Do you ever wander through a city on a weekend away and end up with pockets full of cardboard coasters, business cards and receipts? Me too. I collect every bit and take tons of photos; all my meals (and probably yours too), that wallpaper, the sign on that building, it all ends up in my sketchbook. Half practicing my design and lettering, half travel notes, this is just a different way to take it all down.
Above is a sketch I did after my friends and I spent a weekend in Portland, Maine. Almost every component references restaurants, breweries and bars (and one meadery!) that we visited. I could have filled more space by adding pickleback shots and the ridiculously good, late-night tater tots we enjoyed. If you're going to Portland, go hungry.
Atlanta, Georgia is another city that lends itself well to this type of sketchbook entry. I am happy with how this one came out because it combines logos and mural designs with some of my own designs. I remember sitting on an airplane, sketching in pencil and adjusting the design to make sure everything flowed together. I inked it in back home with a steady hand and black and gold pens.
This illustration of my journey through Peru was a more relaxed process. I wanted to jot it all down, place by place. I don't think I used pencil for any of it, no sketching, just pen. So what if the condors in Arequipa look more like bats? I showed a friend the illustration of Huacachina, a little oasis town surrounded by sand dunes. She said "No way you stood up and sandboarded!" Of course I didn't, I went down like a penguin, on my stomach, and almost smacked into another person. But I did take one morning to walk up to top of the dune with my friend Nicolas, to see the view at sunrise, only to discover fog. Anyway, a girl came along with a sandboard and went down on her feet effortlessly. I used broken spanish to communicate with her mom to learn that she was training for the World Championship and she was representing Chile in sandboarding.
All this to say, while I have pages and pages of writing from my time in Peru, I can look at this one image and tell a story. I can remember that boat ride in Paracas or that cup of coca tea on the Inca Trail. This style lends itself to concisely telling a story, like a comic book travel journal.