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My Favorite Japanese Journaling Supplies
I have an adiction! I love buying journaling supplies. They make me happy. It’s like a hug in a box. Im always buying and trying new things. This list of Japanese journal supplies have all been tested by myself and are products I would buy again. I only recommend things that I feel will bring joy to others and that are of a high quality. Quality is a huge factor for me. When I sit down to journal I like to have things I trust near me. If you are new to journaling you can read my my article on How to Start a Bullet journal here. I you are looking to take it further you can read my article on How to Start an Art Journal.
I feel while I do love buying journal supplies I do not use them all. I like to keep things fairly simple. I have a table once, overflowing with art supplies, it became a mess and I didn’t get much art done. Too many options and too many choices. So, I narrowed things down. Because, you don’t need to buy a ton of supplies and spend a ton of money to make pretty things. This is my list of my favorite things (yes, I did sing that in my best Julie Andrews voice).
MD Midori Journals have such a lovely aesthetic to them. I love the slightly off-white color of the pages. Not quite cream, not quite white rather some delicious shade between the two. I’ve decided to call this shade mythic, it makes me happy.
The pages come with Grid Paper, Lined, or Plain. The thing about this paper os that it’s not meant for watercolor, yet it handles it beautifully. It will wrinkle slightly when wet, however, it will mostly straighten out once it’s dry. I don’t worry too much about these little warps and wrinkles, for me, it add character. It also helps me not worry about being perfect and making a complete masterpiece. I struggle with that sometimes. Life isn’t about being perfect, its about being perfectly yourself. I have some wrinkles, my journals have some wrinkles and we’re all the better for them.
These journals come is different sizes. I prefer the A5 size. This gives me lots of room to play with and have fun without being too big. The smaller size can also help not feeling intimated. Small is cute, cozy and fun.
I also adore the Japanese writing on the side of the journal. To add to the over all aesthetic of the book. The light color is very calming to me. After writing this section I just ordered myself a new one. I love these so much.
There are so many great Japanese pens.I’m going to cover a few of my favorites
Japanese Kokeshi Gel Pen
Let me tell you why I bought these Japanese Kokesi Doll Gel Pens, they are so darn adorable and they look so cute in photos. I also just ordered a new set because I lost this round of ‘hide and go seek with mommy’s art supplies’ to my toddler. She thought they were adorable as well.
Seriously, these are some good looking pens and the little Geisha’s can be used as figurines when the pens are all used up. You can set them across your desk to keep you company as you journal. I love to have desk mascots and I’m always collecting more.
Besides the cute factor, these pens write very beautifully. They are a lovely gel pen that give you a smooth line and ease of use. They have a nice fine tip so you can get fine delicate lines. The ink is nice black.
You are4 getting a great quality pen set for a really good price. They came straight from Japan which makes them dear to my heart.
Uni-ball Signo Broad Gel pen
I have Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen detail and highlights. They are perfection! I used to use Gellyroll, also a Japanese pen. I was happy with it and I still buy them, however, the white in the uni-ball is much stronger, smother, and vibrant.
I use this pen primarily over watercolor and I’m so happy with the ease and beauty of the lines. The add the perfect detail for all my needs. The ink dries fast, which is such a bonus.
What really sold me on this pen is how white it looks when dried. Many white pens loose some of the whiteness and become slightly transparent when dry loosing the effect of the detail. Not these babies! They stay just as white when dry. They do come in other colors, as well.
Tombow is one of my favorite brands. Tombow Fudenosuke three pack pen set is a pen lovers dream come true. I just can’t get enough of their markers. If you are a calligrapher and love to do hand lettering then these pens are a perfect match for you.
These lovely Japanese imports come in both a hard and soft tip. One of the pens in this pack also comes with a grey tip.
Another great thing about this pack is that it the hard tip is great for beginners of hand lettering. As well as adding details. The soft tip is generally most people’s favorite.
Tombow markers always last a very long time. I even left the cap off for about day and it was still good! I was dancing for joy when I discovered this.
I also love the black ink. Some black inks are just not pleasant when dry. I’m suer particular with this little detail. That’s one reason why I love these pens so much. They are also pretty. I love the Japanese writing on them. It helps set me into an imaginative mindset.
Kuretake Fude Felt Tip Brush Pen
So, I first bought this Kuretake Fdue Felt Tip Pen because I loved the look of it. Can you tell I’m a sucker for aesthetics? OMG! This pen is beautiful. It has a deep ruddy color with beautiful gold writing down the center. It good reviews on Amazon and I’m already I huge fan of the Kuretake brand, so I grabbed it.
I’m so happy I did. This pen is not waterproof! So, if you write with it and then use any type of water you will get some bleeding.
This pen is dual tipped. It has a fine point and a brush pen side. The ink it a super dark beautiful black ink. It dries very quickly and keeps a nice rich black color upon drying.
