So I’m not really into celebrating Valentine’s day but there are two kawaii things that I want to share that are sort of related. First are the Rilakkuma notes that I purchased the last time that I went to Kinokuniya Books. They have a really wonderful collection of San X things there and Rilakkuma is my favorite. These particular notes were surely designed for Valentine’s day but the signature red and adorable nature is not unlike their usual style. Do you remember celebrating Valentine’s Day in elementary school? It was my favorite school holiday for sure because I loved finding the perfect cards, writing + drawing all over them, stuffing them with candy hearts and the stickering them shut. When I was younger (and to this day) I loved paper, handwriting and candy so it was the perfect day for me.
On Saturday, the actual day I ended up traveling to San Jose with my special someone on the train. We were there for the bicycling festivities, to take pictures for SVBC. In the afternoon we vistited Penguin Froyo and I got the yummiest treat ever: peanut butter cup gelato with heath bar crumble. Wow. I have had gelato once before and it wasn’t anything too great, but I will make sure that I return to Penguin Froyo for a visit when ever I am in the area.
For my online photo class we are supposed to start a journal. I chuckled a bit because I had already bought one specifically for the class from Kinokuniya. It has zoo animals on it and I thought that it would inspire me to go adventuring with the camera—and back to the SF Zoo. I actually have lots and lots of notebooks, journals, moleskines, etc and between maiki and myself we buy one every time we come across them (he may be worse than me at resisting them ^_^). I started to realize a while back that I never quite get the opportunity to fill the pages of the journals that I buy before I excitedly purchase another one so I’ve tried to hold back. Also lately I’ve been going back and using them for drawing and doodles that are not project related so they are not going out of sequence. Anyways when school started I released the ban on notebook shopping and picked out some super cute ones. Here they are: a green Moleskine, a Nantaka Joy scalloped beauty by Joy Cho, and zoo notebook with illustrations by Michiyo Tokuda.
While reading Design Observer I noticed a post from Michael Beirut about his own journaling habits entitled “26 Years, 85 Notebooks.” He likes to use the plain old school composition books, and he completely fills them up before moving onto the next, in a perfect timeline. He carries his notebook with him everywhere and it to jot down ideas, notes to himself, sketches of possible designs, contact information of clients, everything. In the post he also shows pages from his notebooks and discusses how they relate to real work that he has produced. All really interesting stuff! It is clear how integral these books are to his creative process— and that all these damn thumbnails that I have been forced to draw are really laying the ground work for good design practices. I wish that I had a quarter for every time one of my professors said that “the designer should begin with a pencil and paper and not with a computer and a mouse.” I have the supplies but it can be hard to fight that urge. I guess the reward to myself is shopping for stationary—and becoming a good designer.
I picked up a new book at Kinokuniya early in the week. Its a nice collection of work by Swedish graphic designer, Olle Eksell. Olle was an influential figure for Swedish graphic design in the 1950s. He worked as an illustrator, a writer, a branding expert, an editorial designer, a fabric and textile designer. I chuckle that the text is in Swedish and Japanese and not English, but it is just fine with me. _