This evening Bay and I went to the art store to buy some supplies, and on the way back, we stopped by Kinokuniya. It’s probably my favorite store here in Austin for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I can fantasize that I am in Japan – the country I enjoy the most, and secondly, it has such a great selection of high-quality stationery such as notebooks, paper, pens, etc. They have a good selection of fountain pens and ink, including brands like Pilot, Sailor, Kaweco, LAMY, and Iroshizuku. They even sell Traveler’s Co. supplies!
I’ve been searching for a good-sized binder to use instead of my spiral notebooks and found one that I really like. It’s an A5-sized 20-ring binder from Maruman that comes with 5-subject dividers and a few sheets of lined filler paper. I also bought 100 sheets of graph paper, and I love it! I think it looks so nice and sharp, and A5 fits nicely in my Patagonia MiniMass messenger bag.
I also stumbled across these awesome Kurutoga pencils with Studio Ghibli artwork on them. They are so cool! But at $12 per pencil (and the fact that I have no need for another mechanical pencil) it wasn’t difficult to resist buying one. Perhaps if my current Kurutoga breaks, though… 😈
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!
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.
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! 😝
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! 😁
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.
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:
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.