Our brains, bodies, and souls all need downtime. And, a break from our hectic, hyper-connected lives can be rejuvenating. It’s is why I am excited to share my tips for traveling lightly with Zentangle®. Whether you’re on a business trip or a week-long vacation, the art of a portable Zentangle kit is vital to take your creative practice with you on the road. You don’t want to be weighed down by your tools. It’s not always easy to pack up and chose your Zentangle® materials to take with you. I know it’s feasible. Here are some tips on traveling light and what to bring:

What can I bring with me?

Let’s start with the obvious – at a minimum, you would want your pen and paper. Although, don’t get rid of all your Zentangle® tools! First of all, you need to answer the following questions:

1- The main question is to know what is your primary goal during this time of travel? Are you planning on having a lot of time to draw? Or will this be more like short pockets of time? 

2- Do you want to carry, with you, a variety of paper colors – white, black, Renaissance, grey? Or are you happy drawing only on white paper?  

3- Do you have room enough to pack multiple pens to draw on different color papers? How light do you want to travel?

To keep things lightweight, I recommend first having a clear answer to these questions so that you can fit your kit with essential materials only

For example, you can plan a small packable Zentangle kit for short pockets of time just by using white color paper only, as this calls for fewer materials overall. It’s OK to pack more if you’re going to an event or meeting that will last longer. Remember: only carry what you need, in your hands, to get the most from your time away. I would also suggest making a list. You can also make a list of different types of travel, as references, so you can pack more quickly in the future.

Packing tips to traveling lightly with Zentangle

How should I pack?

I like to keep my supplies with me. It allows me to have something to draw, on hand, if I have to wait somewhere. The goal is to keep your supplies organized and accessible when traveling. Depending on the materials I decided on, I plan my kit to make it easy for me to draw everywhere.

What materials do I need for my Zentangle travel kit? If you’re taking a short trip, your Zentangle travel kit will likely include one or two black pens, some tiles, and, of course, pencils and tortillons. For this type of kit, a small pouch or box might be just fine. If you’re planning on being gone for more than a few days or feel the need for a bit more supplies than the bare minimum, you can also bring some brown pens, white gel pens, and white charcoal pencils, as well as Renaissance, Black or Grey tiles. Be mindful, that it may change the size of the travel pouch or box.

So, in essence, to travel light, here’s what you need in your Zentangle travel kit: the minimum viable supplies you need and a pouch or a box to pack them in. That’s it. It’s easy to pack. Unless, like me, you sometimes have a hard time choosing between your art supplies. Anyone else in this case?

I recommend having a “hard” box, to pack your tiles, your pens, or both. It comes in handy and can serve as a hard flat surface for you to draw on when you’re on the go.

Packing tips to traveling lightly with Zentangle 4

What should I put into my Zentangle kit?

Here is what I put in my Zentangle travel kit

  • Two black Micron pens 01
  • One brown Micron pen 01
  • Two white Gelly roll pens 08 and 05
  • Two tortillons (one for the black pencil and one for the white)
  • One grey pen for shading
  • A couple of white, black, Renaissance, and grey tiles (3.5 inches square). 
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You can find some these supplies on the Zentangle shop here.

It all fits nicely into a pouch.

If I have a bit more space, I add watercolors and a journal.

Make sure to bring what fits you the best, but don’t worry if you don’t get it all right. Take notes of what works or what doesn’t, so you can adjust your kit until you find the right balance. With my art supplies, I tend to overpack. I am learning to be more minimalist.

Lately, I have also noticed that depending on what I like to do in my creative practice, it impacts what I want to carry with me when I travel. I have phases when I’ll go back to the basics and will go very minimal. Other times, when I want to play with my watercolors. I adjust my Zentangle travel kit accordingly.

In conclusion

Plan for your kit, pack it and enjoy your travel time.

Sometimes the most important thing we can bring with us when we travel, is time. To live in the moment and appreciate the experience in front of us. The Zentangle Method provides an opportunity to do just that. Ready to start? If you are ready to take the plunge and try the Zentangle Method for the first time, you can take my mini-course. You won’t need much material to draw and follow along. You can also print out the eBook to disconnect completely.