Sketchkon 2018 – Preparing for the Trip

I’m going to Sketchkon – the first event of its kind for sketchbook enthusiasts and put on by the brilliant minds at Sketchbook Skool.

Care to join me? There’s still time to sign up!

It’s about two weeks away – and preparing to pack for an event that is far from home has me scrambling to make sure I’ve got everything I could want, packed NOW rather than my usual last-minute packing. Let’s face it – I’ll spend all the time getting the art components packed; throw my clothes and toothbrush in on the way out the door.

So here is what I’ve gathered up so far…

Back in 2014, I participated in a Kickstarter campaign for the Nomad Art Satchel. I have to say, this is one of the best little inventions for sketching on the go.

I didn’t fall in love with the rubberized band system as much as I hoped; but I modified how I use it so that I could have more of a range of supplies with me at all times. My go-to stuff.

I’m NOT a single pen girl. If I’m going to go out – I want to have a portable art studio with me. That being said; you do have to pack light with this version. Now years later, the Etchr Lab version has more options for those who really want a ‘satchel’ – The Nomad is more of a super-portable system, like the current Slate bags. But that is what I love about it. I can stick it, and supplementary supplies into a carryon bag – and I’ve got EVERYTHING I need for Sketchkon!

Depending on whether you are working with a portrait or landscape sketchbook, you can switch out a panel to orient your work either way. I will pack the extra panel for flexibility during my trip.

Sketchkon Supply List by Sally Lynn MacDonald

The satchels come with a tripod mounting attachment. Using my collapsible tripod and a quick-release mount, my satchel is always ready to be used on a tripod if need be. I don’t mount mine with the tool pouch below the sketchbook; I find this destabilizes the tripod to have everything hanging on the front; so I flip it over the top of the tripod instead and reach around or over, rather than stopping down to get my supplies. It is super stable this way. Once again, I can turn it or switch out the insert to orient it landscape or portrait.

Sketchkon Supply List by Sally Lynn MacDonaldSketchkon Supply List by Sally Lynn MacDonaldSketchkon Supply List by Sally Lynn MacDonald

Etchr shows the Slate (which is the latest iteration of the bag) being mounted all on the front side; but I don’t prefer this method. Still it is useful to illustrate.

The tripod setup will be GREAT for the zoo sketch crawl that Roz Stendahl is arranging for post-conference on Sunday and any evening sketch crawls that we do around Pasadena. Who  knows? Tripod legs can be adjusted downward, to acccommodate sitting on a bench. I have a Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod that works beautifully and supports the setup. Roz has an extensive list of supplies for the travel sketcher too. She’s far more of an expert than I!

I do love sitting at a table, or on a bench to sketch. The shoulder strap is made to clip in such a way that the satchel acts like a work surface. Here I’ve laid it out on the counter so you can see how I organize its contents.

Sketchkon Supply List by Sally Lynn MacDonald

Once opened, the tool side is covered with a zippered mesh flap, to protect the contents from spilling out. This is especially good for pencils and markers that don’t have a pocket clip on the cap.Sketchkon Supply List by Sally Lynn MacDonald

Here, I’ve unzipped the mesh cover. The sketchbook, on the left, is placed in a landscape orientation in this configuration.

I’ve taken the second panel out, exposing the industrial strength velcro; to which I have attached two 24-marker Copic Sketch wallets. Aptly named, aren’t they?

Sketchkon Supply List by Sally Lynn MacDonald

I stand the wallets up, and attach the rear flap of them to the exposed velcro on each so that they are supported ‘triangles’ on the surface of the satchel.

Sketchkon Supply List by Sally Lynn MacDonaldNow everything is easily in reach.

Watercolor requires more supplies than will fit into the satchel, however. For this; I have couple of small containers. One is for mediums and brushes. See how this little business-card-sized palette with magnetized pans fits in there with a whole rainbow of Marabu Graphix inks too?

Sketchkon Supply List by Sally Lynn MacDonald

The other is for palettes, water containers, a small towers and an ashtray, used as a brush holder. It feels so Mad Men to use an ashtray – but what a better life it is having with me. 🙂Sketchkon Supply List by Sally Lynn MacDonald

So that’s the pile. It does fit into my carryon bag, unlike my spinning watercolor palette, which believe me I would LOVE to bring if I could figure out how. Until then, however, the convenient dot sampler from Daniel Smith will add to what I have available to utilize.

Daniel Smith Dot SamplersThis trip is specifically a creative journey. I’m enjoying in indulging myself in bringing what I want; and yet limiting my choices so that it must fit into ONE suitcase. The agony…

But I’m really looking forward to spending my birthday weekend immersed in the Sketchkon event. I will be sure to write a post about the experience.

And then next up will be Art of the Carolinas, in November!


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