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6 packing tips for a traveling artist

Traveling with art is not easy, but it is what can help you expand the horizons of your creativity and talent. 

Every traveling artist knows that packing art supplies and other stuff correctly is extremely important. You need to select only the essential items instead of packing the entire studio. In case you have not drawn up your own checklist yet, here are several packing tips that are just what you need for your next travel.

6 packing tips for a traveling artist
1. Do your homework

First, it is worth doing a bit of homework. If you are going to the Maldives where the lowest temperature is 24°C, there is no need to pack a heavy jacket. Check the restrictions on traveling or flying between the countries or states and make sure you do not have anything in your luggage that can be a reason for you being arrested or detained.

2. Invest in a durable carry-on
You should never save on the quality of your carry-on luggage. Investing in a high-quality durable bag may cost a bit more, but this way, you will win in the long run. You probably do not want your cheap bag to break at the critical moment. All in all, high-quality luggage will help you avoid headaches as you run to catch your connecting flight.

3. Purchase bright luggage
One of the most common mistakes most travelers make is buying black, gray, or brown luggage. It is impossible to distinguish it from the rest on the conveyor belt unless you have tied a bright ribbon or some other sort of identifier to the handle. To solve this problem in an instant, look for an orange or lime green suitcase. This way, you minimize the chance that someone else will take your luggage.

4. Pack light
There are different types of luggage, so it may require some time to choose something appropriate for whatever trip you are undertaking. Keep in mind that in terms of traveling, bigger is not better. Therefore, try your best to take the smallest bag you can, especially if you are traveling by public transport (e.g., taxi, ship, bus, plane, etc.).

If you need to pack a precious piece of fine art for a trip but know nothing about how to do it correctly, consider professional fine art services that may meet all your needs and help you find the right solution to your particular problem.

5. Draw up a checklist
Having your own travel checklist is a good way to make sure that you do not forget to include anything. If you are a beginner in traveling, here are a few items that you likely will want to take with you on a trip.

  • Paper/Sketchbook/Surface

Unless you are a street artist, you need a surface that you can use for expressing your imagination. If you like the feeling of painting on canvas, bring a few canvas paper pads. Make sure you have a few small travel sketchbooks or several pieces of watercolor paper that you can then paste into your own handmade sketchbook.

  • Pens/Pencils

Always bring kneaded and pen erasers, graphite pencils, and inking pens with you. Make sure you have several different pens and pencils. To protect your tools from getting lost, have them all in a closable case. It will also make them convenient to access in your bag. Besides, it is worth bringing a mechanical clutch pencil with you on a trip because it is versatile, and you can use the point and the side of the lead.

  • Color markers

Markers have proven to be an affordable and excellent choice for traveling artists. Therefore, do not forget to pack a small selection of your most-used color palette markers with some pieces of paper. It is also recommended that you have your laptop and a portable scanner to work while you are away from your studio.

  • Gouache

In addition to pencils, pens, and sketchbooks, you may want to bring gouache with you, especially if have an art project with a strict deadline. Choose gouache paints with very rich and intense pigments. They usually come in small tubes, making them very handy when traveling.

  • Watercolor paints

If you enjoy sketching on the go, you should assemble a mini art kit that can fit into your purse or the smallest of your bags. Such a kit usually contains a travel-sized watercolor set. Try your best to find the perfect one that contains a water brush to mix colors easily.

  • Brushes

Packing your paintbrushes properly is extremely important, as they cost quite a bit of money. Find a piece of cardboard of an appropriate size and place your paintbrushes next to each other, one by one on top of it. Wrap your brushes and cardboard around several times. Such a wrap will avoid your brushes from getting tangled with other tools. Then, place the second piece of cardboard of the same size on top for extra protection. Make sure your brushes lay flat in your bag, and do not place heavy items on them.

  • Camera

If capturing memories and moments is the main reason for your trip, a quality portable camera is a must. If you are a traveling artist, you may also need to take some photos of beautiful sceneries or impressing architecture to maintain your spark as a creative when you come back home. To ensure your camera will travel with you safely and securely, you need to get a special camera bag. Find the one that is both beautiful and sustainable. The perfect camera bag is supposed to look like a purse and have a padded insert for your camera, batteries, cards, and lens.

6. Think of digital art alternatives
There are many fascinating new digital tools available for traveling artists. You may use styluses and digital canvases that have upgraded to high standards and are affordable enough for an average backpacker.

Hopefully, you will find these packing tips for traveling artists useful. Traveling with art is not easy, but it is what can help you expand the horizons of your creativity and talent. Just give it a try!

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.