Last year, my husband and I decided it was time to live out our dream of exploring the world.

We gave most of our stuff to Goodwill, put the rest in storage, and embarked on a nomadic journey that has so far taken us to San Francisco, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand. After that, who knows?! We've pared down all of our day-to-day material belongings to fit into 2 checked bags and 2 carry-ons, and we're loving it! Thanks to the Internet, we can still conduct business as usual (and I can still make plenty of art!).

It was a challenge deciding which art supplies to bring. As much as I love to paint, acrylics would have been impractical to carry around - and I knew from experience that I'd likely never use watercolors if I brought them - so my paints, brushes and canvases were all carefully packed away into a storage unit that wound up filled to the brim (mostly with art supplies and books - our 2 favorite things!). As much as I enjoy traveling, I do look forward to the day when I can unpack those supplies and tuck in!

Here's a photo of the art supplies that I ended up bringing with me:

My art-making "traveling kit" consists of:

  • 19 Prismacolor Colored Pencils
  • 8 Copic Multiliner Pens
  • 5 Graphite Pencils (2 are not pictured here because I couldn't find them, but they reappeared later)
  • 19 Copic Sketch Markers
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Kneaded rubber
  • Small pair of craft scissors
  • Ruler
  • 9x6 inch sketchbook with 60 sheets
  • iPad
  • iPad stylus
  • 3 tattoo markers (as research tools for a book I'm writing)
  • 6 tattoo gel pens (ditto)
  • Not pictured: I also brought a laptop but I don't often use it as an art-making tool in an of itself

Interestingly enough the art supply I use most frequently is the iPad. It's become my go-to tool for making art because it's so versatile - with various apps you can create art that looks just as if it were painted in watercolors or drawn in charcoal. You can also create vector images that can be enlarged to any size. With these apps it's possible to create professional-quality art that can be used for publishing, printing, licensing etc. Creating art on the iPad also eliminates the need for a scanner, which I would have previously been dependent upon to capture good quality, high-res images of my art. As you can tell I love my iPad!!

Now some people might wonder how the heck we manage to travel so much - are we rich or something?! No, we're just portable, and we've arranged our priorities to allow us to live on the road. Together we run a business based on my art and all we need for that are the tools I listed above, as well as my husband's laptop. Marcus does the "business" stuff while I do the "art" stuff, which is a pretty good arrangement if you ask me! We stay in furnished vacation rentals where all you need to do is show up with your laptop and suitcase and everything else is ready for you.

We both feel really lucky to be able to live this way and to know that it's so doable, thanks to the Internet and modern technology. We're both travelers at heart - he's from Australia, I'm from Florida and we met in France. Someday we'll probably buy a house or a condo but not yet. :)

Btw if anyone's interested in seeing some of my travel photos, I've been posting them on my Instagram account.

Views: 439

Comment by Pat on January 28, 2014 at 12:12pm

Wow Thaneeya good for you! Your art is beautiful. Your travel photos are beautiful also. What brand of camera do you have? Good luck on your adventures.

Comment by Alisa Manning on January 28, 2014 at 12:23pm

What an amazing journey and adventure!  I did the same a couple of years ago - put an add on Craig's list and found two families in desperate need of household items - gave all of my stuff away to a displaced military family and a family who'd lost all of their things to a fire...and took off with only a couple of suitcases of things.  After a lifetime of career as a nurse among other things, I am now living as an artist in London (not quite starving lol)!  It was the most cathartic thing I'd ever done in my life...shedding all the 'stuff' that bound me to places and spaces.  Teaches us what is truly important...and I feel that it has really kick started my art - to be in a place where I have to be more creative due to perceived 'lack' of supplies, 'studio' went from taking up two rooms in my house and barely used - to one briefcase full of essentials and used quite often and well.  If you ever come this way let me know!  I can suggest some amazing places that are so inspiring for art (Cornwall! among others)  

Love and Glitter, 


Comment by alexis ciccone on January 28, 2014 at 5:08pm

Wow!! What a wonderful journey you guys are. Simple living is my mantra but you took it to another level. Your pictures are gorgeous and the places you  traveled to are spectacular. Continue to wow us with your posts and pictures- I look forward to seeing more. God speed to you both.

Comment by Thaneeya McArdle on January 28, 2014 at 9:49pm

Thanks so much for your comments, Pat, Alisa and Alexis!

Pat - I use a Sony NEX-6 and I love it! Thanks so much for your kind words! (And thank you so much for your help here on TAC!!)

