The Essential Draw

The Essential Draw

Everyone has played the game: what would you take with you if you could only bring along one thing? We all have something, something essential or entirely superfluous, something kinky or sentimental, something cerebral or trashy. Out with it. What's your thing?

In this challenge, we ask that you draw something you wouldn't leave behind. Wait! Before you get to it, it MUST be something that could fit in a backpack. You're confined only by the size, nothing else.


I would grab my camera. Done in pen and ink and white china marker.
64 Faves
My Kitty's name is Kitty, I would never leave her behind.

By: Sonia Beckwith Cole
23 Votes

My wallet is one thing I would not leave home without. Quite worn out, I love its denim texture. It has pictures of my mother, my son. I love its key chain which has an old watch and cute, miniature sandals attached.

By: Zafaran Anu
13 Votes

I won this flute in a bet in 1994, in Santa Cruz. A friend bet me I couldn't make a clear note the first time I blew it.  He was wrong. He and the flute had just returned from a summer in Costa Rica.

The flute travels when I do. I've played it everywhere from skyscrapers in Manhattan to quiet valleys in Yellowstone. Mountains, deserts, alone and with friends. It helps me quiet my mind and focus on my breath, and the sound.

By: Jennifer Leigh
10 Votes

I would take my camera because there are sure to be some very funny photos to be had if no-one has thought to bring clothes as their only item in their back pack!

By: Clare
26 Votes

My favorite Sketchbook & Thangs.

By: shrk*byt
2 Votes

I love milk.

By: Jackson
7 Votes

I have Doodled my

By: sarah conteh
7 Votes

Never leave home without suncream!

By: Mr Steffen
11 Votes

although naked, but never without my glasses...

By: Petricka
19 Votes

Presenting LALAK: the disposable camera

By: Vanda Ferreira
5 Votes

I couldn't go anywhere without my yellow elephant... Ok that won't fit in my bag! 

I couldn't go anywhere without my ink pen and imagination.

By: Deri Mungo Russell
48 Votes

Of course won't go out without her. Birthday gift from Mom on my 14th or 15th birthday--I forgot. Still using this until now, ha ha.

By: lindoo
13 Votes

Not sensible, not logical, but my choice all the same, my feline friend Tommi-girl would be my choice

By: Kitt Van Hassel
16 Votes

My mobile is the most important thing to take for me.. it has my notes,reminders, accounts,.. etc. Basically I feel lost without it! Beside I can doodle using it :)

By: Yosra AlKaff
11 Votes

I take it everywhere, look at it when I can - Atlas of Middle-Earth, 210 pages

By: Terri Plemons
11 Votes

Essentially, I would (have to) take my glasses. Going out, with your backpack and your memories, looking to make new ones, you should see the world (clearly) for yourself.

By: Anasmatt
3 Votes

I would take a genie lamp

By: Alexis
10 Votes

By: Misty Adams
27 Votes

Its so essential that I cant even get my hands off it

By: Chanma
34 Votes

Can't take a pencil without paper, or paper without a pencil, so my camera!

By: Hollie McManus
2 Votes

I would never leave behind a clean pair of cute granny panties! 
Very essential for everyone to have in their backpack. You never know when you'll need a pair!

By: Justyna Dabrowski
13 Votes

the only thing I would need with me is a little calico cuteness -- and that's why I take my cat Mimi.

you wouldn't even know she's there (or that she's anywhere else than home), because Mimi is a little sleep-monster =) and a real sleep-yoga master. every position you can imagine, she's a black belt!

By: Spela Majer
37 Votes

My corgi almost fits!

By: Elizabeth Hunt
8 Votes

I need to take water with me everywhere I go, otherwise I'll at least
feel cotton-mouthed, and when that happens I get nervous and uneasy.
This bottle is the best. I take it with me on my day-to-day errands
and on my travels.

By: Carla Carrasco
23 Votes

It seemed that as an avid travelbug this was the most essential item to go in my backback, I wouldn't be getting very far without it. Traveling and in turn the appreciation of home have always been a big inspiration!

