I spent the last 18 months traveling around the world, and tomorrow marks the last day of my journey. After a whirlwind year and a half of adventuring, I’ll fly home to Los Angeles with endless stories to share, but no travel photos to accompany those stories. No snaps of colorful sunsets, bustling street markets or exotic meals. Not even a single selfie. Why? Because before I left for my trip, I decided to challenge myself with a project called No Photos Please. In a world of smart phones, selfie sticks and sharing anything and everything that we do, I assigned myself this creative (and personal) challenge: I would forgo taking travel photos for one entire year, instead choosing to document my journey through my sketchbook.
While the constant drawing practice improved my technical skills, the most important lesson I learned was this: the less you have to work with, the more creative you have to get. Since I couldn’t take conventional photos of my travels, I had to use my creative skills to capture my sketchbook drawings in an interesting way. I learned to get inventive with backgrounds, textures, and props, and I always looked forward to sharing my travels with my friends & followers in a unique way. Some wondered why I’d put a restriction on myself like that while on the trip of a lifetime. I guess I’ve always liked challenging myself, as most creatives do, and it seemed like a unique opportunity to test my creative boundaries. I knew that traveling itself would test my physical and emotional boundaries, so why not push myself creatively too?
To commemorate the end of this project, I partnered with Blurb again (remember that beautiful hardcover book I made last year?) to create a printed collection of all the images from my sketchbook - this time in the form of a lovely magazine! Since I’ve only ever posted the drawings online, it was really special to see everything come together in one beautiful, printed piece. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to create; all I had to do was download the handy Blurb plug-in for Adobe InDesign, choose my book size, and drop my files into a template. When I finished, I was able to upload the file to the Blurb website directly from InDesign (woohoo!). I clicked a few buttons to check-out, and my magazine was on its way to me in Australia in a matter of days. One of my favorite things about Blurb is that once your files are ready for print, you can easily list your book for sale online. How cool is that? I listed my No Photos Please magazine on the Blurb store, so a copy of my adventures can be on its way to you too!
Now my trip is coming to an end, I’ve finally had some time to reflect on the year. I spent an afternoon sitting at a cafe, flipping through the drawings, and re-living all of those wonderful memories in my head. I can’t wait to fly back home with this printed book of my trip already in my luggage, ready to share with my friends and family as soon as I land. Thank you so much for following along with my global adventures! It’s been such a delight to share my story in a creative way, and I’m already looking forward to sharing the next chapter with you.
And a special thanks to Blurb for sponsoring this post and helping me bring No Photos Please to life. Have you ever thought of creating a book or magazine of your work? What kind of book would you create? I hope this post has inspired you to create one of your own. Can’t wait to see what you make!