I love to use this o my illustrations after I’m done with all my watercolor. The richness of the black color really gives the added zing I’m looking for. It’s slightly longer, which I like.
Overall, the ink dries beautifully, it has a nice dual tip, and it’s really affordable. If you’re looking to add depth to your inking or finding a new calligraphy pen than give this one a try.
Here’s a name I have already mention, Tombow! These Tombow Markers are a must for me. Tombow was founded in Japan and their main factory in Shinshiro. They have opened up manufacturing in other countries, however, it is under strict quality control. While not all Tombow markers you buy in the US are made in Japan, its still a Japanese company and that’s why I list it.
Tombow markers are not waterproof. You can actually use them as watercolors because they are highly water-soluble and that is one reason I love them so much. I’ll have a tutorial all about them soon, so make sure to sign for my newsletter.
These markers have two sides, one fine point and one brush pen. They are fantastic for all you hand letter artist out there. I have yet to master the art of hand lettering. However, I do use Skillshare to learn new skills. Its kinda like an on-line stream service for art classes and so much more. Using this link you can sign-up for a free two-month trial. You can take a bunch
These Zebra Midliners are some super fun highlighters. They come in such a wide variety of colors. They are not super bright or fluorescent as with most highlighters. Rather, they are a lovely muted pastel.
They work beautifully in bullet journals. You don’t have to use them as merely highlighters. You can make cute little illustrations, give accents to doodles, and so much more.
These highlighters come in a variety of colors and are really affordable. They are a nice addition to any bullet journal enthusiast.
I’ve used almost every pencil out there. While you can make a terrific drawing with any type of pencil, having a special pencil can add a little fun and ease to your art.
I think every artist should have a few special pencils.
These Pentel Pencils are classics. They are a super, super popular brand amongst many artists. You can go wrong with these. You can get them in several different lead sizes.
I generally use a 0.7mm for the initial sketch and then I go in with a 0.5mm for the fine details and touch ups. This set contains 0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 0.9mm.
This pencil will not let you down. The barrel of the pencil has a metal grip with soft pads to make this pencil comfortable for long stretches of writing or drawing. The pencil is weighted to provide optimal comfort and ease of use. It also has a little window so you can set what type of lead you use. The tip is structured to help prevent lead breakage.
This is a pencil that is well worth your money.
This Kura Toga Mechanical Pencil is a new pencil for me. I wanted to try something new. It is cheap and it came in pink. Its super lightweight.
The main feature that persuaded into buying this is the fact that it has a self-sharpening mechanism! That’s right. It sharpens itself so you don’t have to keep turning your pencil. So far, it has worked really well for me.
I love this pencil. It’s a nice addition to my collection. It’s lightweight, a little thicker than a regular mechanical pencil, and I have had no issue with breakage. It’s also super cute.
MT Masking Tape
This beautiful Mt Masking Tape is made by Kamoi Kakoshi in Japan. They have been making tape for almost 100 years. The quality of this tape is truly fabulous.
I love the light colors of this tape. It has a soft look it it and I find it has a very good adhesive skills, it can be removed and replaced and won’t leave a sticky mess.
Washi tape adds the perfect little details to your art journals. This tape has a lovely sheer quality that gives a dreamy look.
This tape comes in so many different colors. What I love about it is that it has a soft matte finish, it holds up, and it’s fun to play with. I love having solid colors. There is a beauty in its simplicity. The rolls are big, so they will last you a good long time.
Kuretake Gansai Tambi
These are my must have go to watercolors. You can read my article devoted Kuretake Gansai Tambi paints here. These Japanese water colors come in sets of 12, 24, 36, and 48. They are my favorite watercolors for so many reasons. They are smooth, creamy, they lift incredibly easy. You can basically erase your mistakes with a clean brush and a little paper towel. Sometimes you don’t even need the paper towel. I’ve seen many people on the internet say these paints are gouache and are opaque. This is simply false! You can get smooth transparent dreamy layers with these babies. They do not loose much if any vibrancy upon drying. For me, the colors dry to beautiful rich looking hues. With some cheaper American watercolors I find they dry and have a cheap look to them that is not at all pleasing to the eye. I’m so particular with colors. If you want to know more about these be sure to read the my Kuretake Gansai Tambi review.
Kawaii Carrying Case
I couldn’t resist to add this adorable Kawaii carrying case . Every journal enthusiast needs something to store their journal supplies. I sued to keep mine spread across my desk. I’d spend a lot of time trying to track down all my supplies. It was such a waste of time. Finally, I decided to keep my favorite and most used supplies in one special case. Now, I can sit down, pull out my case and get to work.
This case is just too cute. It’s not too big or too small so it won’t get in the way and you also won’t be tempted to fill it with lots of stuff you don’t actually use.
If you have any questions feel free to hop over to my Facebook Group and ask any questions and share any art work or fun supplies! I hope to see you there.
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