Monday, July 29, 2013

Tokyo Art Aquarium

 The other day, I attended this unbelievably beautiful Art Aquarium exhibit in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. It was the first time I've seen an art exhibit of this kind, employing the use of real, live fish! Each piece of "artwork" was created from a differently shaped tank filled with swimming goldfish of all kinds, and various color-changing lights set the water aglow.

 This piece included a strangely shaped tank wall and tons of glittering colored glass balls at the tank's bottom. I wonder what this little goldfish must have been thinking...?

 Many visitors flocked to the Art Aquarium exhibit on this hot summer afternoon, and they all seemed as mesmerized as I felt.

 I wonder if the goldfish felt confused or dizzy from the changing lights and mysterious music playing throughout the exhibit?


And finally, I came to "The Four Seasons Aquarium" (水中四季絵巻).
 There was a kind of live movie/animation of the four seasons in Japan, projected against a huge aquarium tank. The effect was like a dream, and I couldn't take my eyes off it.





There are so many interesting exhibits and events going on around Tokyo, and I hope I can find out about more of them and take the time to visit! This was definitely a sight worth seeing.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tokyo Fashion Photographer | Anastasia M.

 Here are some of my favorite images from a Tokyo photoshoot I did with the pretty and talented Anastasia! One of the things I liked about shooting with Anastasia is that she had clear ideas about how to express herself throughout the shoot. She has such a wide range of expressions, from young and innocent to mature and powerful... it was a fantastic experience just to spend this time together and create these photos.

Firey spirit!

on a beautiful summer day in the park! 
Model: Anastasia (axelle model management)

Anastasia, I loved doing this photoshoot with you! I wish you all the best and am looking forward to the day we can shoot together again :)

Tokyo Fashion Photographer | Isabela

 I am so excited and happy to finally share these pieces from a Tokyo photoshoot with the gorgeous Isabela. Not only was Isabela a natural in front of the camera, she was also a very sweet person and kept a smile as we went about setting up shots, despite the hot July weather in Tokyo. Isabela is from Brazil and came here to Japan for the first time not long ago. After the shoot, I ended up doing my best to give her train instructions to Tokyo Disneyland! Aww, I wanna go one day :)

 Lovely eyes!

 One of my favorite photos from the day :)

 Model: Isabela (axelle model management)

Isabela, thank you so much for this wonderful shoot together! It was so much fun spending the afternoon with you and Anastasia (whose photos will be coming up soon :). I can't wait to work together again one day! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ocean of No Regrets~海~

 The beach at Odaiba. This is my first time setting foot in the water, letting my toes sink bare into the sand. The pebbles aren't very white, nor is the water very blue. But I am elated.

The waves rush up gladly to accommodate my legs, carrying away pieces of sand. So warm. The salty ocean air fills my nose, bringing me to a joyful state of peace. Something about being at the ocean again just makes me so senselessly happy. These waves spread on and on, miles and miles beyond Odaiba and past this country, rolling into currents and traveling their way across the world. The ocean is so huge, and I am such a tiny thing in comparison.

 Is it all right for me to let go of this piece, this concept of "right" that I have latched on to automatically since a long long time ago, in order to set out on this ocean? There are so many things to see and do. Some, I can already blurrily make out in the distance, and if I could just sail a little bit closer, I might be within range. I might be able to make a path. I might be able to make many, on my own.

 "It's all right," the ocean says, beckoning as it laps at my feet. "Let the water carry you where you want to go. Once you feel at ease with yourself, swim with all your might in the direction you wish."

The ocean is right, but land still tugs at the bottoms of my feet. Sand clings tightly on as soon as I step back out of the water, calling me to stay with them, here on firm and stable ground.

 Should I stay with the familiar? Or should I step out into the unknown?

 The ocean has already got me in its grasp. What's more, I am willingly, blissfully taken into the water. There in the swirling waves, I come to the realization that I have the choice - the choice to swim on or search back for land anytime. But what I would regret the most is not trying.

 As we leave Odaiba, the ferris wheel lights glow out in the darkness, colors shifting and changing. That's just like us, isn't it? We keep altering our colors, reaching higher into the sky. Unlike the wheel, we have the choice not to keep spinning in the same path. All it takes is a decision, a strong will, and extremely hard work. 



For us.
Let's go the way we were meant to be.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Leggings Style~夏~



 Leggings: Romwe / Boots: Zara 
T-Shirt: H&M / Skirt: Forever 21 / Cap: ??

Here's an attempt at some self-portraits, which I haven't done for a while! As a follow up to my post earlier, here is a simple outfit put together focusing on those stained-glass-patterned leggings that I have. I usually like solid-colored leggings to go with shorts or skirts, but these colorful ones are so much fun!

From the start of this week, it seems like a second rainy season has hit Tokyo. Just when I thought the rainy season was over... ): The cicadas have started chirping too, they are so loud in some places that I can barely hear myself speak. Summer is in full force here in Japan, and I find myself craving cool foods like cucumbers, soba.. and drinking lots of mugicha!

