Boarding Pass – Ann Shen

Every year, “learn to draw” is one of those things I’d love to add to my skill set. Really it’s a matter of just doing it a bit every day (or week) rather than being a master illustrator. But that being said, I’m always drawn to people who actually can draw, like illustrator Ann Shen. I was first drawn to her portfolio for all her travel-inspired work, so I’m happy to share more on today’s edition of Boarding Pass. Thanks, Ann!
last trip taken: London & Paris



next trip on deck:
Providence, Rhode Island for ICON 7


one place you would go back to again and again:
Paris. and Las Vegas!

{neon museum, Vegas}

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Las Vegas – lots of flash and glitter, and the most amazing restaurants. So many world-famous chefs have places there. There’s always something to do, and it’s easy to get to where you need to go. It’s basically a place designed to entertain grown-ups, and I don’t even drink or gamble.


preferred method of transportation:
Train, when there’s a lot to see. The train between San Diego and Los Angeles, which took a lot during college, runs along the ocean and it’s beautiful.

{Arizona-California border}

place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Barcelona and Tokyo!

{Palm Springs}

place you’d never go back:
There isn’t a place I’d never go back to, but I do know I’m in no rush to ever go camping.


most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
My first trip alone – a flight to Heathrow to study abroad at Cambridge for a summer. I was 19 and I had a 70 lb. suitcase that i dragged over cobblestones for a mile from the bus stop in town to the college.
how do you prepare for a trip?
I lay out everything i want to pack on my bed, read up on travel websites about the hotel (if i’m staying at one), and then try to find local guides by bloggers that have the same interests as me (so usually food or art related!).

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
Lots of photographs, ticket stubs, sketching on location.

{Paris, Montmartre}
{Paris, Montmartre}
{London Bridge}
{London Eye}

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
Buildings and locations, street style – nothing better than getting your own great reference photos.

{Maison Rose}

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
Depending on length of trip and how often I’ve been there – for a new location, roughly 20-50 a day.

{Cafe de Flore, Paris}
{Gare du Nord, Paris}

what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
My iphone, my pocket sized canon digital camera (super light and takes really great shots in most light conditions), canon rebel or 5d, fuji instax 210, and my moleskine sketchbook with brush pen & colored pens (both by pentel).


what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
I upload photos and review them, reliving my trip a second time. Then upload the best ones online to a flickr album, or facebook to update friends and family. Then within a week, a blog post sharing photos and sketches.
favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
I really love folk art souvenirs, like this little Mexican doll I got in Mazatlan or the stone llama my best friend brought me from Machu Picchu. I also have a small collection of mini snow globes.
on flickr:
on twitter: @anndanger

Boarding Pass
is a weekly column exploring the creative ways people travel.


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