Monday, November 13, 2023

Use Your Travel Photos for Inspiration

Hello! I am Kristin Williams, a mixed media artist and stitcher who's been taking a "Gap Year" this year to travel, make art and renew friendships. 

I wish I were as observant of my everyday surroundings as I am when I am in a new city, town, or country. My head & phone whip from side to side capturing beauty, graffiti, textures, landscapes, and beautiful color combinations.

I love the feeling of being hyper-aware of the scenery and drinking it in. I take the most random photos which end up being my absolute faves. My photo quantity is exceeding quadruple digits on my phone. Yikes. 

I don’t like them just to be pretty pictures taking up space on my phone. 

As someone who thrives on color, I love it when a photo gives me a roadmap for a palette for a new piece of art. 

Sometimes it is overwhelming to choose which colors you want to extract from a photo. If you have Procreate or Canva there are ways to generate a color palette from a photo in those platforms. 

If not, I found a successful way to accomplish it through the online app COOLORS.CO. Under tools choose “Image Picker” to upload a photo and generate a color palette from it. You can add colors by clicking the + sign and even rearrange their order on your palette. It’s a pretty handy and, so far, free tool. 

Swoonworthy colors in Porto, Portugal

The Pink Street in Lisbon, Portugal.

Porto, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

You may or may not need this, but I think it’s helpful to identify what you like about the photos you’ve taken. 

I definitely have color themes and I’ve realized that my favorite photos or journal pages have an Aha! Pop of color. The analogous colors hang out in harmony and then the complimentary color boldly says “Howdy!”

Textures also soothe my soul. When I see images like these, Mary Beth’s voice rings in my head saying “I see stencils everywhere!” I like to print these texture-rich images on text-weight paper in a variety of sizes and use them in my collage. You can also find sites to upload images and have them printed on tissue paper or fabric. is a favorite site of mine for printing on fabric. 

Even if you can’t travel right now, take yourself on an “Artist Date” and snap a ton of photos around your area that make you smile. The Autumn leaves produce beautiful palettes and the hardware store has the opportunity for endless texture photos. 

There is a satisfaction in using your photos in your mixed media work that brands it truly as your own.

Happy Photo Snapping!


  1. Thanks for hooking me up with two cool websites, Kristin! I have a TON of photos on my phone. It's time to turn some of them into interesting color palettes, and maybe into some fun fabric for journal covers. I'm really looking forward to playing!

  2. I love this idea Kristin! Will definitely check out this app. We did an assignment in my college weaving class similar to this using masterpiece postcards and matching colors, percentage of each color and finding yarns that showed textures also. It was challenging but I loved the outcome.


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