The great Hobonichi backfill project

The great Hobonichi backfill project

Okay, so it was 2022. Septemberish. Hobonichi had just released its 2023 line… and I went a little nuts. (Just in case you haven’t fallen down the Hobonichi rabbit hole yet… Hobonichi is a brand of Japanese planners, legendary for their quality workmanship and open ended nature. And cute, cute covers.) Hobonichi fever took over! I wound up ordering what would ultimately prove to be too many Hobonichis. (Is there such a thing. Yes. Yes, there is.)

One of the ones I chose was a Hobonichi cousin, which is a nice A5 size. I decided to make this my daily painting journal, a place for creative experimentation every day. Sounds great, right? Well… sort of.


It was really fun at first! It started turning into an obligation rather than a pleasure pretty quickly, however. I chafe against strict daily routines, especially if there are no weekends off. Soon I was batch painting days in a row, taking multiple days off. This was okay for a while. But the chafing! Oh, the chafing! And of course, this wasn’t my only creative project. I started ANOTHER daily painting project around March of 2023, and that quickly took over my life. (Art Treats! Daily pug art emails! Sign up here, it’s awesome!) I carried on for awhile, but by July, I was spent. I gave up. It wasn't fun any more, so I quit. I shelved the book and moved on with my life.

Or so I thought. Fast forward to November of 2023. I had miraculously not bought ANY Hobonichis for 2024… but I was starting to feel the itch. (That Yumi Kitagishi cover. My DOG, it was adorable!) I decided before I took the plunge into what I would probably inevitably abandon part way through the year that I should revisit my painting Hobonichi, and see how it felt.

It felt… weird. I could feel those unpainted pages, and they felt heavy and unfulfilled and like they were mocking me. I decided that I really, really wanted a nice finished book by the end of the year. I didn’t want this half filled little reminder of not sticking with a thing.

A wise person might just let it go, move on, leave those blank pages as an accurate record of how the year actually went. But not me. I set out to FILL all those blank pages. I counted 57 two page spreads. This was do-able, right?

That remains to be seen. I worked on it off and on all weekend, and I’m up to August 23rd/24th. Will I actually be able to fill this thing in? Time will tell.

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