and ‘smell the roses’. Keeping an art journal is a creative pursuit that helps you slow down and concentrate on on what’s right in front of you.

What should you record in your art journal? That depends on you, of course, but it can be anything from a glass of wine to an ancient monument! Get comfortable, as you’ll want to be in a spot you can spend some time in while you observe and create. Make sure you have enough room to spread out your art supplies! We love working with watercolors and pen and ink or colored markers as they are easily portable and dry quickly. You can start with a quick sketch and some notes, and then color them in. Add as much or as little details as you want. Another great idea is creating collages from stamps and stickers, museum entrances, metro tickets, you name it!

The daily practice of keeping a travel art journal will help you organize your thoughts and collect your impressions of the places, people, and moments you want to remember. Keep it simple – this is a chance to center yourself, practice your art and enjoy your time traveling. If you don’t love what you’ve created, no sweat – turn the page, tomorrow is another day!

After your vacation and beyond

You can even journal on your return trip home, drawing and sketching are a great way to pass the time spent waiting around in airports or train stations! After your trip, your art journal will become a tangible souvenir of your journey – something you can flip through to remind yourself of your adventures, or to share with friends and family. As an artist you will be able to see how your skills change and evolve over time. Your travel art journal will provide you with rich memories – having observed and sketched those special scenes will shine brightly in your mind for a long time to come. Sign up for one of our Virtual Lessons or join us on our signature Sketching Spain Art Retreats in the Fall! You can also check out Judith’s website to get more inspiration, or Adler & Marlow‘s site to start thinking about travel options!

About the Author: Erin Van de Hey is a freelance writer, outdoor enthusiast, and wine lover. Connect with her on Instagram and on LinkedIn.

36 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page