How to Keep Making Art While Travelling

If you are an artist, making art will be part of your day to day life. It will be something that brings you great joy and happiness and it is an outlet for your creative mind. However, if you are going on a long backpacking trip and are going to be living out of your backpack for a while, you might be wondering how you can keep making art while you travel.

Creating Art While Travelling: watercolour-174548_960_720

Creating Art While Travelling

While you can’t take your easel and all of your paints with you while you travel, it is possible to keep up your creative practice when you are on the road. Here are some tips for creating art while travelling.

  • Start by buying a small blank page sketchbook that you can use to draw while you are on the road. It should be small enough to fit into your backpack and sturdy enough so that it will not be bent or torn. You’ll also need a small case to carry the bare essentials you need for drawing and perhaps a tiny portable paint kit.
Take a Sketch Book
Take a Sketch Book: Photo on Flickr by William / CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Make sure that you bring your camera along and take lots of photos. You can later use them as reference images for drawings and paintings when you return.
  • Go sit in a café and watch the world go by, then start to sketch the people and the scenery around you. It’s a great way to practice your art as well as observe your new surroundings while travelling.
Watching the World go by
Watching the World go by: Photo on Flickr by Mike Hauser / CC BY 2.0
  • Go to the local art galleries when you travel for inspiration. You might see some artwork that is different than what you see back home and you might get some new ideas.
  • Work on your sketches while you ride a train or bus. You can draw portraits of the other people, sketch things that you remember from your travels or draw from your imagination.
  • Look to see if there are any art classes, groups or drop-in life drawing sessions in the location where you are visiting. This could give you a chance to practice your art as well as meet other artists.
Join an Art Class
Join an Art Class: Photo on Flickr by Isabella Medici / CC BY 2.0
  • You can use little bits of ephemera from your travels, such as restaurant receipts, postcards, ticket stubs and much more. This can be used to make collage or just enhance one of your drawings.
  • If you want to paint with water-colors when you are out and about, you can seal some water in a container with a lid in case you find yourself somewhere without a water source.

Making art based on your surroundings while you travel can be a great way to pay more attention to the little details and to immerse yourself in your environment. Plus, your drawings and paintings will be a great way to capture the beautiful things you see around you when you are travelling. So, why not pack up your sketchbook and bring it along with you on your next adventure? Who knows where you will end up?

About Kelly Dunning


A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run, packed full with travel guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style for the last three years, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.

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