What to bring on vacation: travel light with your Zentangle supplies.

Jul 21, 2021 | English, Practice, Resources

Our brains, bodies, and minds all need time to rest. And a break from our hectic, hyper-connected lives can recharge our batteries. That’s why I’m delighted to share my tips to travel light with your Zentangle supplies.

Whether you’re traveling for work or a week’s vacation, a Zentangle nomad kit is essential for taking your creative practice with you on the road. You don’t want to be weighed down by your materials.

Preparing and choosing Zentangle® supplies to take with you isn’t always easy. I know you can do it. Here are some tips for traveling light and knowing what to pack:

What supplies to bring with me?

Let’s start with the obvious – at the very least, you’ll need a pen, pencil and paper. But don’t throw away all your Zentangle® supplies!

First of all, take some time to consider 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 light, I recommend that you first have a clear answer to these questions, so that you can keep only the essentials in your travel kit.

For example, you can prepare a small Zentangle kit to take along for short periods, using only what you need to draw on white paper, as this generally requires less material.

You can plan to take more with you if you’re going away for longer or want to tangle on a particular type of paper. It’s easy to imagine everything you could or would like to draw.

Ask yourself if you’re really going to use all this material.

Remember: only take what you need to tangle, to make the most of your stay.

I’d also advise you to keep a list. You can make a list of different types of travel kit for different situations, for reference, so you can pack faster 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.

If you’re taking a short trip, in order to travel light with your Zentangle supplies, your Zentangle travel kit will likely include only one or two black pens, some tiles, and, of course, some 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 with your Zentangle supplies, your Zentangle travel kit will comprise 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 Sakura Micron pens 01, PN
  • One brown Sakura Micron pen 01
  • Two white Sakura Gelly roll pens 08 and 05
  • One pencil
  • One white charcoal pencil (General’s pencil)
  • 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 (Zentangle tiles, usually 3.5 inch square). 
Packing tips to traveling lightly with Zentangle 2
Packing tips to traveling lightly with Zentangle 3

You can find some these supplies on the Zentangle shop here.

It all fits nicely into a pouch.

If I have a little more space, I add watercolors, a brush with a built-in water reservoir and a journal.

Make sure you bring what works best for you, but don’t worry if you don’t reach the right compromise. Take note of what works and what doesn’t, so you can adjust your kit until you find the right balance.

With my art supplies, I tend to overpack. I’m gradually learning to be more of a 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.

Plan, pack and enjoy your travel.

In essence, think ahead, plan for your kit, pack it and enjoy your travel time.

Sometimes the most important thing we can bring with us, is time. Time to live in the moment and appreciate the experience in front of us.

The Zentangle Method provides an opportunity to do just that.

— Just starting? If you are ready to take the plunge and try the Zentangle Method for the first time, take the mini-course. You won’t need much material to draw and follow along. You can also print out the mini-course eBook to disconnect completely.

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