Daily Kanji 2018

In 2017, through an unexpected and somewhat circuitous series of events, I was inspired to dive back into studying Japanese. As part of my studying process, I started writing one kanji per day in my Hobonichi Techo daily planner, and a few associated words, like a daily flash card. This method worked super well, but I decided I'd rather leave my planner for planning, and migrate this somewhere I would have more room. This little weekly planner (also from Hobonichi) was the perfect solution - pocket sized, vertical, laid out in a grid, room for notes. I had my friend make me a little program that would randomly generate one kanji per day from the JLPT level lists (this year mostly encompasses N3!).

I write each one (practicing proper proportion and stroke order, of course!) in brush pen, fountain pen, and ballpoint in three different sizes, and then go through the "Words containing [kanji]" list on Jisho.org to get a sense of the readings in context. And unlike a whole lot of other things I've told myself I'd practice daily, this one stuck. I wrote a kanji and learned some vocabulary for each day of 2018, and so far I'm going strong in 2019 too!

Check out the video flip through of my full year of kanji below:


March Hand Lettering, Week 3


March Hand Lettering, Week 2

I should stop being so wordy and let these stand on their own more, right???

Haha, just kidding. They all have captions!


March Hand Lettering, Week 1

So I've read about a million different inspirational, motivational articles or blogs or Instagram photos about creativity and habit-building - all boiling down, basically, to "Just do it." I'm trying to remember that not everything that results from a pencil touching paper needs to be perfect and precious - just that it needs to be finished before it can be anything. Trying to come back to the art of sketching or doodling and just letting that be where a bigger, more formed idea comes from. And that I need to be doing all that waaaay more often than I have been lately.

So for the month of March, I'm hand lettering one quote, or phrase, or song lyric, etc, each day. Nothing precious, nothing precise - just taking something that I like or that sticks with me, and transforming it by putting it on paper in my own way. So we'll see how that goes, though I'm really dedicated to sticking with it, because follow-through has always been my biggest hurdle.

These are just tidied up - upping the contrast and removing some of the more egregious smudges (the lefty struggle is real). Otherwise, they'll be just how they are in my sketchbook, for all intents and purposes "finished" but maybe a few could act as thumbnails for more labor-intensive pieces down the road. We'll see!