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7 Steps for filling your summer sketchbook

During the summer, you’ll find Parkway team members scattered up and down the east coast on road trips, family vacations and following their favorite bands. One of our favorite ways to document our summer getaways is a travel sketchbook, filled with observations and experiences we’ve collected during our time away from the office.

Use some of our favorite summer sketchbook tips to fill your own visual journal. By the time the leaves start to fall, you’ll have a keepsake more memorable than any shot glass souvenir.

1. Set Time Aside

Taking a few moments of every day to reflect on your experiences will turn into a habit in no time. It might be easiest for you to document your day in the evening as things are winding down. Or, you may prefer to update your summer sketchbook in the moment. Drawing what’s in front of you makes you more observant and really allows you to soak in your surroundings and enjoy the moment!

2. Note Details

Including lots of details from your day – even the boring ones – will help you remember your summer travels. Draw what you ate, what you saw and what you learned. Note your favorite places and experiences so you can look back on them long after your summer is over.

3. Let it Flow

Instead of erasing or starting a new page, embrace serendipity. Don’t dwell on pages you’re not in love with. Travel journaling is all about getting your experiences on the page – not about how they look once they’re there. You can always clip a photo or two over the drawings that didn’t come out exactly how you wanted them.

4. Mix it Up

Don’t be afraid to mix media. Try a new medium or use an old favorite to capture the essence of the day. Some of our favorite media are:

  • Colored pencil
  • Watercolor
  • Photos
  • Maps
  • Tickets and boarding passes
  • Washi tape

5. Get Inspired

Some days, your travels may feel exciting enough to sketch. When you need a little inspiration, try one of these ideas:

  • List each item from your day’s itinerary.
  • Consider what you’re most grateful for in the moment.
  • Share a quote or lyrics that describe your feelings.
  • Take inspiration from #traveljournaling on Instagram.

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6. Share Your Sketchbook

Whether you’re traveling with someone or make new friends on the road, invite them to participate in your journaling process. Their perspective on your shared experiences may be completely different.

7. Have Fun

We can’t recommend this step enough. Without it, journaling may begin to feel like a chore. If you’re not feeling it, simply jot down the basics and add to them later if you can.

So pack away those notebooks and your medium of choice (pencils work just fine if you’re trying to save space) and get to documenting all that your summer has to offer. Your travel journals will soon become your favorite souvenir – we promise!