Travel Journal Tips #3 · WHAT AND HOW TO JOURNAL · semiskimmedmin

Alright you lot, I just wanted to come on here and get an art video out for you all

before my birthday celebrations and festival goings begin.

And this has been hugely requested since I started my travel journal series, so while

I work in this spread in my Mexico travel journal, demonstrating what I'm talking about,

I'm basically gonna go over all the things you need to know to get started with your

own art journal or travel journal.

So first of all, as I always say, there's no right

or wrong way to do things.

We all experience things differently, see things differently.

And therefor we'll want to have our own way of showing and displaying those things.

Note down the things that stand out to you personally and represent that on paper however

you prefer.

You might be more into cut-outs and photos, stickers, more text, more drawings, no drawings.

And whether you put together your journal on location or maybe once you get home, these

are the key points that I think are relevant to anyone.


Keep note.

I’ve talked about it before but I've been in the habit of keeping a holiday diary since

I was very young.

Mum called it the captain’s log and every evening we'd each take turns in being able

to write down what we got up to on that particular day of the holiday.

It was all in the same little notebook so on our next holiday when she got the book

out we could look back on all our other adventures as well.

Now, I tend to keep my captains log in the notes section on my phone.

I always have my phone on me, so it's always within reach to fill in a bit of my goings-on

if I'm waiting as a station or on a longish journey from one part of my holiday to another.

Plus it's always there for you to look back on when you're home and wheneber you want.

Go into as much or as little detail as you want.

I thought I'd read you a couple of examples of entries from two different holidays of


The first was in Rhodes, Greece and we'd just got to our home for the week.

It says '...The large wooden double doors open to a bright courtyard roofed with the

vines of a lemon tree.

All the plants that surround the two seating areas are green and vibrant.

Doors on the side lead to the bathroom, kitchen and a small side-room with a bed.

The main room has a medieval, exotic feel; wood and stone, lanterns, candles, pottery

and tribal art.

On either side of the huge, high-ceilinged room on a platform are big double beds.

White stairs outside go up to another table area and higher still is the roof where you

can see the entire town.

The buildings, the beach, the cliffs, the acropolis....' okay so lots of detail there.

The next one is from a trip to Berlin, Germany.

It was an equally as exciting trip and re-reading my journal brings back the same vivid memories

but my writing style is much different.

This one says 'Day 1; Freidrichsain, prenzlaurberg, neukolln.

Bus 100 tour: brandenburger tour, siegesaeule, opera house, Tiergarten Zoo and aquarium,

Train drama, Met daisy and friends, Chalet, Got shawarma to eat, Gorlitzer Park with rene

and friends.'

Very different writing style but for me the second one makes as much sense and stirs as

many memories as the first.

Good things to note would be what you ate, how was the weather, standout moments from

the day and people you met (especially names if you can remember them, it's a really nice


Next tip,

Collect everything.

Pick up any relevant brochures, maps, business cards, keep tickets for buses, trains it all

makes great stuff for sticking in.


Take pictures To refer to for drawing but also to stick


You can use your phone, camera, a disposable or even better underwater disposable.

With digital photos, I print them on my regular printer with regular ink but order cheap photo

paper from amazon to print it on.

It makes such a difference to the quality and colours.

Now then,

when assembling a page;

If I’m doing the whole thing at home, I lay out all the things I’ve accumulated,

print out pictures, put it all in a timeline and start mentally dividing up the sketchbook;

'on this page I could do something to do with this day, the next page could be about the

next couple of days', and I slot in the loose bits that are relevant to each bit.

A post-it to let you know what you have planned is great as well.

You can also freestyle it which is generaly how it goes when you’re journalling on location,

in your hotel room the evening or day after these things actually occurred.

For a spread, I personally will start out with an idea of what I want it to look like,

once I know what I’m going to be talking about.

I might lightly block out areas of the page to say, writing here, photo here.

You could also just go ahead and start drawing or painting or sticking things in and see

where it takes you.

I start with drawings.

I refer to photos taken, use google maps street view if I need to, or even pinteerst, It’s

also great to try to draw from memory or even from your imagination.

This isn’t an enclycolpedia, it doesn’t have to be exact, its about how you felt and

how you interpreted what you've seen and done.

Landscapes and buildings are always a nice thing to draw in a travel journal, landmarks

and even people youve met if you can.

If you’re wondering about the tools I use and how I use them, you can check out the

video I have on exactly that.

Next I stick in things that need sticking in.

I also sometimes include envelopes or pockets for loose bits that I want to keep but not

so much display.

Then in the gaps I might write a bit, depending on how self explanatory the page might be.

If you prefer to focus more on the writing, I’d recommend doing that first and working

your art and stick in bits around it.

Experiment with different page layouts

Fill a page spread with one big drawing, do lots of little drawings, layer drawings over

each other, write a full page of text, make a collage of photos, set it out like an illustrated

book, or newspaper article.

And that’s pretty much it, you can add embellishments to the page to give it a bit more vibrancy

and dynamic, I like paint splatters but I use them in moderation, not on every page.

You could add stamps, stickers, nice tape, glitter, other textures, whatever you’re

into to give it your unique touch.

Don't forget to go out and have fun.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself to create the perfect picture book.

Make memories and make art.

It doesn't have to be more complicated than that.

See you later guys.