Drawing Experiences From Travel with U Brands

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 

U Brands sent me their pencil and pen products to review. I was not financially compensated. All opinions are my own and reflect my unique experience.


Not many people know it but I was actually an art major in college. As a child, I loved doing little drawings or cartoons and later learned to paint in several different mediums – watercolor, acrylics and oils. My Mom, ever the supportive one, would sign me up for any class for anything I showed an interest in. My youth was full of tennis lessons, drawing lessons, painting lessons, swimming lessons and more.

Don’t get me wrong my childhood did not have me going from one activity to the other like kids these days (that phrase alone makes me feel so old). But rather, my Mom saw it as a way for me to learn what I might enjoy doing as I got older.

I couldn’t have had more disparate interests than art and sports. As I entered the time of life when decisions have to be made I chose to study art at a larger university because I could continue playing sports at the same time.

Little did I know that making that choice would have such a huge impact on my life. Entering Northern Illinois University as a Visual Communications major meant I could study not only art but the design and advertising as well. Advertising had always intrigued me from the time I watched Bewitched and saw Darren Stevens (more the first one than the second ‘replacement’ Darren). I thought that would be something I’d like to do.


Dick York as Darren Stevens

Dick York as Darren Stevens


At the same time, I played on the women’s basketball team, which allowed me to keep playing the sport I loved the most. I saw it as a win-win situation, especially when I was able to secure a tuition scholarship my second year after making the team as a walk-on. This, of course, made my parents happy too.

NIU Basketball

NIU Basketball


Fast forward, thirty some years ahead, and time for drawing and painting disappeared from my busy day-to-day life. Working in advertising and later taking on the hat of entrepreneur left little or no leisure time despite the fact that I traveled the world.

On The Road Again

I recently decided to change that. I’m now carrying with me my pens, pencils, and tools that I need to capture my experiences while I’m traveling. Recently we had the chance to visit a friend who relocated to the east coast. We were passing through her hometown on the way to a conference. We couldn’t wait to catch up. When we arrived she and her 8-year-old son Aljur were there to greet us.

Frankly, in the beginning, he really wasn’t that thrilled we were there. They had just returned from a trip to a relative’s wedding. They were both probably tired but timing being what it was they were stuck with us.

As the day went on he opened up and started to have a bit more fun. A boat ride, ice cream cone and a hamburger for dinner were pretty fun after all. By the time we got back to the house after dinner he was ready to call it a day.

Blue Crabs in Maryland

Blue Crabs in Maryland


I whipped out my new bag of U Brands shiny colored pencils and told him that I was going to draw for a bit. I asked if he would like to join me. He didn’t seem that enthused at first. There were YouTube videos to watch, after all. So I just took out my bag of pencils some paper and started drawing a crab, since we were in Maryland and had just feasted on blue crabs.


Me and Aljur drawing and having fun.

Aljur and I drawing and having fun.


Rainbow Animals

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him watching me and wanting to join in. I asked him again if he wanted to draw and he ran right over. We sat at the kitchen island that evening, drawing, talking and giggling. We laughed at the funny names on my U Brands colored pencils and decided that I probably had way too many color choices in my bag of 48 pencils.

Unique Colored Pencil Names

Unique Colored Pencil Names


He decided that he was going to make his animal with rainbows on it. Like one of the stuffed animals he had. I said I loved that idea and was going to make my crab a rainbow crab. He agreed that would be fun. Why not a rainbow cardinal?

Rainbow drawings

Rainbow drawings


After about thirty minutes or so he was getting a bit tired so we wrapped our drawings, signed them and called it a night.

While I had so much fun drawing and talking to Aljur that night what he didn’t realize is that evening inspired me to start a rainbow animal series. When we got home a few days later, I drew and painted another rainbow crab and turned it into a greeting card that I can use for thank you cards and what not. I sent one to him as a thank you.

Rainbow Crab Painting

Rainbow Crab Painting


My plan is to continue the series. Since we just got back from Providence, Rhode Island you can expect to see a rainbow lobster very soon.

Tools of the Trade

I also have to thank U Brands for sending me a ton of samples to try. Without your help I don’t think I would have been able to start my drawing mojo again. They have a complete line of pencils (which have fun creative names like just peachy, hot tamale and dill with it) and pens from which to choose. There are even fancy gel pens in glitter, pastels, neon and classic colors. They also have a full line of stationery, office and home goods.

U Brand Gel Pens

U Brand Gel Pens


What I love most about U Brands is that with every purchase a portion of the proceeds goes to the Kids in Need Foundation. The foundation provides free school supplies nationwide to students in need of them the most. I’m also a teacher and this makes me very happy.