By: Ella Goodwin
11 Votes

I would bring my 5 pound dog Chickpea!

By: Elizabeth Graeber
30 Votes

Little wooden sheep

By: Bela UncleCat
38 Votes

The superfluous thing that I would bring is this tiny, smaller-than-A4 painting (though it's really mixed media, including acrylics, watercolour pencils, regular coloured pencils, pencils, fine-liners).

By: Grace Hsu
7 Votes

I wouldn't leave my iPod behind!

By: laurari
14 Votes

I know that this coffee/espresso maker looks big but it's quite small actually and it definitely fits in my backpack (I've tried it). ;)


21 Votes

whenever i leave the house i carry inside my rucksack things that help me think creatively, all the things are an excuse to bring out my inner child.

49 Votes

Choosing is hard work!

By: Lotte Skadborg Hansen
12 Votes

By: Sara Levine
7 Votes

As a true doodle addict, I cannot live without a retractable ballpoint pen. It's the perfect doodling tool because it can draw on anything. So since there is no room for me to bring a sketchpad, my trusty ballpoint pen will save the day.

By: Carolina The Doodler
11 Votes

Done using black biro and markers on graph paper. I know that it's 2013 but I just can't let go of tapes and tape players. I almost never leave the house without my Walkman and a selection of mix tapes.

By: E J Summitt
15 Votes

By: Jesse Blank
4 Votes

I hate to admit it, but I am addicted to my phone. I use it for one thing or another literally every 20 minutes (give or take).  It's functional and sentimental, since it has video of my son & family on it. It wouldn't do me much good if I were stranded on a desert island unless I could recharge it, though!

By: Mitzie Testani
5 Votes

My Sketchpad.

By: Mariery Young
10 Votes

This is my doodle of my Burts Bees lip balm, its a simple pencil drawing on a neon orange post it. I commute alot and those buses get humid.

By: Sophia Murray
4 Votes

Ur heart may b heavy or ur heart may b lite, but everything u do flows from it.

By: Savannah Gross
13 Votes

The most beautiful engagement ring in the world - noone said the one thing had to be kept in the backpack!

By: Ruchi Mittal
6 Votes

By: Gaver
40 Votes

I can't leave without my cat...I'm sure he would fit in. Just give him some air holes. it will be like taking along an organic back scratcher!

By: Nancy Belle
16 Votes

By: Robert
5 Votes

My 3ds

By: Kenny Swanston
27 Votes

I ponder the most valuable item I bring with me every day.

By: Randy Whitlock
15 Votes

I couldn't go anywhere without Little Miss Muffin.

By: Virginia
7 Votes

By: Ammar Aziz
4 Votes

By: Maki Kawakami
21 Votes

Yep, I'm THAT girl.

By: Stacey Jones
4 Votes

My Sock Monkey

By: Dan Cook
12 Votes

By: Moran
4 Votes

By: heather knapp
2 Votes

Roughly 8

By: Bryan Collins
11 Votes

if i have my java it cant be too bad

By: rex riley
10 Votes

By: Mira Viv
8 Votes

What you see is obviously not one item. These are my thoughts in process for this contest. If I could honestly only leave with one would be my cat. Then I said this isn't that

By: Dawn M. Mecozzi
7 Votes

When Starbucks and other gourmet coffee purveyors arrived it was great...for awhile. I love regular coffee. Over the years I've made boxes to hold 4 cups of

By: Rebecca McCartney
14 Votes

By: Liz Synalovski
10 Votes

Stuffs on Backpack! :))

By: nadya
14 Votes

Among the many things in my backpack is my homemade cigar box soprano ukulele.

By: Terry Horn
4 Votes

That was easy. I just had to look in my backpack. 

The item that is always in there and follows me around is my swiss army knife without the tweezers. It always comes in handy.

By: gretzki
18 Votes

A mechanical pencil taped to an iPod with an ice cream attached.

