Travel Art Tools


As most of you are probably aware, I have a penchant for travel + adventure. And apart from that, I also love notebooks – to the point that I would bring at least 2-3 notebooks every time I pack for a trip (only because I’m very indecisive with my essentials).


There’s the usual art / sketch journal (view more of my travel illustrations here), expenses / itinerary notebook, and another separate personal journal where most of my thoughts reside. It’s not that I’m picky, but rather, it seems like there just isn’t any notebook to encapsulate all of the things I want to jot down during my travels.


Processed with VSCOcam with a8 preset

So it’s definitely a surprise to know that during my trip to Taipei last weekend, I only brought a notebook – only one, for a change: the #WriteNow travel journal, a collaboration between Maine, Sunday Paper and yours truly.


Maine, AJ (of Sunday Paper) and I designed this journal keeping in mind the Type A + Type B traveler – and we made sure it had the right amount of organization and freedom to fully be utilized while in transit. Born out of our love for travel and taking notes, this passion project was definitely the icing on our cake this 2015 (and it’s out now in the market, yay!).

Being the resident artist of the team, I made sure that (1) the quality of paper was great for illustration, (2) there was enough blank space for drawing + writing, and (3) it was convenient enough to be carried on the go.

Here’s the thing: this notebook’s divided in chapters, making it easy for us travelers to categorize our adventures. I guess at that point, it doesn’t come off as just a “planner” but really, a journal / book type of sorts.


Each chapter consists of different pages: Forget-Me-Nots (for flights / important trip details), Stay on Budget + Stuff to Bring (mandatories), Places to Check Out, Itinerary (divided into AM & PM), Thoughts, and extra dotted + grid pages (for you to fill up in whichever way you like).


I love that Write Now comes with a handy canvas pouch (complete with compartments) – an assurance that it will always be in good condition (also: plus points for convenience if you’re bringing washi tapes, pens and other art materials!).


All flatlay

Aside from a travel journal, here are some of my recommended art tools while traveling:

I try to keep my things at a minimal when I travel because I don’t like losing my things and at the same time, worry about the bulk of materials I have to carry around (it’s usually stored in my hand-carry vs my luggage).



So, I’ll be heading to Singapore next week and I already drew out a few key places to visit. Check out the video below.

We’re also launching something in a few days called #ChangingChapters. I’m in charge for Chapter 2. Can’t wait to share with you what it’s about soon!

If you have any travel journaling tips to share or questions you’d like to ask, let me know in the comments below! :)

Write Now Travel Journal is available exclusively online (for a limited time only) at for P680. Click here to order.

PS: Free shipping this December on Sunday Paper’s online shop (code: Rudolph). You’re welcome! :)

Photos by Maine Manalansan, Christie Lim & yours truly

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

10 Responses to “Travel Art Tools”

  1. Maka
    December 3, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Thanks for this wonderful article. :)
    I’m not a frequent traveller but this will be perfect if ever I will go to a different place.

  2. Abbey
    December 6, 2015 at 9:19 am

    You’re welcome! Thanks for reading, Maka!

  3. Shannelle
    December 3, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Getting a waterbrush was the best thing I ever did. Now that I’m at a dorm, it’s so much easier to just bring a waterbrush and paint instead of having to deal with taking care of brush bristles and a container of water. I haven’t actually tried documenting while traveling (my fingers will freeze off), but that’s something I might do during the spring!

  4. Abbey
    December 6, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Haha, good luck! No pressure on documenting while traveling. My last resort is drawing early morning or late night in the hotel / where I’m staying. Hehe.

  5. Myka
    December 11, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    What was the brand of the watercolor pan you used at the video? It looks so compact!
    Thank you for sharing all these, Abbey! Such a big help. God bless you. xx

  6. En Route: Taiwan + Singapore | Abbey Sy
    December 21, 2015 at 12:16 am

    […] ICYMI, I’ve wrote about some of my recommended travel art tools in this post. This should help you in case you’re traveling anytime soon. […]

  7. JOSIT
    April 5, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Hey Abbey! Do you use Zig Calligraphy pens that much? Can you recommend it to beginners like me?

  8. Pheobe
    July 8, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Hello Abbey! What type of Faber Castell did you bought? for brush pen? Thank you for the answer :—-)

  9. Jean
    December 6, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Hi! Winsor & Newton Cotman Sketchers’ Pocket Box (12 half-pans) I think is more affordable than Sakura Koi and I’m planning to get one… have you tried it? Will I miss out nang intense if I don’t opt for the Sakura Koi instead? Adviiiice

  10. Abbey
    December 15, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Hi, I think W&N is better :) Go get it!