U Brand Colored pencils

Take time to have fun!


Stay tuned for more rainbow animal drawings. If you’d like to learn more about U Brands and see all they have to offer, check out their website at ubrands.com.

Pin This Post 

25 Responses to Drawing Experiences From Travel with U Brands

  1. Jackie Smith Reply

    September 24, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Always fun to learn more about our fellow blogger friends. Most interesting post!!

    • suereddel

      suereddel Reply

      September 25, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Thanks Jackie!

  2. Suzanne Fluhr Reply

    September 24, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Fun! I think UBrands needs a dedicated Zentangle enthusiast/blogger as an ambassador. Can you think of anyone who would fit that bill? 😉 I had no idea you were an art major although I think marketing people need to be visually creative.

    • suereddel

      suereddel Reply

      September 25, 2017 at 11:02 am

      I think I might have to make an introduction Suzanne!

  3. Karen Warren Reply

    September 24, 2017 at 7:53 am

    In the past I used to take a drawing pad and pencils wherever I travelled, but I seem to have got out of the habit. Now you’ve reminded me what fun it is perhaps I should start again!

  4. Carole Terwilliger Meyers Reply

    September 19, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Sounds like those coloring pencils are just the thing to have when you’re visiting with children, especially 8-year-olds. I think I’ll give it a try with my 8-year-old granddaughter. I think the pencils also would be wonderful to use for illustrating a travel journal.

  5. Rosemary Palmer Reply

    September 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

    I do have a creative flare, not so much in drawing, but can mix patterns and colors in sewing and painting furniture and accessories. I do love doodling though.

  6. Kirsten Reply

    September 19, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Nice work Sue! Love the rainbow crab and the fact you were able to pull your friend’s son from his electronic world into drawing (if only for a bit). These pencils have some fun names too!

  7. Debra Pearlstein Reply

    September 19, 2017 at 1:15 am

    I love gel pens and colored pencils and this really looks like a great brand. It’s so nice that you shared your art with her son and the drawings are beautiful.

  8. rika Reply

    September 18, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Blue Crabs!!! I love crabs 🙂 I have never been to Maryland, love seafoods, would love to visit someday! I like drawing, very soothing and relaxing.

  9. Marielle Altenor Reply

    September 18, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    The U Brands colors are so bright! When I was younger I used to LOVE drawing and coloring.

  10. Jilly Spellman Reply

    September 18, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    You did an amazing job. I just love that crab! I know a few people I could buy these for as a Christmas gift.

    • suereddel

      suereddel Reply

      September 19, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      Maybe I need to set up a web page and start selling them 😉

  11. Janice Chung Reply

    September 18, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Sue, I loved your story. I’m also very impressed with your art! I didn’t realize you had been an art major! Talented lady. I took a drawing course a few years ago and had intended to draw while travelling, but I must be ADHD as I had NO patience. Maybe I should give it another go. You’ve inspired me!

  12. Doreen Pendgracs Reply

    September 18, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I love your Rainbow Crab Drawing, Sue! It is so filled with life and fun! Thx for sharing your experience with the drawing pens. I will share with a friend who loves to draw.

    • suereddel

      suereddel Reply

      September 18, 2017 at 7:16 am

      Thanks so much Doreen! Stay tuned for more.

  13. Carol Cassara Reply

    September 17, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    It sounds like a fun experience! You’re very talented! I love that you draw your experiences from traveling, it’s one of the best ways to remember a trip.

    • suereddel

      suereddel Reply

      September 18, 2017 at 7:16 am

      Thanks Carol!

  14. Ali || Veggies by Candlelight Reply

    September 17, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I love crab and that drawing is seriously awesome! I love all of the colors you use. I like doing crafts that don’t rely on our phones to help us with it. Plain old crafting at its finest

    • suereddel

      suereddel Reply

      September 18, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Sometimes old school works the best. Thanks for stopping by Ali!

  15. Vanessa Palma Reply

    September 17, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I love hte rainbow drawings. It’s so cool that you got to share your love of drawing with your friend’s son!

  16. Kim Reply

    September 17, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Love that crab!!! Were you in Ocean City, MD by chance? Went there several years ago and the crabs were great

  17. Jenn Reply

    September 17, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    How cool! We live in such a beautiful and colorful world. I really enjoyed reading this blog post.

  18. Candy Reply

    September 17, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    You have opened up a whole new world with those coloring pens. This has inspired me to draw and color more with the grandkids.

  19. Willie Brooks Reply

    September 16, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Drawing is my hobby. I like drawing. Their color pen is wonderful and their review is good. I honestly enjoy your post. U Brand is really nice. Thanks for your posting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *