My portable studio for travels

Here the inside of my travel writing kit. I use it in my last travel to Southeast Asia.

Left: Wooden box with current writing tools. Rulers, glue, Pilot G-3, hard pencil, Pilot G-2, Pigma Micron, Zebra brush, Stabilo orange and turquoise, mechanical pencil, Lamy fountain pen, TWSBI fountain pen, Platinum Carbon fountain pen, fine brush, scissors, sharpener, sepia pencil and eraser.

Right: Case for spare tools plus tiny watercolor box, inks and tape. Still things to optimize, for example swapping the wooden box for a fabric case could save weight and volume but for me this box means a kind of ritual writing.

It's not too heavy and contains all I need. It could be optimized a lot and I'm thinking about it these days.

Some additional notes:

Wooden box is a kind of writing ritual for me. It's always in my field of vision and is part of the notebookmaking atmosphere. Too heavy and big for an optimized backpack.

Scissors are (sometimes) prohibited on flights . They are cheap and easy to find so it's worth to use them and buy new ones after flying. Otherwise paying for extra luggage only for this reason has no sense.

I'd include a waterproof bag for the notebook. Raining and humidity in the backpack could damage the paper so easily.

I've discovered a new world of watercolor colors. That makes difficult to keep this tiny box only, but this is another story.

The main idea behind this is to appreciate the power of a portable studio. Everyday a new scenario. That provides a great level of flexibility and freedom.

And again, you don't need complex tools in order to create magic. Keep near to the basic and easy to replace items.


Each being is extraordinary and...

"Each being is extraordinary and deserves respect and admiration."

We all are a miracle. Even the tiniest insect is admirable. Just look it closer and appreciate the magic of nature. And it's alive, therefore deserves respect. Everything is connected to each other. We all are the same thing.
While sleeping a few days in the jungle of Isaan, north of Thailand, I had the visit of all these animals. Quite scary. Unknown noises in the middle of the night, mice walking along the roof or mosquitoes with surprise around. Safe inside the mosquito net. In that moment one has the wish of kill them or desire they vanish. I considered it as a patience test.

Well, I have to mention all were real animals but the alligator, which actually was a lizard. A giant one. The biggest seen in the area, as a local person told me, and it decided to take my hut as its castle even keeping its eggs there.

Btw, I'm loving this all blue style for sketches. Ink: Diamine Eau de Nil, one of my top inks since the fist use.


10 years with this backpack

Train in France in a rainy day

I've been using this backpack for the last 10 years as a daily bag in all my travels. Also as city backpack and many other scenarios. Together with my dear boots this is the most quality and reliable item I've ever found. Never broken, neither a single lost threat nor a failure in the zippers. Actually this brand provide lifetime warranty.

However I don't want to highlight the item itself, which is a manufactured product, but the connection with it since it has been a travel companion in many peak experiences in my life. It was never far from me, maybe not more than one meter. Sometimes I took it with me in the shower when I slept in shared dorms.
Boots and backpack in the Annapurnas, Nepal

Recently I've started to look for new main backpack because of this ultralight packing fever. I found only rubbish when I compare them with this. Maybe I have to research deeper. If the new optimized method works probably I will need only a main backpack and I will give a little rest to my dear and helpful backpack. Let's see...


Treasure map

This sheet is my Midori. I drew it some years ago as a test, just adding things with no pressure for failure. That's the way. There is a "treasure map" and now I realize the treasure itself is the learned lesson: Enjoy and don't be afraid to make mistakes.

Writing tools while traveling

I used these items during my last travel. Quite optimized but not fully ultralight kit.

Current notebook (blue one), auxiliar notebook for fast notes, agenda, etc. (red one), wooden box with writing tools and fabric bag with spare pens. Some day I will show the tools inside.

I found this setting quite confortable. Wooden case is a kind of ritual. Opening it means start writing.

And this is my portable studio. Every day different views.


