A Sketchnoted Travel Journal

A Sketchnoted Travel Journal

Hello and welcome to Verbal To Visual.
Today I would like to share how you can use three tools: a spiral-bound paper
notebook, a Pentel Energel pen, and a Fujifilm instant camera to document a
travel experience. First, let me share a quick flip through to show you what my
finished travel journal looks like before digging into some of the details.
I used this journal to capture a long weekend visit to Austin, Texas with my
fiance Shelby. Neither of us had been to the city before, but it had been on our
list of places to visit for quite some time, so it was fun to spend a low key
weekend walking and scootering and Lyfting around the city. And even though
there will be some memories from that trip that we won’t forget, the purpose of
creating a journal like this is to capture some of the snapshots of the
day’s activities, in some cases literal snapshots with the photos, in other cases
sketched snapshots, each of which serve as an entry point into that particular
activity or memory. And even though it’s super easy to take photos on your phone
and even keep a digital journal in something like Evernote, I feel like
there’s a little bit more value and use that comes from a journal like this that
you can literally grab off the shelf and flip through. This is fun to revisit now
(just a couple of weeks after this trip) and I think it will be even more fun to
revisit years and even decades in the future. So with that as an overview of
this travel journal, let’s next look at the individual pieces, starting with at
the camera. We actually picked up this camera while in Austin. We happened to
stumble upon it in a store that we hopped into, but we’d seen it before: a
friend of ours owns this same camera and brings it along to some group activities.
We’ve also seen it at a couple of weddings, and in fact Shelby and I plan
to use it at ours. The film for these cameras is not cheap. Each cartridge
contains ten photos and you can get these two-packs. I think it comes out to
somewhere between $1 and $1.50 per photo, which yes is a little bit
expensive, but what I like about that is that it means you pay a little bit more
attention to what you do choose to capture. You can’t take ten photos in a
row on your phone and then delete all but the best. You have to put a little
bit more attention and energy into the capturing process, and I think that’s a
helpful constraint to get you to capture not every single memory just the
highlights. You’re able to adjust the exposure depending on how much light you
have. It takes a little bit of practice to get right. Here’s a poorly-exposed
photo when Shelby and I were walking along the river. But with a bit of
practice you get the hang of it and my goal with our trip was simply to take
just one photo of every major activity we did during the day. Let’s next take a
look at how we weaved together the photos we took along with some sketchnotes to
accompany those photos and add a bit more imagery. We combined those within
this Traveler’s Company notebook, captured of course the location of our visit
(Austin, Texas), the dates, even our flight route they’re, our first trip out to The
White Horse for some live music and dancing. For me it’s fun to sketch out
the signs of the places we visit. Oftentimes that’s a restaurant or bar, so
the idea with the combination of these sketches and photographs is just to be
able to kind of revisit our day a little bit, remind ourselves of where we went to
eat, the places we visited, and what we did in those places. Like exploring the
new public library which has these cool floating stairways, stumbling upon a
bunch of cool books that have design ideas for rustic homes, a chilly walk along
the Colorado River, and so on. We stayed in an Airbnb throughout this trip: a
very affordable one because it’s a small old-school trailer, just enough space for
the two of us. And even though the quality of the photos aren’t as good as
if we had taken them with our phones and then printed them out somewhere, for me I
kind of like the character that comes from less polished photos, and the fact
that they dispense instantly from the camera and that you can see them develop –
that’s pretty cool. I feel like it’s rare for us to see
printed out photos because we’re so used to looking at them
on a screen. And with the added handwritten text, we’re able to share
what we did associated with each of those photos, include some details that
weren’t captured by photo, and add some commentary to whatever events we happened
to explore that day. I like to use this opportunity to practice drawing things
that I’ve never drawn before, sometimes with a physical reference right in front
of me – drawing it more or less realistically, and other times
simplifying it and drawing it a bit more abstract than the real thing but still
giving a clear visual as to what it was we were experiencing. So in that way I
kind of also used this as a fun practice activity to help me develop my
sketchnoting skills, that will come in handy for future note-taking sessions.
And you’ve got all the same elements too: some hierarchy with text, simple imagery,
weaving the two together. So if you’re looking for a new way to capture your
next travel experience, something that you’ll enjoy looking back on in the
future, and also something that will help you
develop your visual note-taking skills, then try something like this yourself –
your own sketchnoted journal, maybe with some polaroid style instant photos to
supplement your sketches. I hope that the examples I shared here gave you some
starting points. And if you would like a bit more support on the sketchnoting
side of things, then check out the courses available at www.verbaltovisual.com, links down below. Thank you so much for watching. Have fun experimenting with
your own sketchnoted travel journals, and I’ll see you again in the next video.
Till then.

10 thoughts on “A Sketchnoted Travel Journal

  1. Eventhough I have developed my own style it would be way better sir if you also give a few tips this sketchnoting thing is simply the king of all arts it is also helping me in my stand up comedy 😊😊😊😊

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