No matter the medium, being an artist means you’re going to have a lot of gear. For painters, it’s canvases and brushes, for writers it’s all their writing utensils and notebooks, and for photographers, it’s cameras and lenses. And when traveling, you have to give some of that equipment up, unless you want to carry around heavy bags or run the risk of paying for any extra weight at the airport. No one wants to sacrifice their craft, so we’ve compiled a list of the perfect and reasonably priced packable art supplies for the traveling artist in your life that’ll help them do what they love wherever they are.
We hope you love the packable art supplies we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to buy some art supplies. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.
Packable art supplies for painters, skechers, and illustrators
Viviva Colorsheets, $22.11
Viviva colors changed the game in terms of watercolor portability. Its watercolor sets are designed as thin booklets smaller than the size of a cell phone, and can easily be taken on the go. To use the watercolors, you just open up the booklet, wet your brush, and start painting. The original Viviva Colorsheets set is a great place to start, and comes with 16 colors.
Copic markers 12-piece set, $46.80
Copics are high-quality graphic markers made in Japan and commonly used by illustrators and manga artists. The alcohol-based markers are refillable and dry quickly, so they can be layered with other colors. There are well over 300 colors among Copic’s three different lines, which are called Classic, Sketch, and Ciao. The Ciao line is the most affordable of the three and this set of 12 comes with a wide range of colors.
Leather paintbrush and pencil roll, $30
Sure, you can get a zip-up pencil case from a supply store to hold writing and art gear but it won’t have the same beautiful feel and look to it as this leather roll that can hold pens, pencils, paintbrushes, markers, and the like. It can be personalized and folds up tightly to fit in any bag.
642 Things to Draw inspirational sketchbook, $10.87
Artist’s block is real. Once you get it, it can be hard to get over it and find your muse. Luckily, this sketchbook comes with, as the name suggests, 642 drawing ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
Packable art supplies for writers
Kaweco Sport fountain pen and ink, $29.18
Fountain pens are a great way to make journaling a pleasure and Kaweco Sport fountain pens are just the ticket if you don’t want to carry around something fragile. You can choose between a large range of beautiful colors and can opt for a fun plastic version or a metal one (those are more expensive). They measure less than four inches when stored away and a little more than five inches when in use. You can also pick if you want a fine or medium nib depending on your penmanship. The Kaweco Sport fountain pens we selected for you come with a tiny box of six ink cartridges, but you can easily purchase more, in your preferred colors.
Moleskine Classic Notebook, $19.95
While nowadays most writers white on their laptop, no one wants to carry around such a large piece of electronics when they travel. To make sure there’s always a place for you to put down their ideas when inspiration strikes, ideas flow, or a good interview comes long, carry with you a good notebook. The Moleskine Classic Notebook comes in every color in the rainbow, and it has a hard cover so it does not get damaged in your bag, and 240 blank pages where you can write or draw. The elastic closure helps keep your pages neat during transportation and there’s a storage folder for important documents and receipts. We recommend that you also purchase a matching adhesive pen loop from Leuchtturm1917 for less than $10 so you can keep your fountain pen and notebook together at all times.
Packable art supplies for wannabe textile artists
Embroidery hoop kit, $18.93
Embroidery surged in popularity over the last year as people looked for hobbies that would fill the time they spent at home. If you think the traveling artists in your life would like to give the craft a try, this is the embroidery kit to gift them. It comes with a beginner illustrated fabric, instructions, one hoop, one needle and thread.
Stitch Your Travels notebook, $55
The Stitch Your Travel notebook is not your average travel notebook. The perforated cover has a world map printed on top so that after you record your travels down on paper, you can then stitch the map for a visual that shows your journey in real time. It also comes with a needle and thread.
Packable art supplies for photographers
Two disposable cameras, $44.95
With all the digital tech out there nowadays, it’s always nice to get back to basics for a change and take photos with a disposable camera. They have a certain nostalgic quality to them that any photography-minded person will love.