The days in Bangkok

Bangkok is an incredible city. I stayed 34 days there during my last visit to Thailand and I'm never tired of that place. Mix of Asia and a electric modern city.

Always in love with Thailand.

With my new orange friends

What a nice surprise. Orange monks in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Epic (brown) Mekong river in the background.


Adversity makes you push harder

Cosmos sets the rules. We just try to adapt to them. Adversity is a trigger force and we should take advantage of it in order to improve ourselves.

Fight against that force is useless. Manage it and dance with it is better.

14 years of continuous use

Happy birthday to my dear boots!
They are with me since my first real travel, far away in Inter Rail times in 2002.
Actually the first time I don't use them for traveling has been in my recent trip to Thailand.
Always fascinated by its extremely high quality. Even cords have never been replaced in these years. The best item I've bought so far.
Here my little tribute to them.


Outstanding people I. Sung A. Park

I've had always in my mind start a group of posts about relevant people I found in my planet and living at the same time than me. Here is the first of these posts.

Sung A. Park 

South Korea

A real artists can recognize beauty, which is important, and also create it, which is a gift and a powerful skill. Sung A. can do both and I started to admire her since the first second I saw her drawings. It's not about the technique, there is more behind. The feeling in every detail comes form inside her because she can see deeper and process the information with a high level of sensitivity. Candidate to be one of the "person of the year".

Some of her mind blowing artwork can be seen in the link above. High recommendable to have a look at.
 She uses a needle writing tool. I though I use write fine but this is even eXtrafiner.
 What an honor she drew a portrait of me during our meeting in Bangkok. She also inspired me travel in the watercolor world and I think that's not a bad idea. Thanks!


Time stops when writing

Read books January - June 2016

Writing time

Someone asked me for a photo of me writing and I found this one in Isles of Scilly (UK). 
Lovely, peaceful and aesthetic place.

Digital master

I'm surprised by the huge quantity of information this little capsule (deck of cards size) can keep. 2TB and not full yet. It's the master and one of my treasures. It contains all my digital world: 46000 digital photos, 4000 film scanned photos (both are my orangecatalog), videos, scanned notebooks, other writings, lists and more. 

High value. To conserve. 


Expedition to the stars

Some days I go I went to a (little) expedition to the stars: The best show ever seen by mankind. We shouldn't forget:

We are connected to the Cosmos.
We are part of the Cosmos.
We are the Cosmos.

As an extra note I have to mention a new star (or no identified thing) appeared in this photo. A tiny red oval shape point at the right side of my head. I will do some research.

Khao San Road. Singular point

If I'd have to set a pin in only a few selected locations I'd choose Khao San Road as one of them. Point of singularity. Street and lights look the same now in 2016, maybe more noisy and full of modern/cool people than some years ago. I've changed too.

Good memories keeper. 


EX-LIBRIS. Design and explanation

Sometimes I feel I will never finish this. Anyways I'm designing my Ex-Libris after so many mixed ideas and drafts. It must be related to books, of course, and I will put it in every book which belong to my personal library.
The meaning is based on the 3+1 ways to get knowledge:

1.) Canned knowledge produced by others. There were so many great humans on Earth and some of them left their thinking encapsulated through the time. 
Example: Books. 
Others: Music, interviews, videos, tales and art. 

2.) Directly from other humans. Every person has something to say. We should listen and learn.
Example: A coffee with a wise person. 
Others: Teacher in a class.

3.) Learn by yourself. 
Example: Traveling. 
Others: Observing the nature, experiments and personal experiences in life. 

3+1.) Bonus! Observe a cat. You will not find a wiser teacher. A cat has the whole understanding of life. Pay attention to small details and what he does. A lot to learn.

Simulation with Photoshop to check the final result:



Pinhole Go. Download pdf

You can download the pdf in the following link:

It contains detailed instructions to make each part and the assembly together with theory about pinhole photography.

I created this ebook some years ago with passion. I offer it for free in order to share the love for pinhole photography. Written in Spanish but it's quite easy to follow since it's visual.