Alisa - Your story is amazing and inspiring! It is an insightful process to realize how much stuff we have but don't actually need or use. I definitely want to visit the UK again someday, it's a beautiful place. I'll give you a holler if I'm heading in that direction!

Alexis - Thank you so much! I'll try to post more as time permits - I have a ton of photos and we've visited a lot of art museums in each place we visit so I would love to share some of those experiences with you all.

Hope you all have a wonderful art-filled day! :)

Comment by Marion Kaye on January 29, 2014 at 8:46am

The world is so much smaller than when I grew up.  Makes me envious ladies.  Make the most of it while you are able, as you do not know what is around the corner.  My admiration to you both, Thaneeya and Alisa.  Takes courage and guts and you both have it 100%.  Enjoy your journey around this amazing world of ours creating, seeing and doing.

Comment by Thaneeya McArdle on February 2, 2014 at 12:17am

Thanks, Marion! We feel very lucky to live in this day and age where living a nomadic life is possible. We could be called "digital nomads" - there's so many people doing this there's even a Wikipedia entry for the term: I wonder if this lifestyle will become increasingly common as the years roll by - I wouldn't be surprised!

Btw hope you are staying cool during the hot spells over there.

Comment by Marion Kaye on February 2, 2014 at 5:49am

36.6 in Hartwell!  And the prediction is to get hotter over the next week!  I am over it, I am not a hot weather person, give me the cold any day.  The poor trees do not know what is going on.  It is like walking through Autumn leaves but they are burnt and dry leaves.

Can you tell me what colours you have in your 19 copic sketch markers please?

Love that word(s) "Digital Nomads".  I think it will become more and more common for younger persons until they decide to settle.  Enjoy.

Comment by Thaneeya McArdle on February 13, 2014 at 7:28pm

Hi Marion,

So sorry for not responding sooner! How's the weather treating you? I hope it's cooled down a bit by now.

These are the 19 Copic colors that I have:

  • Y15 Cadmium Yellow
  • YR07 Cadmium Orange
  • YR16 Apricot
  • YG07 Acid Green
  • YG25 Celadon Green
  • R29 Lipstick Red
  • RV09 Fuchsia
  • RV11 Pink
  • RV14 Begonia Pink
  • B06 Peacock Blue
  • B21 Baby Blue
  • B66 Clematis
  • B79 Iris
  • BG01 Aqua Blue
  • V04 Lilac
  • E08 Brown
  • E19 Redwood
  • E29 Burnt Umber
  • 100 Black

For me it's a good rainbow of colors, though I haven't been using them as much as I thought I would, as I've been making most of my art on the iPad. Still, I like having them around, just in case. They're surprisingly lightweight to travel with.

One thing to note if you're thinking of buying those colors is that the V04 Lilac lightens over time - it looks purple-y when applied but a couple of weeks later looks a lot lighter, nearly pinkish. I don't know if I just got a bad marker or if that's how the ink is in all the V04s. If you want a lavender/light purple color I'd suggest trying a different one (unless you don't mind the color shift).

Hope this helps!

Comment by Marion Kaye on February 13, 2014 at 10:05pm

Thanks so much for that info Thaneeya and no need to apologise.  It is still bloody hot, as us Aussies say and I am over it.  They predicted 22 and 23 this weekend and it has now shot up to 30 on Sat!!!!!!!  Next week they say rain Wed and thurs but I will not hold my breath.

Take care and a big thank-you.  I am still old style, lol, just cannot get around to using the computer for my art but I admire any artwork done on it.

PS Your name is so unusual, where does it originate from, how do you pronounce it and what does it mean?

Comment by Thaneeya McArdle on March 5, 2014 at 8:06pm

Hi Marion, I hope you've been having some relief from the heat by now! I think your summer is technically nearing an end so hopefully autumn will bring milder weather. We're slowly inching towards spring here in the US and I cannot wait for warmer weather (though not scorching like you've been having, lol)!

Thank you for asking how to pronounce my name - I often wonderful how people are pronouncing it in their heads. :) It's pronounced 'tuh-nee-yuh' and it's Thai (so the 'h' is silent like it is silent in 'Thailand'). My mom is Thai and my dad was American (he passed away in 2009). It was actually my dad who chose my name. He was at the Bangkok airport and saw a toothpaste commercial with a model named Thaneeya. He liked the name and the rest is history! I've never met anyone in real life with my name but I've seen online that there are other Thaneeyas out there. :) I don't know what it means though, but maybe if I meet another Thaneeya I can ask her!


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