muji notebook (amsterdam)

When my friend Yoko visited Amsterdam in August last year she suggested that we embark on a fun sketchbook/notebook collaboration: we’d start with two blank Muji notebooks (we chose these for their convenient-to-post-internationally size and unintimidating brown kraft paper pages) and we’d slowly fill them with whatever we fancied, sending them back and forth between Amsterdam and Tokyo. I thought it was a great idea and was particularly enamoured of Yoko’s ‘rules’ for the project… namely “No Pressure. No Rules.”

We’ve exchanged the notebooks a couple of times now and it’s always extremely exciting to find a notebook-sized package from Tokyo waiting on my doorstep! The suspense on opening, and the pleasure on seeing Yoko’s latest entry (and interventions with my previous entries), is singularly exciting!

I hope to document the project here as it progresses… and as we’ve been at it now for several months I have a bit of catching up to do! This blogpost includes pictures of our first entries (from way back in September/October last year) from two separate notebooks.

muji notebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam]* work in progress

My first entry was made around the same time that I was working on this print and it features one of the little Dutch canal houses that I drew for the print. I took the opportunity to have some paper-cutting fun as well, and something vaguely reminiscent of a ‘Delfts Blauw‘ porcelain plate emerged.

muji notebook (amsterdam)mujinotebook_amsterdam03

Synchronously, Yoko’s first entry (in the other of the two notebooks) also features some Amsterdam canal houses…

muji notebook (tokyo)

muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo]* (all artwork by yoko hayashi)

… and a grey cat I’m sure I recognise :)

muji notebook (tokyo)

(artwork by yoko hayashi)

muji notebook (amsterdam)mujinotebook_amsterdam04

my studio assistant makes himself useful again

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* For my own reference: ‘notebook [amsterdam]’ denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam, and ‘notebook [tokyo]’ denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo… simple!