Photos taken with Pinhole Go camera:

Enjoy it!
Please contact me if you want to show me the camera and photo created with these instructions.


Notebook Mandala

I will tell you a secret. A little one. Since my journal is full of hidden message and mystical links between elements, sometimes I think they could be too hidden and nobody but me could find them. At the end it's a personal notebook and many of these secrets will be unseen for others eyes. Here a little clue in order to understand it: After many cabalas and tests I chose 196 pages for the journal (16 signatures with 12 pages each one, plus two extra pages to insert near the end plus the two endpapers). This, with 4 more spaces for the cover provide me a perfect 10x10 board to play (double page each). This is an entire universe for freedom and creation. No external rules apply in the other side of the borders. The task was trying to join the pages creating an only being, a mandala. There are many mathematical ways to play with numbers and also a couple of singular points. The center is one of them. The second one is the end of the Fibonacci curve which travels along the pages. I highlight this curve path with orange dots. I link pages also with items which reference each other with a certain length (a reference). Well, that's enough for today, maybe I reveal more little secrets in the future.


Last high density page

One year ago (when I finished the last high density page) I decided don't do that again.

Well, this is a new compact page from the last week. Just to save paper.

For some reason I always use great Black-Green Diamine ink for these tiny letters and drawings.


Hi and welcome! Medusa evolution

I found a seed. A seed with eyes which provides smiles, love, mystery and high skills for reproduction and propagation. Evolution started and the seed became a jellyfish or something similar. It is still evolving and let's see where we go.


Matryoshka family (and some notebook secrets)

Apparently the huge quantity of Matryoshkas dolls in the shops of St. Petersburg look just souvenirs for decoration. Most of them beautiful ones. Some even an artwork, for example these detailed and handmade I found and I couldn't resist to buy:

"When they are five dolls is the best case, they are like a family." That detail was the trigger to a never ending thinking. I know myself and I was sure there was a long path to explore about this idea. Matryoshka means mother in Russian language and it looks quite obvious the representation of a woman and reproduction.

However I always keep in mind one of the axioms in life. Here I write it. Do no forget. It's useful:

"Each thing generates its equal"

A said shown in El Quijote. Valid for everything. A tall woman generates tall children, a chicken generates chickens, a messy man generates messy desk and so on. Obviously the big matryoshka generates a chain of almost identical matryoshkas. That fully matches with my idea. And it does it in a beautiful way!

But why they are the same? Is there any force or code which rules that reproduction?
On top of that, matryoshkas open as eggs. Even they have egg shape. Usually oviparous produce eggs, however matryoshkas are eggs themselves. They are beings and eggs at the same time.

When an egg breaks from inside means life. A new life starts. When an egg breaks from outside means death.

So how could be a family (five dolls) be all women, all eggs, broken (from outside) and still being alive? Maybe they are different things together in that weird family. A cultural overview invites us to see a father, mother and three children in that family. Well, cultural ideas also say Pope clothes are elegant or wearing a tie is a serious thing.

First matryoshka, the big one, is the big mother. The creator. She is also the tallest one. But if they are a family that roll should be occupied by the father. In my page I've drawn a suspect woman. Actually he is a man. A transvestite. Anyways, let's call it "creator" (in metaphysics words). It contains everything from the beginning of the times. It also contains the time.

Second matryoshka represents the real mother. She is a real egg. The egg of creation. Number 2 in Tarot shows that: Female learning, accumulating knowledge, capacity of generate and incubating an egg.

Third matryoshka if the firstborn. The selected one. By coincidence (I can't find another reason), he stays in a special place in this page. Now it's time to tell a secret about my artjournal: Along the pages of my notebook there is a line which travels along some of them like a river. That's a mathematical line and can be seen putting all the pages together only. That magical line links the pages like a thread. Sometimes I highlight the way of that line with orange dots. The head of the third matryoshka is in that exact position so he is being illuminated. Some religions use a circle to represent that.

