As a stationery brand, we are always curious how and what people use our stationery goods for. With this blog series, focusing on the hands at "work" and beyond, we ask five questions about the usage and meaning of the stationery tools to our friends in Los Angeles.

You probably are familiar with her work already if you follow us – for our twelfth post, we visited a favorite LA based artist, Oitama at her house in Highland Park neighborhood. 



Q1. What do you do with POSCA, LIFE Notebook and Ito Bindery Drawing Pad?



I have been using the POSCA in black for a long time, and I don't think I have ever not to use it everyday for like 15 years. When I moved to the U.S. from Japan 5 years ago, I brought a stock of about 20-30 spare POSCA markers because I didn't want to have to worry about not being able to get them.
However, POSCA is widely available at art supply stores, in fact, I have recently noticed that the lineup is rather more extensive with products and colors that are not available in Japan! (lol)




 I carry my LIFE notebook with me when I go out and use it for drawing and sketching. It was thick and heavy, so I split it in half and found it to be just right. The cover is now only on one side, but that doesn't seem to be a problem. I am glad I customized it. 

Oitama customizes her notebooks and adds a hand-made pocket on the back cover. 



I use this A3 Drawing Pad by Ito Bindery to make rough sketches for my upcoming show. The spacious, pure white surface feels nice. 



Q2. In our technology driven world, what does it mean to make things by your hand to you?



I seem to simply love using my hands to draw or create something. Technology and the Internet are fun and I like them, but I’d like to appreciate the use of my five senses, and I don't want to forget the primitive sense as a creature. 



Q3. Pencils or Mechanical Pencils?




Hmm, I use both, but I prefer pencil…

For me, a mechanical pencil can be replaced by a pen, but a pencil is irreplaceable.


Q4. What’s in your pen case, pouch?  Or how do you organize your stationeries?




In the pen case I carry around, I have a POSCA in black, both thick and thin, a black pen of my choice for the day, and one colored pen or marker if I feel like it.

At home, almost all of my drawing materials are out on my work desk. The pens and markers are divided into three groups of bottles: a group of black ink, a group of darker colors that are not black but are good for writing, and a group of fun bright colors.


Q5. What is your most favorite stationery? 




POSCA marker is my very favorite, as I mentioned above.

I also have a pair of small scissors that my mentor gave me more than 10 years ago. They have a delicate edge and are great for detailed work, and the sharpness has always been excellent. When I use these scissors, I am often reminded of the playfulness and humor that was always present in my mentor's work and concept behind it. 


Oitama is a LA based interdisciplinary artist and is a member of Saigo no Shudan, an animation collective. Currently, she is working on Linocut prints for a show in Thailand in August.  

You can find Oitama's work at her IG account under @oitama

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