Stationery in the Spotlight: Thanh Lan Truong
In this episode of Stationery in the Spotlight, the spotlight is on Thanh Lan Truong (@than.illustrates on Insta).
What does stationery mean to you?
I view stationery as a toolbox that I can fill up with pens, pencils, markers, washi tape, stickers, and all the goodies that the stationery world can offer. BUT the toolbox is not just about functionality; (we all know those boring neon office sticky notes), they also encompass pleasure, delight, and inspiration. Trying out new stationery or sticking to my favorites which allow me to explore "my style" helps me to grow and expand creatively - simply to bring ideas to life!
What do you use your stationery products for?
I use my stationery for my personal creativity, such as doodling and sketching. I've been trying to write more, and I've really enjoyed brain dumping all of my day-thoughts in my Hobonichi Cousin. So, I guess, stationery is not only for my personal creativity growth but also for self-therapy (just to quickly extend on what I've written above).
What materials/products do you use?
I don't know where to start, so I'll break it down into my different areas of journaling and artsy stuff: For sketching, I love to use the Zebra Fude Brush in extra fine and my Traveller's company sketchbook insert - in my opinion, it's the best paper without bleedthrough. It's a bit stiff, but I like it since the pages are perforated, which means I can create post cards or gift the sketches to friends! For weekly journaling and collaging, I like to use my OURS planner and my TN vertical weekly for daily log. For extensive writing, I use my Hobonichi Cousin and use my Pilot Custom 823 for writing.
What are you most happy about and why?
My recent happy stationery is my OURS planner. There, I write down all my highlights and lowlights- also mostly because I use them as my sticker graveyard. Since the ours planner provides you with limited colors, I usually look for stickers that are close to the color palette. Even though the style and design is mismatching, the combination of colors gives such a great balance and is so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Hence, it's not always about matching everything to fit perfectly together, but to be brave and go beyond your comfort zone - like embarking on a new color adventure!
What tip(s) do you have for other stationery fans?
Don't be overwhelmed by the variety—the stationery world is moving so fast, and sometimes it's okay to admire it from afar and wait patiently. Before buying anything from international stores (with insane shipping cost and customs), I usually ask local or European shop owners if they would consider stocking some items that I'm interested in - and so far I've been lucky, hehe!
What do you enjoy doing the most?
I love using tiny stickers for my weekly vertical in my Hobonichi Cousin—they just give my daily to-dos that extra! It's also the feeling of peeling stickers... a feeling that I cannot put into words.
If you had to recommend one product, what would it be
Oooff, this is a toughie because I'm a collector and at the same time a minimalist—so a hypocrite, haha! What has been consistent in both of my maximalism and minimalism worlds is the Yuruliku Pen Tool pouch because it is so versatile! For work, I use it with my Hobonichi Weeks; I can store sticky notes (those boring office ones), a pair of scissors, and a ruler. For travels, some pens (obviously) or I use it to collect travel ephemera like receipts and other bits and bops! It is flat, light, and so chic!