In a few hours I'm about to go catch a train (I'm terrible about packing at the last minute) and I wanted to share with you the "cannot live without this" items that I am taking on the PP Summer 2011 tour:
1. The Sak shoulder bag - has been surgically attached to me since I moved to France last September. It fits an A4 size pad of paper and everything else and still looks nice and can be worn in front to prevent theft by moped riders. And it's my favorite color and the leather still looks nice after traveling non-stop for many months.
2. and 3. Refill cartridges for my Kaimei brush pens - These were $6/10 which is sort of unbelievable but I did have to ship them from the US since I couldn't find any European store that sells them.
4. and 5. Kaimei Brush pens - long and short - I started PP with the long pen back in March (thanks to the awesome Jason T Miles who gifted it to me and thus unknowingly changed my life) but I've drawn with it so much for the project that it has lost the fine-ness in its tip. Maybe I'm not doing something right with brush care--suggestions are welcome! Well, I bought a back-up Kaimei in the small blue enamel size, which will be my fine detail-only pen
6. Any ol' art pencil for sketching faces before I ink them. I should care but I don't even remember the lead type for this one.
7. Any ol' white art gum eraser for erasin' stuff after I don't want it anymore (usually I do this at home before I scan the portraits but you never know on the road)
8. My beloved Muji square face watch for telling time and making sure it doesn't run away from me as 5 people are queued up for their portrait
9. Extending combo lock that is permanently stuck on a combination I don't know [on accident I swear] and therefore attached to my bag until I go to a hardware store and have the nice man cut this thing off with his big cutter. Since the cable still extends and retracts, however, it has come in handy for locking my bag to things in train stations and hostels. However when I walk, it hangs off my backpack and sometimes hits people and/things as it swings side to side. I can't decide if the utility is worth it...
10. MEI Voyageur bag - one of the most expensive bags I have ever bought, yes, but worth its weight in gold. I recommend this to anyone who wants to backpack in cities and in rural places...mostly cities though. How many moments I have shared with this bag! In the Geneva airport, in the Tel Aviv Ha'Hagana train station, in Zurich, everywhere!
11. Fake Rayban glasses with real seein' eye lenses from Zenni Optical. My vision started going downhill several years ago from all the computer screen action and Power Point presentations so now I wear glasses to see far away or just to see faces well. These are quite cheap but a total knock off (they have little gold stars in front) but they look somewhat hip and do the trick.
12. Model release forms in various languages. Because I'm a paranoid artist and I want to publish publish publish!! Oh yes and pens to sign these things with.
13. French prepaid phone for tracking down people, answering texts with "yes" and "ok" and "OK come anyway" and using up way too much credit in foreign (non French) countries.
14. Acid-free Bristol paper in A4 size, any brand. And any size really, but this is the size that fits best on my scanner. I also sometimes draw on toothy, thick drawing paper but I find that my gestures look best on this paper's smooth finish.
15. Cardboard folder - In France you really have your pick of these folders and my favorite color combination is grey paper with red elastic. I like to sort my portraits and release forms in these.