Awkward (a haiku)

Passing in the hall
My “Hello” gets no response
How about next time?

This post was prompted by The Daily Post from WordPress – Awkward

Sketch Day

"Desk Setup" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO500
“Desk Setup” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。Today was a sketching day for me as I took inspiration from the Eguchi Hisashi book I bought yesterday. I decided to draw from a photo so I found a pic of one of my favorite actresses, Tao Tsuchiya, and started sketching on paper. When I had the outlines done, I scanned it into the computer and traced it out in Adobe Illustrator.

I learned a bunch of new techniques in Illustrator, including the pencil tool, the smoothing tool, and how to save and reuse variable widths for strokes. That makes things so much easier! It’s pretty quick to create art using the Wacom tablet and the pencil tool, which you can adjust to make super-smooth strokes, and this technique is a lot more fun than using the old pen tool and mouse combination. I guess old dogs (like me) can learn new tricks! 😀

I like how the sketch turned out. Although the drawing started out as Tao-chan, I kind of just adjusted it how I saw fit while looking at the Eguchi book for reference. I really love his art style, especially the simplicity and flat colors. I feel like I want to draw more like that in the future. It’s a lot of fun too!

"Finished Drawing" Cedar Park, 2018
“Finished Drawing” Cedar Park, 2018
To see all the sketches I've been working on, you can check out the Flickr album "My Sketching Journey", or my Instagram account barron.sketches which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.    

I hope you had a good Sunday!


New Kinokuniya and Eguchi Hisashi Step

"Notebooks" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO640
“Notebooks” Austin, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I’m really excited because the Japanese bookseller Kinokuniya finally opened their store here in Austin! It’s soft opening week so the shelves are not fully stocked, but there was plenty to look at and buy. I was hoping they would have a good selection of stationery there, and I was not disappointed. In fact, the selection of notebooks and paper exceeded my expectations by a huge margin! 😁

"Traveler's Notebooks" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/110 sec, ISO200
“Traveler’s Notebooks” Austin, 2018

Right at the entrance to the store is a display with Traveler’s Notebooks, refill paper, and accessories. I was like, whoa, did not expect this! In fact, it was my first time to see Traveler’s Co. goods in a physical store. Next, it was time to check out the pens, of which they also have a nice selection. They are fully stocked with Pilot Kakunos, of all colors and nib sizes! Of course, they have a great selection of notebooks too, and loose writing papers and envelopes. It’s so awesome! Austin really needed a good stationery store… it’s been long overdue.

"Eguchi Hisashi Step" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Eguchi Hisashi Step” Austin, 2018

While the store doesn’t have their full stock of magazines on the shelves yet, they do have a big variety of art and illustration books. I saw a book by one of my favorite artists, Ilya Kuvshinov, but I opted for Step by Eguchi Hisashi. It’s so awesome! I was not familiar with his work, but just flipping through the book in the store, I knew I had to have it. He is a master of the kind of style I want to create. I mean, just check out these fantastic illustrations for Honda:

"Supercub!" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/55 sec, ISO3200
“Supercub!” Austin, 2018

I found an excellent video about Eguchi Hisashi on YouTube… check it out if you have a few minutes. It’s really inspiring to me, and interesting because Eguchi talks about some Tokyo neighborhoods that I am familiar with. It also fascinates me that he draws females in the style NOT of women he finds attractive, but in the style of how he sees himself if he were born female. I’m still trying to understand what that means, but I feel like maybe I also want to draw like that.

I hope you had a great day!


🎶 🌸 Chillhop Essentials Spring 2018 • beats & lofi hiphop

🎶 I love these! Chillhop is my new favorite music.

Digital and Film

"Digital and Film" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/6.4, 1/6 sec, ISO3200
“Digital and Film” Cedar Park, 2018


Today’s photo is of my favorite digital camera and my favorite film camera. I’ve seen quite a few videos about shooting film, and there’s a general revival of film photography happening. It’s pretty cool! I guess all the younger photographers who grew up with digital are discovering film. I think it’s great.

I love my old film cameras and had so much fun shooting with them. Because I learned photography by shooting film, they hold a special place for me, and each of my film cameras has certain sentimental value. Actually, that’s not true. I have a few that I acquired later on that I don’t have any real attachment too, and I should probably donate those. But my Minolta X-700, α507si, Nikon F, Holga 120, and Olympus XA are keepers!

That said, I don’t see myself shooting film in the future. I just think the advantages of digital are so great that the charm of film cannot overcome them. The combination of digital and Lightroom allows me to create the photographic style I like, plus the speed of processing that I require to post to my blog every day requires a digital camera. As much as I enjoyed shooting film, it’s simply a hassle to develop the film.

I guess for me it’s also a case of “been there, done that”. But for the younger photo-enthusiasts, it’s a whole new world to explore, and that is wonderful. I get excited thinking that they might be experiencing that same magic of discovery that I experienced when I learned how to develop film and make prints in the dark room. It was a great time. I honestly feel that film is something you have to try out at some point as a photographer because it is an important part of photography that still exists and it’ll be an itch that you’ll have to scratch, or it will stay at the back of your mind and drive you crazy.

Anyways, I will hold on to my precious film cameras and maybe someday my sons or even grandkids might want to use them to shoot some film. 😀

I hope you had a nice Friday!



Little Notebook

"No..." Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/70 sec, ISO3200
“No…” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going today?

So I’ve been using my Passport-size Traveler’s Notebook for almost a year now, and I still enjoy it, but I realize that it’s a little limiting. Basically, it’s great for taking notes, but it’s a bit small for sketching. I think it’s difficult because the pages don’t lie as flat as I’d like.

However, I don’t like big, thick sketchbooks either. My preferred size is A5, with spiral binding, and no more than a centimeter thick. The Muji notebooks I bought a few years ago are perfect. I use the dot-grid version for general note-taking both for personal stuff and for work stuff (I have one notebook for each). The paper is smooth and fountain pen ink looks great on it. It’s also nice for sketching!

I’m pretty excited because we’re going to the Muji store in NYC this summer so I can stock up!

I’ve been looking at that Roterfaden A5 notebook and it seems like a perfect solution, but I can’t justify spending that much money on it. I’m sure there’s a cheaper A5 alternative out there that I can use. I just need to do some research! In the meantime, I’ll use my Muji notebooks.


Today’s photo is a sketch I did in my Traveler’s Notebook. I just drew on an old page that I had written on before. Can you guess what those words mean?

I hope you had a great day!


Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter Organizer System @

This leather and felt “Bestseller” organizer by Roterfaden looks amazing. But wow, it’s pricey!

I’ll stick with my Travelers Notebook Passport for now.