Journal / Notepad / Watercolors / Brushes / Scissors / Pens / Tape
I'm gearing up for another big trip to Asia this month (this time to Thailand and Vietnam) so I thought I would share some of my essentials for doing art on the road. These are my travel basics:
1) A good, bound journal with thick paper. I use this for painting, sketching, taking notes and sticking in ticket stubs, menus and postcards. I've been keeping journals like this for every trip I've taken since I was ten, and they are all lined up on my bookshelf. Sometimes I put a huge amount of work in to my travel journals and sometimes it's just a few sketches and tickets, but they are always fun to look over and reminisce.
2) Watercolors and brushes. Easy clean up, easy transportation. Not so difficult to use that it prevents you from ever pulling them out.
3) A wire-bound notebook. I like to have a second journal to scribble down notes, write down phone numbers, and for notes on trip planning that you might not want in your travel journal.
4) Scissors. I like to travel with child safety scissors since you can take them on an airplane. No forgetting they were in your bag and having to stop at security.
5) Pens and tape. I like to bring black pens and double sided tape. Black pens for sketching, writing, outlining watercolors. Double sided tape for sticking ticket stubs into my travel journal.
I used to travel with my heavy DSLR camera, but started to find that it was so bulky that I often ended up leaving it in my room. I find that if I travel with a rugged point and shoot like this I end up taking more photos that I wouldn't have taken with my big camera, and you don't have to constantly worry about it when you get stuck in the rain or drop it. Obviously if you are a photographer that advice doesn't apply, but it works for me.
So there you have it! Pack it all in a Ziploc bag to keep it dry, and you are ready to go!