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.
For the first Working Hands post of 2024 & the 18th stationery visit, we visited our good friend, Niki Tsukamoto of Lookout & Wonderland at her studio in Chinatown. Niki is a natural dye artist and creates beautiful textile based work.
Q1. What do you do with penco Coil Notebook L, Monthly Planner B5, and LIFE Letter Pad L309?
Coil Notebook L for a to-do list. I attempt to keep my utterly scattered brain together and projects on schedule with the Monthly Planner.
Life Letter Pad – I hand write thank you notes to the sweet people who buy my work.
Q2. In our online / tech driven world, what does it mean to do things by hand to you?
It creates memory.
In every sense.
My hand connecting information to the page helps my brain by engaging a deeper and more thoughtful processing and understanding that allows for greater recall.
In the sense of my work it’s much the same. My handwork is a reminder, a nudge towards memories of connection. The memory of the weaver of the cloth, the farmer in the field, the seed, the mother plant of the seed, it’s the interconnectedness of it all. I often leave the outer edges of my work open to unravel as a reminder these histories and a visual representation of the beauty of imperfection, allowing ourselves to just be.
Q3. Pencils or Mechanical Pencils?
The click is so satisfying, but so is the act of sharpening a solid point and wearing a pencil down to smudge-y, rounded perfection.
Q4. What’s in your pen case, if you don’t use a pen case, how do you organize and store your stationeries?
I’m an organizational disaster, so I don’t. They’re just sort of everywhere in trays and boxes or wherever I might put them down. Haphazard is the word.
Niki uses penco Storage Container XS in Beige for storing her sewing tools.
Q5. What is your most favorite stationery?
The bits and bobs I’ve collected throughout my life. I’m a paper person, so I’m the friend who drags you around feeling all the loose paper and journals in the shops. I have sheets of paper and journals that I’ve held onto for 30-40 years.
Niki Tsukamoto is a natural dye artist, based in Los Angeles. Niki and Yusuke Tsukamoto run an art collective under Lookout & Wonderland. Together, they have a combined art practice focusing on natural dyes and fibers, collective consciousness, visual language, and myth-making.
Niki's natural dye work and her new line of medicinal care items are available to purchase on her online shop.