Taipei Stationery Hotspots

Stationery addiction’s a national trend. Not only are illustrators designing new products and producing washi tape from their artworks, we can see new stationery boutiques popping up all over the place. Some are nestled within local cafes, some are sold in wholesale stores, and some are hidden in such secretive places that only the stationery addicts know where to go. For the stationery lovers out there that would like to check out the stationery scene in Taipei, I will make a brief guide to the kinds of stationery stores that you can find here!

Large Stationery Stores

  • Jieu Da Stationery 久大文具行
  • Guang Nan 光南
  • Stepping Stone 墊腳石
  • Kingstone 金石堂
  • San ming bookstore 三民書局
  • Eslite 誠品書局
  • Kinokuniya 紀伊國書店
  • Tokyu Hands 台隆手創館
  • JSF Mall 金興發

Entering these large stationery stores is like going into candy land for stationery fanatics. The selection is large and varied. From pens to folders and from washi to art supplies, there are too much to choose from, and at very cheap prices too. Jieu Da Stationery & Guang Nan are stationery stores that are the favourites among students, because of their relatively affordable prices of all kinds of pen and paper tools for student use and normal office supplies. Jieu Da offers membership cards and you can buy things at up to 20% off normal market prices. Guang Nan offers similar selection of stationery at already discounted prices. Stepping Stone Kingstone bookstores have a whole floor dedicated to stationery supplies, and they have more authentic Taiwanese designer stationery in stock. The best location to browse through all four of these stores are at Taipei Main Station.

Another three Bookstore/Stationery Stores are San Ming, Eslite, and Kinokuniya. San Ming Bookstore carries more stationery items that are from Taiwanese wholesale stationery companies, including designer’s washi such as Kikisui and Chuyo. Eslite goes for a more modern look and features imported stationery items at higher prices. Its bookstore are beautifully designed and is great place to while away the day. Kinokuniya offers more Japanese oriented stationery items such as Midori Traveler’s Notebook items and fabric pouches. If you are visiting the Kinokuniya at Breeze Center, make sure to check out Tokyu Hands just a few floors above to see more Japanese stationery items!
If you are visiting the famous Shilin Nightmarket in Taiwan, then there is another stationery store that you must not miss. JSF Mall (pronounced Jin Shin Fa) is right next to the night market. It has the most selection of diary stickers and at super valuable prices. Many of their notebook and stationery items are Korean-inspired but made in China. You can also find many Taiwanese brand stationery in this store as well~
Unique Stationery Boutiques

  • Tools to Liveby 禮拜文房具
  • Vision Stationery 明進文房具 (review here)
  • 1 over 1 Workshop 一分之一工作室
  • Plain Stationery 直物文房具
  • Hsiao Pin Ya Ji 小品雅集
  • Pinmo Liang Han Paper Lab 品墨良行 巷內店

These boutique stationery stores offers more selected items, and their owners are all stationery addicts as well. The items that they chose from Japan, Europe, or even locally designed are very tasteful and beautiful. The environment is very quiet and homey, and all the stationery items are laid out like pieces of art. Tools to Liveby is a local favourite because they designed many stationery items themselves. Their most favoured items are the beautiful scissors and gold and silver midori clips. Vision Stationery has a very friendly owner who lives to provide quality paper that are fit for fountain pen. He offers a variety of Midori Traveler’s Notebook items as well (usually at the most valued price in Taipei). 1 over 1 Workshop is easy to overlook if you don’t follow the address, because it is within a neighbourhood apartment and you actually have to be buzzed up through the door bell to enter. A unique feature of this workshop is that they have a table dedicated for you to test out their planners and journals and many pens you can use to test-write. Hsiao Pin Ya Ji is the place to go if you are a fountain pen lover, where they offer a variety of selection from beginner’s to more expensive brands. It’s actually the friendly customers there that would often pat you on the shoulder and give you recommendation on what to buy. I’ve yet to visit Plain Stationery but it’s also on my bucket list~ Pinmo Liang Han Paper Lab is also an interesting stationery boutique to visit. Their feature products are handmade notebooks and paper products!

