Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Japanese Edition of Flow Magazine

Behold... my Japanese addition of Flow the wonderful magazine from the Netherlands, came in the post box today! I know I've gushed over this magazine before, but if you haven't had a chance to check out this magazine, go to your local B&N. They usually have the last international issue out. Those are in english.

I gather, Flow has been around in the Netherlands for quite sometime, but the international version has only been around since last year. I personally adore the magazine not only because of the visual eye candy, but also for their lovely articles. There always seems to be at least one article that showcases a creative artist. Sometimes of ones I've never heard of from Europe, which makes for an inspiring read.

They also have articles that inspire you along your personal creative path. An example is an insert in the last magazine that advocates 30 Days of Writing and Thinking. The magazine also, has bits and pieces you can use: post cards, stickers, patterns, etc.

Just as a heads up though, I order mine through their website now. You can only order one at a time as there is no subscription option now. You can wait until they show up in the book store, but by the time they make it there, a new issue is ready for purchase on their online store. I used to wait, but... recently became a bit impatient ^_^.

Anywho... these are a few bits from the magazine that was compiled for the Japanese market. Unfortunately I forgot how to read Japanese a few decades ago, so I don't know what is going on, but the pictures sure are pretty ^_*. Now awaiting for my new issue of Flow to arrive...

Music of the Day:
Various Artists Spirits of Nature Album

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hobonichi Techo Love : 2015 Styles Releasing Soon!


Whoo hoo... so the makers at the Hobonichi Techo headquarters are posting cover teasers and finally released the images for all of the designs.  the The ladies in my Hobonichi Techo Eye Candy Group are chomping at the bits for release day and I must admit... so am I. (All Hobonichi images from store website.)

In terms of the insert. They will still have the A5 and A6 one book units we are used to, but have added the 'Avec' version of the original (A6) and Cousin (A5). The Avecs come in two booklets that divide the year. This will be helpful for those of us who like streamlined notebooks in our bags. The A5 is a behemoth for sure in it's own right, but once you start adding to your pages... it becomes even more so.

What I also, like about this is that the 'Avec' will allow you to add another notebook if you like which will be nice if your not too concerned with the weight of it.

I'm so excited when they open the shop doors in September for orders. In the mean time here are some pics in my favorite planner...

Music of the Day:
Acoustic Collabo 그대라서

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Friday #19 : Illustration Play

The common phrase I see and hear since embarking on this illustrative planner or diary is, "I don't or can't draw, but I wish I could keep a more visual diary..." To those who truly have not done any drawing since they were yaeh tall, may I suggest keeping it simple, fun, and playful?

Besides those who can motivate you and inspire the artistic genius in you like Lynda Barry, Suzi Blu, Gina Rossi, Danny Gregory, etc... why not take a step back and play with doodling? There are many books on zen doodling which is hot right now, oooor... play around with simple figures. Yep thats what I mean... those simple little stick figures that you probably did from back in the day.

Why not? Look at Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The illustrations in the famous children's book series are just that, stick figures. You can grab yourself one of those wooden figure mannequins to help you do poses as well.


You can also raid the 'How to Draw' books in the children's section of your local book store or... your kid's bookshelf like me  ^_^. There is one particular artist I really love for this, Ed Emberley, particularly the one with the finger prints, it's super fun!


Another fun artist that simplifies things is Sachiko Umoto. Her illustrations and how to books are simple, beautiful, and fun to do. If you like the little Japanese illustrations you see on the stickers and stationary out there, you will love her Illustration School series.

If you have access to Asian book stores, they may have a section with 'how to' books on illustrations. They are a bit harder to find, especially if you do not read the language, but I'm sure if ask, they may be able to find something for you. I personally found a few cute ones in the local Kinokuya book store.

So many avenues to visually spruce up your written diaries. It is so very fun so please do try! Here is a little treat I found of one of my favorite music artists.

Music of the Day:
Zee Avi : NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Clarification: Permission to Copy

Hi everyone, it is interesting... one of my group member thought that my last post was referring to the 'stealing' to learn concept that has made a resurgence out there.  From the book that recently came out, to the fab artist Tommy Kane from Sketchbook School, this advice is definitely one I must avidly agree with.

I am a great proponent of that concept. I mean all the great masters studied, emulated, or even apprenticed under other masters in order to learn and achieve their own style. That is highly desirable of course... but what I meant in terms of copying is actually even more rudimentary than that.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe many of us go down this path, settle in our comfort zone artistically and then feel the pressure or the need to be more creative or somehow original all the time. It is in that pressure that we then begin to loose the joy of just making art. The process becomes too thought out, up tight, frustrating... it becomes a bit of a dare I say it.... a chore.

In terms of permission to copy, I meant just that... copying any thing you see in front of you. You can call it observational drawing, still life, life drawing, reference drawing, or whatever terminology that floats your boat. Its not a new concept by any means of course, but sometimes we all need a little reminder it is ok not to 'think' too much, but just do... in all of it's imperfect glory ^_*.

Music of the Day:
Crush : Sometimes

Friday, August 15, 2014

Happy Friday #18 : Permission to Copy and just go Sketch

Hi Everyone! Alas, this is the last summer break Friday of the year. Can not believe how quickly the summer went by, but I can not tell a lie... me soo happy muh hahaha. Kids are going back to school on Monday! Whoo hoo... time for annual happy dance haha.