梅雨がまた来たみたいだね。。今週も雨で、外に出ても突然の雨が多いなぁ。夏に降る雨はそんなに悪くないと思うけど。。せめて暖かいから。蝉も鳴き始めたね!ある場所では、自分の話し声がよく聞こえないぐらいうるさい(笑)。 本当に夏~って感じだね。きゅうりやそばを食べたくなって、麦茶もいっぱい飲んでる。もうすぐ7月の終わりか。。早いなぁ~!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Leggings Style

Leggings: Romwe / Boots: Zara

Since I got at least 20 or 30 bug bites from that last photoshoot in the forest (it was fun though!!), I'm thinking I'll have to hide my bare legs for a while until the spots heal over.. No better time to whip out some fun leggings! Here is a preview of me wearing a pair of stained glass leggings from Romwe. I haven't properly taken these out to shoot with yet, so that will be coming up soon!

In the meanwhile, I just heard that Romwe has a huge leggings sale going on right now, valid through the next few days. Check it out below!

Romwe leggings flash sale, all at $17.99!
Time: 23/7/2013-25/7/2013
Go here!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summery White

I can't believe the weekend is almost over already! Weekends just speed by way much too quickly. Today I was able to spend time with friends and also do a photoshoot with a band - I can't wait to share the photos later! It's tough setting my alarm clock to 8:00 AM again... as a student, I once thought that after graduating, I would never have to wake up early for those 8 AM and 9 AM classes again! ...but once I started working, it turned out I sometimes had to get up even earlier. So far I've had to get up around 6 AM for English teaching jobs before, and even 5 AM for a photoshoot..! I have always *not* been a morning person, and feel much better when I wake up around 10 or 11... but in the recent year or so, I've started to be more productive even at early hours sometimes. Are you guys more productive in the morning, or like to sleep in and work later in the day?

Recently, I picked up this sheer white shirt, and I just love how versatile it is for wearing over different types of tops. It is very very hot in Japan lately, but once you go indoors (on the train/subway or in a store), it can be freezing from the air conditioning! So it's good for me to have at least an extra layer on top. It's so much fun wearing a hat too! I love this one :)


Friday, July 19, 2013

Changes at paint with stars

So even after a long day of work at the office, apparently I can come home and continue to spend hours more work on website things... well, it's paid off! Now I'd like to share with you guys several changes that have happened here at paint with stars:

1.  I have added a new "Featured" page on the top area! Here. I've been thinking of creating one for a very long time. This page serves to share some of the places around the web where my work has been posted and featured. So far I've posted some of my work with models, musicians, a clothing brand, an interview, and more. Please check back as I continue to update the "Featured" page!

2.  This one has already been here for a little while, but I've added a Bloglovin banner to the side of this website. In the past, I used to just bookmark my favorite blogs and click to them manually since there were just a few. But as time passed and I started to follow more and more blogs, I found Bloglovin to be a great way to keep up to date with my favorite blogs' new posts. Since Google Reader closed down not long ago, it seems many people have made the move over to Bloglovin for blog following. If you haven't yet, please follow me here!

3.  Finally... the big one! Drumroll please! is now officially.... !

Yay!! I finally made the leap, and I'm so happy I did. The old blogpost links will still work, fortunately, so those URLs around the web will be automatically redirected. For those of you bookmarking this website, please update your bookmarks to !

There's still so much I hope to make happen for paint with stars, and just having this blog has been a great motivator for putting out new work and constantly striving to improve. I truly appreciate all of you who visit, follow my blog and take the time to read/view my work. With your help, I'm sure we can go even further. Thank you so much.

As always, I'm happy to hear from you! Feel free to say hi over at Facebook or Twitter anytime!

♥ Lisa

Tokyo Portrait Photography | Toshi in Shinjuku


 So we've already hit mid-July! So far, this month has been a satisfying combination of photoshoots, events, and outings. I'm excited to finally share this photoshoot with Toshi that we did in Shinjuku earlier in the month. Shinjuku always has so many interesting backgrounds, pockets of color and texture... I even stumbled across this great area (in the last three photos) for the first time! Big thanks to Toshi for taking us there and for being a fantastic model!

Thursday, July 18, 2013



 Some days are a time for renewal, for rethinking the weathered walk through everyday life. In the middle of it all, wrapped up and tangled, is a key. Are we just too afraid to turn it?



 The city pours and seethes, but I filter out the noise until there is only pale silence. Then I listen for the pulse, the beat that plays from deep within. There it is, that familiar tune, slightly crackling as though playing through an old, forgotten radio in the distance.


 What is the use in only going through the motions? The key is waiting, begging to turned as everyone traces paths around it, circling and passing but never touching. The paths are so well worn, there are grooves in the dirt, pebbles all swept aside so there may be no obstructions.


There - a gap. Take it, fling yourself off the magnet path into a different sort of field, a free flying one. Out here, beyond the blurry atmosphere, your goals are so clear. It's breathtaking, mesmerizingly clear where to go. It's been there all along. And just within your grasp, floating in midair before you, is the key.