Everybody loves travelling and illustrators are no exception. In this month, we will be hearing more travelling stories from talented illustrators!
Have you ever written a journal during your trip? José Naranja has, and he is an expert too. As he started creating his travel journal, these notebooks have become his best friends and also his teacher, bringing new inspirations day by day, and helped him in the journey of creation. Read until the end of the interview to know more about José and his travel journals!
Aww: When did you come up with the idea of doing travel notebooks and why?
José: It was not a fixed point in time but a process. Since the beginning travelling and taking notes were together. I didn’t know it was something special and actually, I thought everybody did it. Notebooks gave me a lot of enjoyable time and also helped me to create new ideas and document experiences in a unique way. My notebooks are like my teachers and often show me the things clearly.
Aww: What is your favourite place to travel? What inspiration did you get there?
José: Travelling is a huge fountain of inspiration. There are new inputs every day. This is great for collecting ideas but sometimes my mind is saturated with too much information. And of course, travelling brings so many learnings. I discovered my feeling for Asia, especially Southeast Asia. I feel great in places like Thailand, Taiwan or Vietnam and I hope to come back there again and again.
Aww: How would you describe your work and how did you develop your style?
José: Write and draw about everything, almost every day. Everything is welcomed in my pages. I write about experiences, useful information, dreams, inventions, ideas or whatever comes from my mind. My journal is a little space for freedom. So freedom is the word to highlight. Always with some humor. Pocket notebooks are the perfect format to keep the information together. They are always near and ready to be used. No battery, no digital failures. Just open them and write. They invite to think and compile the knowledge. This process brought my own style which I was optimising with time.
Aww: How much time would you spend on travel journal each day during a trip? What essential drawing tools would you bring along?
José: I write one or two periods of time every day, about 1-2 hours each. But also spend time on my notebooks even when I’m not writing. I don’t use many writing tools. Mainly a few fountain pens, ball pens, pencil, and watercolors. I recommend each one should test some pens first before making your decisions since it’s a very personal choice. But don't forget the most important part is the paper, second is ink and the third is the writing tools.
Aww: What is the craziest thing you have ever done on a trip?
José: I didn’t choose it but crossing an extremely dangerous road between Tibet and Nepal wasn’t a good idea. Watching the wheels on the edge of the road with a huge precipice below was scary. I wouldn’t do it again, not even in a million years. That was a mistake and fortunately, nothing happened. I will add a second craziest thing, which is funny: A couple of years ago I went to the airport with no ticket and just decided where to go in the airport. I recommend it since it adds a bit of salt and excitement to the trips, especially for those who like over-planned trips, this will teach you new ways.
Aww: Can you share your favourite motto or quote to us?
José: "I can find greatness in everywhere." I think this is positive and full of energy mode to see and then act in the current world.
To find out more about José, go visit: