Traveling Artist: Creating Art While Traveling

*A guest post by Victoria Martin.

It’s summer and as I write this I am seated in an airport ready to board a plane. As I look around at the people passing by I think of how most people probably considered things like which shoes or which jacket to bring. I have to admit that while I packed my mind was occupied with ways to make art.

It’s really funny because I love to travel but in order to do that I have to leave the comfort of my studio. What’s an artist to do?

I’ve created an art project for myself this summer and I challenge you to do the same. This year I’ve challenged myself to try and make 2 dolls based on my summer adventure. It took a bit of planning because I couldn’t build figures the way I normally do. TSA probably wouldn’t allow me to bring a large pile of clay. The airlines would probably drool over the excess baggage weight though. Instead I pondered the situation and made notes in my sketchbook. Prior to leaving I sculpted two small heads out of Creative Paper Clay.

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Knowing I couldn’t carry a bunch of acrylics and brushes a decision was made to paint the eyes, skin tone and seal the heads prior to leaving. And rather than making their bodies out of clay I thought I’d experiment with fabric. Two small torsos and legs were sewn from fabric, primed with Chalk paint and Gesso. Bunches of embroidery thread, needles and tiny scissors were gathered and put into my checked baggage (remember to put all sharp objects into checked baggage). My sketchbook, pencils, pens, and watercolor set were in my carry on bag.

traveling artist

Here’s my challenge to you. Make something based on your summer break. Here are 4 ways to approach the challenge.

1. Change your scale dramatically. If you make super large paintings then make some that are super tiny. Why not paint on matchbooks or bottle caps you find on your adventures?
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2. Change your material. As I stated above I decided to try fabric figures with super hard paper clay. I am not the greatest seamstress out there but why not give it a try?
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3. Find something and incorporate it into your art. I’ve seen plenty of crushed beverage cans lying in the streets. What if I were to use them as a canvas like these really cool examples.
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4. If you’re in a foreign country use your extra coins to make jewelry. Some of them are so pretty and they’re not so easy to get once you’re back home.
Remember to document your progress and share your artistic adventures on social media. Be sure to show your struggles as well as the successes. People might have great feedback to help you resolve any issues you might have.
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In closing I have to admit with all of the thought and time I put into my doll parts, somewhere deep inside I hope that my vacation is so fun filled I don’t get much time to do it. But I can if I want!

If you liked this post, then you might like some of these titles:
Collage Paint Draw The Urban Sketcher

Victoria Rose Martin is an artist and designer currently living in South Florida. She is the Department Chair for Fine Art and Graphic Design at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Florida. You can visit her website at:

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One Response to Traveling Artist: Creating Art While Traveling

  1. amyguita says:

    What a wonderful post, Victoria! I am a huge fan of portable art kits, and frequently use them in the car, in the airport, and on planes. (Minus the sharps of course!) given that I paint and draw more than sew on the road, this works for me. I loved seeing your delicate and beautiful dolls. I can’t wait to try the paper clay!