Lonely Planet Writer

In the studio with James Provost, illustrator for How to Pack For Any Trip


Illustrator James Provost takes us behind the scenes in his studio to show us how he created the super technical illustrations for Lonely Planet’s latest title How to Pack For Any Trip.

Tell us about the brief

The brief was to fully illustrate the How to Pack For Any Trip book with step-by-step technical illustrations and then evolve a selection into animated GIFs for use on social media.

How did you make a start?

After reading the brief, I started with some thumbnail sketches and liaised with the art director to ensure I was heading in the right direction. The first drawing I completed was the 'Evolution of Luggage', shown below. I drew a tighter more refined version, adding more detail, visual interest and context. Finally, I scanned the drawing and digitally inked and coloured it. After that, I worked on the 'Pack a Backpack' cutaway illustration, which is one of my favourite images from the book. When I was asked later down the line to create some animated GIFs from these drawings I jumped at the chance to make this one move!

Were there any challenges?

A few days after I wrapped up the illustrations for this book I was able to put these techniques to the test... I packed up a backpack for two weeks of travelling around Costa Rica with my wife. We got drenched in the rainforests but our gear stayed dry as a bone!

James' illustrations

evolution of luggage 1 Evolution of luggage, version one
evolution of luggage 2 Evolution of luggage, version two
evolution of luggage 3 Evolution of luggage, version three
pack a backpack sketch 'Pack a Backpack' sketch
'Pack a Backpack' illustration
backpack-instagram 'Pack a Backpack' GIF

speediest luggage

choosing your suitcase


No matter what type of traveller you are or what kind of trip you’re planning, the various tailored packing lists, tips, techniques and advice in this book will help you unleash the packing pro within.

Buy How to Pack For Any Trip on Lonely Planet's online shop today!