By: rodrigo aguilar
16 Votes

By: Vin Ganapathy
11 Votes

The obvious choice

By: Jennifer Ramirez
6 Votes


  1. oh, yay, this will be like a giant "What's in your bag" collection. Only that it's not lint or lipgloss, but really important things with a story behind it. Can this be a book, please? :)

  2. Just 1 thing?

  3. my wife thinks she can fit in the backpack

  4. just to be clear: is it a lot of one thing or everything that could fit in the backpack?...

  5. Alright I put in my submission but it doesn't looked cropped correctly....from here anyway.

  6. I submitted my cat.

  7. ...he's not black.

  8. Made my contribution. Thank you for all of the fun challenges.

  9. Made my first contribution :)

  10. Iwould be my dog...except she won't fit in a back pack. So that's out! Hmmm...I will have to keep thinking!

  11. This is tricky, initially I thought my sketchbook, then I realised if it's only one thing I couldn't bring a pencil so that's useless unless I'm going to get into origami, can't bring the cat as the other one would be hurt, down to my favourite book or a pen so far!

  12. This is the first time I have submitted something. I had to think what I would take. Electronics need chargers. Sketchbooks need pencils, pencils need sketchbooks. Then I thought about Tom Hanks and his coconut. My choice is more cuddly.

  13. Woohoo! I'm in! >_

  14. how does it work? where can i find the sketch to vote it?

  15. I'm old and tech-challenged! I just uploaded my first submission. It's a scan, size is 1.17 MB, but what I see appears to be cut off top and bottom, Any thoughts or suggestions? I really thought I had it together; the dog isn't speaking to me 'cuz I ignored her all night while I drew...

  16. Oh wow, I feel like a proper drawer now. My very first submission.

  17. my dog doesn´t fit in a backpack, we already tried that once. love this showcase

  18. GAVER, you have to wait until the submission period is over. you can see it on the top, under your name, there is a 'current status' that shows how many days or hours left for submission. when the submission is closed and it is time to vote, you will see all the drawings submitted.

  19. Thanks AMMAR AZIZ! :)

  20. Good excuse to doodle!

  21. uf uf... I just uploaded my submission! :)

  22. Phew!!

  23. Uploaded my first submission! :-)

  24. Right down to the wire for some of you ;)

  25. Wow. Well done everyone. Impressive collection of drawn essentials. Thank you all for participating. Let the voting begin.

  26. so glad it's not all computers and phones and when it is, it's drawn creatively and with humour. you guys rock!

  27. It's always so exciting to be in these showcases! I have to make time to participate more often =) DA Rocks!

  28. Mira Viv... PEANUT BUTTER! I completely relate. :)

  29. EJ, I was thinking the other day about when the "Walkman" first arrived. It was amazing: a PORTABLE tape player with headphones! Mine never worked right, possibly because it was not a "Walkman," but a cheaper imitation. It's cool that someone else remembers them; it is even more cool that you use it and favor your mix tapes! Thanks... And nice doodle. :)

  30. Too late for me to do something and submit it. Several things are essential, but I'd have sketched my sunglasses - dark, prescription sunglasses. My eyes are so accustomed to them in any daylight, I'm uncomfortable without them, especially when driving. When outdoors, they're a part of me.

  31. Hey Rebecca, thanks I'm glad you like my doodle! I dig your "cuppa joe" also. I'm never too far away from one of those at any one time! Yeah, my first Walkman was a revelation for me. Christmas of '88. I just remember going to sleep at night with my orange foam headphones on listening to Santana. I've never quite been able to stop lovin analogue since. Also, I'm a clumsy fool and cassettes are hard to destroy!

  32. Love the "MY MEDS" by Misty Adams!!!! Greatness!

  33. Hmmm... a guinea pig will fit in a backpack!

  34. Absolutely fun!!

  35. Very fun contest! Love it

  36. Bela!

  37. I am p leased that the ones I liked the most were also liked the most.

  38. Рок за сахара!


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