Reflections before heading to Tokyo! (And how do I pack art tools?!)

Daniel De Boulay
May 6, 2017

In my first year of college, one of my projects had me research Japanese mythology and imagery and delve into the Art History of Japan. I transformed my favorite musician, Rihanna, into three Japanese Deities: Amaterasu, Susanoo and Tsukuyomi. This was the start of my delve into the world of Japan. I would later take on a Japanese Art course as well as a couple Japanese Language courses that furthered my interest in Japan and lead me to IES Abroad. As a result, one of the things I look forward to most in Japan is creating art there. I don’t have to worry to much about how I would make any digital art, but when it comes to physical projects some supplies are needed. Now I just need to figure out how to get supplies on a plane!


So what exactly should I pack? I decided that I should only bring some of my smaller supplies and materials. I laid it all out the things I thought would be most useful for me on my trip.

  • (1) Olfa Knife
  • (1) Medium Sized Bottle of Paint Thinner
  • (5) Paint Brushes
  • (4) Pens
  • (1) Larger Sketchbook
  • (6) Acrylic Paint Tubes
  • (1) Bottle of Gesso
  • (1) Bottle of Medium
  • (1) Roll of Raw Canvas
  • (1) Sumi Ink Bottle
  • (1) Bamboo Pen Stick

As I’m sure you can see, I quickly realized that this list is highly impractical. Before I even packed anything else I could see that this already weighed close to 20 pounds! If I’m going on this trip I need to reduce it to only things I could carry in a tote bag and use without much preparation (and also what was legally allowed onto a plane!) My new packing list was much shorter as a result.

  • (4) Pens
  • (1) Larger Sketchbook
  •  (1) Sumi Ink Bottle
  • (1) Bamboo Pen Stick

These items can fit into my carry-on backpack while also fitting into a tote for easy travel through-out the city, and allow me to quickly draw or sketch something on the go. Alongside these items, I have far too many pairs of socks, a few pairs of shoes (including a gym only pair!), about two weeks of clothing, hair products and tools, toiletries, and the somewhat strange combo of Organic Honey, super duper fancy Homemade Soap (that glitters!) from the Farmers Market and a NYC keychain as a present for my host family.

Going to Tokyo would be my second time on a plane and the first time I ever leave the country. Almost everything about this trip is wildly unfamiliar to me and has been accompanied by strange late night googles like “What exactly is an itinerary?”, “How often will I take off my shoes?”, “How do bathrooms work in Japan”, “What do Japanese people think about Afros?” and “Where do I buy mozzarella cheese from in Tokyo?” It’s both nerve racking and wildly exciting.  Luckily, the closer the travel date comes the more my nervousness turns into excitement and the more my sister talks some sense into me with comments like "No Daniel, cheese is not a necessity." So I raise my hands for this new adventure! (And cross my fingers that host family likes honey.) What will the next six weeks have in store for me?



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Daniel De Boulay

<p>Hello! My name is Daniel and I&#39;m a student at Parsons for Fine Arts with a minor in Art History and a student at Eugene Lang for Global Studies with a minor in Japanese. This blog will study both my experience in Japan as a first generation American who has never left the US, as well as study Japanese art first hand, both historical and contemporary, high and low, and everything I can find inbetween!</p>

2017 Summer 1, 2017 Summer 2
Home University:
The New School
Fine Arts
International Studies
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