Kinokuniya Haul

"Illustration Annual 2018" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Illustration Annual 2018” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today after work I went to Kinokuniya to browse the stationery and books. It’s actually a great opportunity since I am alone – I don’t have to hurry and can take my own sweet time. 🙂 I was primarily looking for more illustration/art books to find inspiration and get some pointers to improve my own illustration skills and found a great compilation of artists. This Illustration 2018 book is huge – over 300 pages! There are so many great illustrations and each one has a little info about the artist, including their websites, email, or social media links. I went thru about a third of the book already and marked pages using the stickies that I also bought from Kinokuniya. I’ve bookmarked so many pages already!

"Cool Stuff" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Cool Stuff” Cedar Park, 2018

I think it’s really useful to look at the illustrations in printed format, rather than just onscreen. You can really see the detail and technique a lot better. It’s weird to me because I thought that a digital format would be advantageous because you can zoom in and the colors are more vibrant, but the printed book is way better. Not only is the “zooming and panning” natural (moving your head and eyes closer), but it brings the artwork into the physical world and tangible reality. The only thing better would be to have the full-size print. It’s the reason that galleries and museums still exist. I highly recommend spending your money on art, illustration, or photo books. Skip a couple dinners out, and buy a book!

The bookmark sticker set I bought is pretty neat. I love the designs of these, but this is just one of several different sets, and they are great. I wish I could have all of them, but I’ll just stick to this one, which I liked best. There are 375 total stickers so it’ll last me a while.

"Bookmark Stickers" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Bookmark Stickers” Cedar Park, 2018

I have a couple of Pilot Hi-tec-C Coleto multi-ink pens, and I’ve run out of ink in a couple of the cartridges. Happily, Kinokuniya has a big selection of refills. Now I just have to decide if I should change up the color combinations of my pens, or just get the same colors… ah what a dilemma! 😝

"Coleto Heaven" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Coleto Heaven” Austin, 2018

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

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!

またね~

2018 Movies & Books

Here’s my 2018 list of books I’ve read and movies I’ve watched, with my rating in parentheses (out of 10).

To see other years’ lists, click on the “List Love” menu in the top navigation.

Books

Movies and Dorama

2017 Movies & Books

Here’s my 2017 list of books I’ve read and movies I’ve watched, with my rating in parentheses (out of 10).

To see other years’ lists, click on the “List Love” menu in the top navigation.

Books

Movies and Dorama

📚 Book

2016 Movies & Books

Here’s my 2016 list of books I’ve read and movies I’ve watched, with my rating in parentheses (out of 10).

To see other years’ lists, click on the “List Love” menu in the top navigation.

Books

Movies and Dorama

South of the Border, West of the Sun

South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

Just a couple of weeks into the new year, and I have finished reading my first book! South of the Border, West of the Sun
by Haruki Murakami has been sitting on my shelf for a long time now (the receipt I found in the book showed that I bought it at Borders 14 years ago!). Actually I sort of forgot about it, but when I started reading it I couldn’t put it down! That happens often when I read a book by Murakami.

I won’t go into the plot of the story, but the one thing that I kept thinking as I was reading it is that I really miss Japan. This is normal a normal reaction with all his books. But I always can picture the scenes, especially the ones in the city and I can remember when I stood in the same locations as his characters. At least the same neighborhoods.

Like most of Murakami’s works, there are many details that get left unsaid and unexplained. It’s fascinating to read about everyone’s theories about these loose ends. There’s a nice thread on Reddit if you’d like to read them.

I enjoyed South of the Border, West of the Sun quite a bit. I’m now ready to move on to his latest work, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A novel which I found at my local library’s digital catalog.