Today I want to talk a little bit about finding inspiration for your art journals when you are travelling. Specifically from your travel photos. I don’t know about you, I have been taking photos of stuff that inspires me for years, things such as floor patterns, cracks in a wall, cool architecture, shapes of nature or colours. I have probably thousands of them, but do I use them in my art? Nope. They all sits on the hard drive forgotten. Until last week when I heard Lauren Hooper speak on the How She Creates Podcast about how she uses the inspiration she collects at her travels in her art journals. That got my inspiration going! I will tell you about that soon. Lauren also just released her ecourse Travel Like An Artist about how to find and collect inspiration wether you are on a long trip around the world or exploring your home turf. Lauren is one of the hosts for my favourite art journaling community Get Messy Art Journal. 

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to Gran Canaria with my parents. We had a lovely trip with plenty of this:


We also travelled around a bit and had amazing food. Pretty normal charter travelling things. My husband is an introvert and I am an ambivert so I knew that both of us needed alone time, perfect time for me to do travel art journaling. I brought some supplies and a simple journal, more about this in an upcoming post.

During our trip I took quite a few photos so when I listened to the How She Creates podcast on the plane home I knew I needed to start right away. I scrolled through the photos in my phone and found quite a few that evoked something in me. Down below are some that I didn’t use for this project. These first two ones I think are quite nice photos.


This one above is quite obvious for inspiration; the colours are awesome and there are a lot of repetition going on in the shapes.


Here you can find repetition again in the vertical and almost diagonal lines in the masts. There is a feathery like cloud in the sky and in the water are wavy reflections that evokes a dreamy like quality.

Some photos turn out pretty crappy and can still inspire, below are some photos from our trip to the mountains:


The light shining through the windows onto the Christ Statue in the Church of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. I love how you can see the colours of the stained glass window even if the strong light has blown the highlights of the window. The Christ Statue is barely visible which sets the mood.


These roots grows near the peak of Roque Nublo and could symbolise that you can survive everywhere or that you are firmly planted. There is a fuzzy feeling about the green pine needles and the weird blue effect around them can be cool around an image.

On the plane home I took this photo:


Nothing I would put in an album but look at the colours, the dreamy reflexion in the window that feels like a double exposure and even the frost specks on the windows. I am in love with the feel of this.

The photos below are the ones I used for my art journal page:


Several of these are originally a small part of the original photos, that’s why the angles are awkward in the the images of window decorations. Something in each of these images intrigued and inspired me. I forgot to add this to the collage:


I don’t know how many photos of cool floors or pavings I have. This was a paving in Puerto de Mogan.

From all these ten elements I sketched this:


Can you find the inspiration photos in the line art? I think it is so cool that I could use all these elements and create an original piece of art that is truly me and also push me to try a technique I’ve never used.

Besides doing art journaling I find colouring very relaxing and now I suddenly had my very own colouring page:


All made with watercolour pencils and Neocolor II’s activated with water afterwards.

The sky was inspired by this video about turbulence and Vincent Van Gogh even though it doesn’t look like it at all.


This little fella just came to me and wanted to be in the image and I think he is my favourite in this image even if I quite like the whole painting.

Thank you for reading the whole way through. I couldn’t help myself scanning in the page and clean it up a bit for you if you’d like to colour it yourself. You can download it here. I would love to see what you create so please tag me on IG with @by.smilinthyme – that would make my day. Enjoy!