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While Yoko was producing the beautiful pages in the ‘[amsterdam]’ notebook of our long-distance MUJI notebook collab (featured in this post a couple of weeks ago) I was enjoying working in the other / ‘[tokyo]’ notebook. Yoko had previously provided this trigger for my next entry…

mujinotebook (tokyo)

… and I leapt at the opportunity to raid my stash of postage stamps amassed over the decades – soaked off correspondence received from distant friends and family, flea-market finds etc. While sifting through this trove I restricted my selection to stamps with animal or vegetable themes and collaged them onto the notebook’s left page.

mujinotebook (tokyo) - work in progress

notebook [tokyo] – work in progress

postage stamps

Then I chose eight of my favourites (chosen for their excellent animal subjects and not, in the case of some, for the pernicious colonial legacies they represent) to use as the basis for a series of black and white ink drawing exercises exploring pattern, texture, positive/negative space… and fun!

bull-headed shrike - based on a 1998 postage stamp from japan

bull-headed shrike (japan, 1998)

7th century celtic dog - based on a 1971 postage stamp from Ireland

7th century celtic dog (ireland, 1971)

sloane's viper fish - based on a 1961 postage stamp from the congo

sloane’s viper fish (congo, 1961)

chameleon - based on a 1967 postage stamp from ghana

chameleon (ghana, 1967)

sun squirrel - based on a 1984 postage stamp from malawi

gologolo / sun squirrel (malawi, 1984)

To give my failing eyesight a fighting chance I made the drawings at a larger scale than they would finally (re)appear in the notebook… then scanned, scaled down, printed and ‘stitched’ them back into the notebook using bright embroidery thread.

mujinotebook (tokyo) - work in progress

notebook [tokyo] – work in progress

mujinotebook (tokyo) - work in progress

notebook [tokyo] – work in progress

mujinotebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – work in progress

mujinotebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – double page spread  |  back side of stitching

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notebook [amsterdam] denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam, and notebook [tokyo] denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo.

The preceding Amsterdam/Tokyo project posts can be found here:
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6 – part I)

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muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo]* – detail

Here are some more pages from the sketchbook/notebook project I’m working on with my friend Yoko (if you’d like to read the introduction to this project you can find it here). I was working on these pages at the tail end of last year’s autumn, and apparently was a little leaf-obsessed at the time…

muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – work in progress

muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – detail

I also enjoyed ‘intervening’ with one of Yoko’s previous drawings…

muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – drawing by yoko

muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – dragon pollen?

While I was doodling dragons and playing with fallen leaves, Yoko was creating a fantastical forest of fungi in the other notebook…

muji notebook (amsterdam)

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

muji notebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – details (all artwork by yoko hayashi)

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* notebook [amsterdam] denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam, and notebook [tokyo] denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo.

Previous posts about this project: (1)

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!

 

I’m hoping for more of the former and less of the latter this long weekend…

… but they do make for very beautiful sunsets :)

Hope y’all have a good one!

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All images and words on this site are © suzanne norris / sakurasnow unless otherwise specified.

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Living with an alien is cool… 👽 - #grayson #spacecadet #extraterrestrial #grey #cat #greeneyes #humbling #onelungedwonder #ThinGreyDuke #GraysonTheGreat #catsofinstagram #catsofholland -
Making his IG debut: Grayson (aka The Thin Grey Duke). In search of a new home after a rough start in life, this little one-lunged-wonder is now warming our hearth and hearts - #grayson aka #ThinGreyDuke #GraysonTheGreat #MegaLung #CzarGrayson #KremlinGremlin #russianblue #greeneyes #grey #cat #onelungedwonder #fridgeclimber #rulebreaker #laser314 #catsofinstagram -
Beautiful, enchanting (and almost certainly enchanted) creatures by Japanese artist Yoshimasa Tsuchiya [@yoshimasa_tsuchiya_info]. Currently on display in an exhibition entitled ‘Private Myth’ at Amsterdam’s Jaski Gallery [@jaskigallery] - The five works shown here are: Nessie (detail) | Woodcarving, crystal & polychrome, 2018, 24 x 49 x 18 cm Qilin | Woodcarving, crystal & polychrome, 2018, 40 x 44 x 17 cm Leopard (detail & complete work) | Woodcarving, glass doll eye & polychrome, 2018, 21 x 38 x 14 cm Deer (detail) | Woodcarving, crystal & polychrome, 2018, 34 x 24 x 14 cm Unicorn | Woodcarving, crystal & polychrome, 2018, 35 x 24 15 cm - #yoshimasa_tsuchiya #privatemyth #woodcarving #sculpture #art #wood #creatures #animals #mythical #chimera #qilin #unicorn #nessie #lochnessmonster #leopard #deer #jaskigallery #amsterdam -
This is the 8th instalment of the long-distance sketchbook/notebook collaboration I’m working on with @yokocelt. IG is not the best platform for displaying tall, portrait orientation images so I’ve split it into two parts (swipe left for the bottom half) but you can see the full image, various details, work-in-progress pics and Yoko’s previous entry to which this is a ‘response’ over on my blog, link in profile: tinyurl.com/y9tssgba - #yoko_suzanne_collab #mujinotebook #collaboration #cross_section #earth #seedlings #cat #skeleton #bones #earths_core #molten #fire #gouache #ink #papercutting #mulberrypaper #kozopaper #colour #pattern #tribute #gira #rip -
Space invader vs Hermes… - #graffiti #streetart #mosaic #tiles #spaceinvader #ufa #invader #hermes #mercury #caduceus #staff #serpents #wings #relief #sculpture #architecturalsculpture #stonework #brickwork #negenstraatjes #centrum #amsterdam (artist: invader) -
A post in honour of this little fella, who would have been celebrating his 6th birthday today. We still – and always will – sorely miss the tummy-tickles and all the good times we shared together. Happy birthday Gira! #gira #rip #best_fur_buddy #studiomate #cat #russianblue #greeneyes #grey #furry #stretch #catsofinstagram #fuckcancer

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