Whenever I get back from a trip, the journal that came with me gets put snuggly on a shelf in my studio, right next to the journal I carried on the trip before. Whenever I pick it up next, I am drawn to a lot of the visuals, even though I am the first to say I'm not "good at drawing." It doesn't matter whether I am or not, the quick sketches still bring me back to those places in a way that nothing else does.
Flipping through, I also notice that as the trip goes along, my writing becomes more relaxed, and sketches become more free. The voice in my head that's judging what I'm doing relaxes and shuts up. Also, I get used to my tools again, and into a different frame of mind, which takes some time. When traveling, I unplug as much as possible and don't check my phone in a spare moment I have, I open up my journal and jot something down. It takes a few days to mentally make that transition.
With that in mind, our winter trip is coming up in early 2016 and I want to give my brain a bit of a jump start. Between now and then, I'm going to carry a slim journal with me and try to do some of my journal keeping exercises daily to get the creative juices flowing. The goal is to get used to my tools again, and get that part of my brain in shape. Kind of like how I'm going to the gym so I'm ready to wear a bathing suit.
I kicked things off today by looking at some of the sketches I'd done in Peru, mostly small ones done in museums. I then reworked some of them using my pen with water soluble ink, and my water pen. I love this water pen, and for some reason I didn't use it at all in Peru, even though it's a great way to add simple shadows to a quick sketch.
Added bonus, great excuse to organize and assess my travel kit and clean things up.