Ideas – 4 Tips for Taking Your Art on the Road

As the new year starts, I can’t help but wonder where the road ahead will take me–both literally and figuratively! I don’t know how much of this is apparent to the outside world, but I live a pretty mobile lifestyle. I spend a lot of time on the road–due mostly to my consulting job, long distance/long-term relationship, and distance from my family. I had never really anticipated living this way, but even though I’m still young I already know life has a way of throwing in these kinds of kinks.

4 Tips for Taking Art on the Road

2014 was really about finding ways to nurture my inner artist and I know 2015 will be about continuing to find creative sustenance. Here are some things that worked for me over the past year:

Tip 1: Find travel-sized sketchbooks or journals.

This probably seems like a no-brainer, but enabling myself with the proper tools made all the difference. When I first started traveling, I didn’t bring anything with me at all because I worried about transporting my big, clunky sketchbooks. After finding books that were compact and easy to stow, it made it easier for me to express myself on the go. There are plenty of books in all different sizes out there on the market or you could even bind your own!

Tip 2: Don’t feel pressured to bring every art supply in your arsenal.

Until I started traveling every week with only my backpack and 18″ carry-on suitcase, I was a chronic over-packer. I frequently brought things I never even ended up using. With such limited space, I knew I could only bring a few supplies with me. And you know what? It was perfectly okay! I didn’t need every art supply in my possession to be able to work in my journals and make pieces that were satisfying. My travel essentials consisted of pencils, erasers, colored pencils, a pencil sharpener, and black ink pens.

Tip 3: Maximize your free time for creativity.

I know when I have free time I spend a lot of it tinkering around on my phone. It’s easy for 5 minutes to turn into 30 minutes or more without accomplishing all that much. Over the last year I spent a lot of time sitting at the airport waiting for flights or through delays. While I can’t say I didn’t spend any time on my phone, I did manage to reclaim bits of it for my journals. Instead of working on a page all the way through, I worked on pages incrementally throughout the week. It was actually nice and a little bit different for me. Looking at something with new eyes on a different day can really add to a piece.

Tip 4: Spend time getting inspired.

For me, living the creative life isn’t totally about creating all of the time–part of it is also about getting inspired. When I wasn’t able to sit down with my journals, I spent some time looking around me. Nature is ever changing and always has a lot to offer for all the senses. In 2014, I especially liked being in an airplane because I got to see it from another perspective. I also spent a great deal of time looking at architecture since I was traveling to different parts of the country. In some cases, I was fortunate enough to visit parks and museums. When I was in Mississippi, I got a chance to walk through their art museum. Their rich quilting history continues to inspire elements in my journal pages. And of course, good, old-fashioned people-watching is always fun, too!

Artfully Megan Signature

Do you travel frequently? How do you nourish your creative side when you’re out traveling?

Art Journal Page – Be Confident

One of the things I love the most about art journaling is that I can take any bit of anxiety and frustration and just put it down on the page. Art journaling doesn’t have to be pretty, there aren’t any rules, and it’s easy to do with even the most basic of supplies.

Last week in particular I was feeling a little bit under pressure because I was given additional responsibilities in my job. It’s definitely going to be a huge professional development opportunity and a big step forward in furthering my career. With any new endeavor comes excitement and ambition, but I was finding that my old habits of negativity and doubt were lying in wait, ready to pounce. Rather than let my thoughts wander into crazy (and unlikely!) scenarios of failure, I decided to pull out my art journal and create something uplifting instead.

Art Journal Page - Be Confident

Art Journal Page – “Be Confident”
Supplies: marker, gel pen, puff paint, washi tape

The focus of this page is the phrase “Be Confident” and I wanted it to be as bold as I need to be. I chose capital, block letters that I outlined in glitter for more impact. I went for a brighter color palette like purple, green, hot pink, and yellow. I tried to punch it up a little by using yellow puff paint and including animal print, which for me always seems to be symbolic of being playful.

Even though I probably wouldn’t consider this the best art journal page I’ve made, I’m still really pleased with the way it was able to take all of my intense emotion and channel them together into a positive reminder.

Artfully Megan Signature

Have you ever created a page out of emotion? What types of pages did you create?