Stationery Cafes

  • Treellage Life Cafe 樹樂集
  • 61 Note Shop & Tea
  • Mogu Cafe 蘑菇
  • Ryou Cafe 日楞咖啡
  • Meet Bear 覓熊咖啡店

Online Venues

  • Masking-tape.tw 小徑文化
  • books.com.tw 博客來

DIY Sticker Flakes for my Hobonichi

I would like to make a confession, I’m a sticker hoarder.

I’ve been addicted to stationery since I was  little girl, always eager to grab the coolest pencil cases, milky color rollerball pens, and food-shaped erasers. However, my greatest addiction are stickers, lots and lots of stickers.

I had a plastic sticker book where I store my collection of Hello Kitty sticker flakes, Dragon Ball manga characters, and even action figures such as Power Ranger and Superman. As the stationery market become more developed in Taiwan,  I grow to be a sophisticated planner user, and stickers are necessary decorations to my daily diaries. There are daily diary stickers (the cute and expressive ones are from South Korea), sticker flakes designed by Taiwanese illustrators, and endless selection of envelope seal stickers from giant Japan stationery manufactures. I hoard stickers like there’s no tomorrow, and I’m reluctant to use them because they are too pretty!

IMG_4472(showing off my latest conquests: Cosplay Ojisan, Bruce Lee Cat, and Veggie birds)

It’s no wonder that I soon wanted to create my own stickers. Using label sticker papers from wholesale office supplies, I started to design my own round stickers featuring my penguins. I have a few pieces of these sticker papers lying around, and I thought, why not make customised sticker flakes for my Hobonichi Journal entry?

Continue reading

The 100 Day Project

A hundred days! I can recall the questions that raced through my mind before I decided to jump in: Can I handle it? Will I push through when my schedule is jammed? Will I share even when I can’t resolve a piece? Will I show up every day, even when it hurts—especially when it hurts?

I’ve seen repost all over Facebook about the upcoming #the100dayproject, and I’ve been brimming with excitement about the actual even starting on April 6th. At first I thought to myself, I’m already doing plenty of doodles and drawing, do I want to use this opportunity to project my growing habit? Or, should I take advantage of the accountability that comes with this project to pursuit some other priorities in my life!

luna-what-could-you-do-with-100-days-lighter

The 100 Day Project is co-hosted by online magazine The Great Discontent and artist Elle Luna. The idea of this project initiated from a grad school assignment at Yale School of Art where the teacher asked each student to pick on creative action and repeat it over the course of 100 days.

Continue reading

Drawing Tips – Painting with Waterbrush

Friday was a national holiday in Taiwan because the government was compensating a day off for Qingming Holiday where everyone goes home to pay respect to the ancestors. My friends and I took advantage of this day off to go on a Picnic to Qingtiangang, a beautiful expanse of plain on top of Yangming Mountain.

P1270857

Of course I brought along my paints and sketchbook in hope to capture the beautiful scenery. I wasn’t disappointed, because the weather was super nice and I’d say it’s even feeling like summer has arrived!

P1270836

I recall when I was here last time (about two weeks ago), the weather was dreary and there was heavy mist up on the trail. We couldn’t see a thing within 10 feet, so we gave up and went home disappointed. (However, we did get to see some cherry blossoms on the way down the mountain).

Continue reading

Hobonichi Flip Through January Part 2

wHAT ARE YOU WRITING IN THERE ALL DAY?

says Mom.

In today’s post, I’m continuing with my Hobonichi Filp Through of January! This month I had the opportunity of visiting many exhibitions and art shows, so there are a lot of colourful things to draw. It’s also when I started exploring and experimenting different uses of washi tape and stickers in my diary as well.

I’m contradictory in that I wanted to use up all the cute stickers that I own, but at the same time I wanted to keep my diary in a minimalist style, keeping everything in black and white. Apparently with my latest addiction with watercolour, that’s not going to happen anytime soon (the black and white thing).

A dear friend sent me a happy mail of Sai Watercolour brushes! I immediately wanted to try it out in my journal. Unfortunately my first grasp of this pen is not very well, and I ended up with super saturated strokes. However, I love how many colors this set of pen has! Too lovely for words.

book13

I love to use washi tape to save all the tickets of the exhibitions or shows that I’ve been to. Usually the tickets are beautifully designed, and can be a colourful reminder to your adventures.