Any who as many of you know I love reading and watching biographies. Particularly ones that deal with authors and artists. They just fascinate me to no end. Most recently I had the fantastic privilege to go the the Jack London's State Park.

There I was able to see his home and office setting, and learn more about the man. As I mentioned in an earlier post before passing at the age of 40, he wrote an impressive amount of work and it had me thinking...

Its funny the journey you go through sometimes. Since embarking into the creative life, I went through the gamut of self doubt of course, but I also made the mistake of thinking I always had to create something new... be uber creative... be an 'artieeest'.

Sure I am much better now than from day 1...but I neglected to just... sketch. I felt the need to have these perfect finished products all the time. Which is why I would go through throws of white page fear, exasperation, and then days where I did not even want to touch paper much less draw on it.

Its laughable really... here I was giving myself the permission to draw and of course the encouragement began with Suzi Blu, but... I always felt the need for my pieces to be the best that it could be and of course unique as possible. Well... that was ok for a while, but I started to feel stagnant.

That was until... the Hobo, Midori, Sketchbook Skool, and Jack London fell into my path this summer. I mean I won't go into the Hobo or the Midori that much as I gushed over these epiphanies before, and Jack London's inspiration is pretty self explanatory, but here is a little nugget that helped snap me out of my creative coma this time:
Permission to COPY and just go SKETCH!

Forget the notion you have to be this entity that must 'create' something new and perfect. Sketch the food you eat, your surroundings, pictures of people, those cute little characters, copy the art or the style of your favorite artist (for learning purposes of course) and yes, embrace the ugly.

Music of the Day:
Clara : Offbeat

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Animal Sketches

Was never one to really sit down and sketch animals before. Usually when I do animals they are more cartoon in nature, but this was an interesting exercise for me to do for Sketch Book Skool, the Beginnings 2 Class. The instructor's name is Roz Stendahl.

The timing was great as well, since the last leg of our summer trip was at the Safari. As I mentioned before, I have never been that close to a giraffe in my life, and probably never will have the opportunity again. It was so amazing to see.

I'm probably going to try for some more detailed drawings next, but these were super fun to do in my Hobonichi.

Here is a little music I thought I would share. It just makes me really happy for some reason. Discovered it from a little Korean Drama I am watching. Uhm... yes cat's out of the bag, I am hooked on Korean Dramas hehe. This drama is called, It's Ok, It's Love.

Music of the Day:
Kae Sun : Ship and Globe

Friday, August 8, 2014

Happy Friday # 17 : Mini Holiday

Happy Friday everyone! Just went on a mini-holiday with the family and enjoyed the wine country. 

We first started our trek across the bridge. Funny how we have now lived in the Bay area for almost 3 yrs. now and haven't made this voyage as a family. The kids went on it with their grandma and aunt a few yrs. ago though. I however have not been on it for 20 yrs!

We then stopped by a little boating town called Saulsalito right on the other side of the bridge and had brunch. Your usual Americana cafe fare, but it was super yummy. Then we headed over to Sonoma.

First stop was the little Train town. There was a bit of a mis-communication with the hubby. I looked up Historic Train Town in Santa Rosa, but he found Train town in Sonoma. Haha... my kids were a bit too old for it so my son gave us the 'seriously?' look. But alas... there were some tween worthy rides that changed his attitude quickly so all was good haha.

After wards, we decided to head down to the main square to explore and get our snack on. What was fantastic was this little leather goods store we happened upon. We decided to buy this wonderful pink goat skin leather passport holder from this lady so that we could turn it into a Midori for Miss A. The fab thing was... she took a look at my Midori, did some quick measurements and punched the holes for me! Also, gave me a discount for having the gumption to want to make it myself and.... cause I was doing it for my baby haha. It was such a nice experience.

During our trip, we had fairly limited access to the internet. So this led to some great time to journal and and write with the kids.

The next day we did Jack London State Park. Known for 'Call of the Wild' and 'White Fang', by the time he passed at the age 40, in the 17 years he wrote, apparently he wrote over 50 books and at least a 100 short stories! Can you imagine? Not only that, he was a war correspondent and traveled the world. I will do a more detailed post about him on a later date as he is a very inspirational character indeed!

Next stop was Santa Rosa area. Charles Schultz Museum was next on our list. So fun to hear about his life and his amazing span of work. We had an amazing gentleman who gave us a tour of the museum and really enjoyed telling us the stories of Sparky's (Charles' nick name) life. It made the tour of the place so much more interesting.

Afterwards we headed over for our night at the Safari! Yes, you heard it right a Safari in Nor Cal! We got a rather posh tent for the night stay, had a pretty decent bbq dinner, and since there were zero electronics, had a great time journaling and writing session that night.

We decided on an early morning tour. Again we lucked out with a great guide and because Miss A picked the right number, we were able to sit at the top of the jeep during the first leg of the trip. WE were so amazingly close to the giraffes. I did not use any zoom in my camera here. I didn't seem to mind them getting close, but I wasn't too keen on the ostriches for some reason. Haha... they started pecking at the guide's buttons on his shirts. The kids had such a blast on the Safari.

To wrap up our trip we did finally hit the Santa Rosa Historic Train Town, had lunch and wandered some of the shops which was a nice way to end the trip. Ah... I must say it was quite fun to explore that part of CA and to disconnect...

Music of the Day:
Misty Blue : 망각