Fourth matryoshka is the middle son: The reference. I represent that with the changing space-time web and at the same time with something fixed, an absolute reference. In my notebook I use to include a fixed measure in different items. That absolute reference was shown in a previous page:

The needle keeps the metrical reference. That measure is not random and comes as the golden ratio of a physical item (not revealed by now). The third matryoshka has the same height.

The fifth matryoshka is the little boy. The last one? He is the most mysterious of all of them. He is not an egg and can't be open. Is he the end of the chain? We don't know because we can't see inside. He is solid. However he keeps something which remains from the beginning. Something inside him is mastering his existence and behavior. That could be a kind of DNA. He has the power to use it and maybe start another chain.

Or maybe start a mutation? An evolution?

I forgot to say the letters "Matryoshka" are made by little mosaics, just a wink to St. Petersburg amazing cathedral. All the inside are mosaic tiles.
No need to say this game is just for fun. I'm sure more new info will come about this some day. The little one has a lot to say.


About the Queen and diamonds

One of my alien friends asked me who are these women who are shown in coins, stamps and in everywhere.

First I had to explain him she is only one woman.

Me: Someone took photos of her in different ages and put them here and there.
My alien friend: Why?
Me: People do weird things all the time. I just tell the fact.
My alien friend: Oh, maybe she is someone very relevant and superior. Maybe a divinity?
Me: Sure she is for many!

My alien friend took his DNA analyzer device and checked a sample of Queen's DNA.

My alien friend: Looks nothing valuable. The result shows a damaged DNA from an old human, lower quality than average and not recommended to use for cloning.
Me: That's not the value. Please check up, in her head.
My alien friend: You mean her brain? Does she has privileged brain?
Me: No, no... Her crown! It's make of gold and full of diamonds. Diamonds!
My alien friend: But her crown is not she. Did she make it?
Me: Actually no... See, diamonds!

My alien friend used another device and checked one of the diamonds.

My alien friend: Well, it's just a normal Carbon structure, quite usual.
Me: Yes... it is.
My alien friend: But then, why...?
Me: Hey, see! The stamps are so colorful and nice!!!


Watercolor process

Millet Angelus offers unlimited interpretations. Here is one of them in tiny green watercolor. I will do many more since the details inside this famous painting stimulate the mind in a fast way.

Watercolor maps

Loving tiny watercolors and loving this map style.

Somehow the process of mastering the selected travel kit with only three colors is a great experience. This learning path also includes how to avoid curved paper when apply water otherwise the whole notebook shape could be destroyed. More to come.

Last read books

These are the books I read from January to May 2016.

Despite the unlimited information online, reading books is still in another level. Old books were difficult to edit and print therefore authors tried to be focus and write clear ideas. They used to go quite deep in the points and dedicated eyes were needed to read and understand. I guess today everything is fast-book, easy words, fast and next thing. By other hand, nowadays knowledge is so huge and some of the last discoveries could change our own existence point of view.

Conclusion: I like to read both.

I have to say I'm becoming quite addict to Eduardo Mendoza's books about no name detective. Hilarious and well written.


XV Le Diable

The more I go into Tarot the more I find Le Diable fascinating. Somehow it rules everything and looks like the center of the mandala.

Actually the Devil could be the same character than the angel rising from the dark. If it continues going up it will explode in the Tower.

Some clear details and links and many other under interpretations make this card really rich in information. I have to conclude saying "Everything is so weird!"

My current notebook

Notebook in use. Started in January. I love how it's getting fat in a beautiful way.

It's also my very first full handmade journal and now the connexion with it is stronger.


Ibiza watercolors

Process for little watercolors. I chose these three colors in order to master the art of maps. Now I realize they cover so many other scenarios and add the perfect atmosphere.

Actually I used mostly only two of them.

Watercolors are Winsor & Newton numbers Raw Sienna (552), Burnt Sienna (074) and Turquoise (654). Oh, loving turquoise and the palette it can generate.