Continue reading

Drawing tips – Waterproof Pigment Ink

For many doodlers out there, there must be some discussion on what’s the best pen to draw with. Some people might want to use water-colour together in their drawings. In this video I share my favourite waterproof pigment ink pens I use in my Hobonichi Techo. They are Uni-pin fine line, Sakura Microns, and Unchida pens~

They have a harder nib than normal pens, and their waterproof nature makes it very convenient to paint over them without the lines smudging. Check out this video for some speed doodling using these pens!

Doodle book project – Shapes and Faces

Lately I’ve been asking myself whether it is worth it to take some time off to do drawing and illustrations each day (amateurish ones of course). Shouldn’t I be focusing on some other priorities such as trying to make more income for my upcoming graduate studies, or spend more time studying and understanding the professional field I’m heading into.

However, browsing through the various artistic community and seeing everyone constantly producing such beautiful artwork has definitely spark my envy at this craft. I realised that if I ever want to achieve that level of consistency and dedication to this hobby, I need to practice, and practice, and practice, and practice. I justified that this time for drawing is time well spent, because I feel relaxed and happy when colouring and building pictures with simple lines.

IMG_3787

Starting with the basics again, I refer to the second lesson from the doodle book that teaches how to draw human portraits – Shapes and faces. Emotion and facial features can be a daunting thing to capture when drawing portraits. So the book starts on a easy-going level of simply creating comic-like expressions on different shapes.

It asks me to fill up the page with bold drawings, so I decided to go one step further and practice more than it instructed.

IMG_3879

In this practice, I definitely drew some expressions that I’ve never tried before. The main lesson here is that the position of eyes, nose, and mouth can make a huge difference on expressiveness.   Plus, I snuck a few of my penguins into the array of faces.

What do you think? Try this exercise out in your own sketchbook!

 

Hobonichi Flip Through January 2015 part 1

It feels really good to start off the new year by art journaling in the Hobonichi. The format of the Hobonichi Techo and the constant reminder to put in something wonderful each day really helps give a sense of purpose in keeping this journal.

book04

To recap, this is a A6 Hobonichi Techo English Planner. Although it lack the detailed timeline bar, the check boxes on top, and has a different type of format from the Japanese Techo version, I feel that this layout allows more blank spaces for writing and drawing.

I wanted to start this year with a bang, so I figured I’d buy a lottery ticket to test my luck. Well, if I had won, this ticket won’t be stuck to this page now ;). I love cutting out cute pictures from beautiful brochures and flyers, especially in the city of Taipei where there are many artists showing off their trade.

book01

Continue reading

Hobonichi Flip Through December 2014 – part 2

Continuing my previous post on my December page flip throughs, my daily entries consisted of a main illustration for the day, and surrounding it are my journaling of the day’s events! I’m not that great a writer, and I don’t want to pressure myself into writing fantastic entries that are full of meaningful thoughts or anything like that. Therefore I try to focus my art on doodling and replicating photos that I’ve taken in my iPhone for that day.

hobo13resize

Sometimes I take inspiration from Hobonichi entries shared on facebook pages or cute images I’ve seen on Instagram. Luckily I don’t have to rely much on prompts yet to come up with things to draw. There are too much interesting things around me that I would love to put into doodles and writing.

Continue reading

Hobonichi flip through December 2014 – part 1

I got my hands on the Hobonichi Techo planner in November last year. It was the English planner, and its December pages actually start from the 24th. Of course I couldn’t wait to start using it already, so I skipped ahead and actually started using the 2016 December pages! I figure that I would have gotten a new planner during planner season (September – November) later this year, and it will all cycle out eventually.

hobo03

My hobonichi planner set-up includes a cover page that I put on the inside of the planner cover. This one is a collection of inspirational phrases that make up the Good Life Project Creed. For those who would like to know more, the author and host of this website Jonathan Fields hold talks and conversations with entrepreneurs and incredible people. I love watching his videos and listen to his podcasts. This creed really speaks to a lot of things in life that we face, and which inspires us to be amazing everyday. I would always flip to this cover page for daily inspiration.

Continue reading