The Art of the Travel Journal

How do you record your journey?

I have only ever been a sporadic diarist during day-to-day life, but I’m fairly strict while travelling. Each of my travel journals has a different personality, influenced by the choice of notebook, the type of trip and naturally, the destination.

These are a few of them:

Art Travel Journal Collection Diary Notebooks

I’ve tended to fill them with scrawled text rather than images. A few sketches can be found here and there (see below), and I’ve become more organised within my notebooks, but overall my priority has been in recording impressions of new places using words.

Art Travel Journal Sketch Diary Drawing

However, there are some very talented travelling artists who demonstrate how it’s possible to create memory-evoking images on the pages of a travel (or daily) journal.

Stephanie Ledoux‘s pages depicting people and small details from her time in Vanuatu are an inspiration (website in French). In the absence of such lovely painting skills as Stephanie’s, I can still aspire to the layering and layout effects that she has created in her journal.

That’s one of the people from my journals, below, a woman from a foreign magazine.

Art Travel Journal Diary Drawing Woman Face

Robin Poteet is a watercolour artist whose “sketchbook” from her journey in Umbria and Tuscany, Italy, is sumptuous. Indeed, you don’t need many words if you can so effectively capture your experiences using brush and paint.

My own sketches are quite a bit simpler, see below.

Art Travel Journal Diary Sketch Drawing Zen Garden

The method of construction and the inclusion of found and collected articles from the journey also plays a part in the creation of a journal. Nicola Tingey‘s example of a travel art journal shows how interesting tickets and maps can be when making a record of your trip. For those who prefer some structure to begin with, there are excellent resources available such as “Useful Books” on etsy. These attractive travel journals feature plenty of spaces to tuck tiny keepsakes and paper mementoes.

(I think that’s meant to be a travelling self-portrait, below).

Art Travel Journal Diary Diary Drawing Many Cha Cha

There are many inspiring examples of travel art journals out there on the internet. And there’s a book called “An Illustrated Journey”, by Danny Gregory, which features lovely work by Lisa Cheney Jorgensen and 40 other artists on the road.

I’m keen to spend more time on my journal for the next trip, but I suspect I’ll get the best results if I try to encourage the involvement of the small artists in the family, too.

Now that’s an artistic and physical challenge.

Art Travel Journal Diary Inspirations Many Cha Cha

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