Philately Inspired

September 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Japanese World War Two Philately.

So stamps and letters and other documents. These have such beautiful detailed textures and resonates that world war two presence…

Here are some of the these I’ve been using as references…

you can look at more at these websites | Baxley Stamps | National Diet Library |


Isetatsu Collection

September 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Traditional Patterns…

I’ve gotten myself another book to get references for traditional Japanese Patterns and this book Isetatsu Collection is a lovely catalogue of a vast range of pattern design. It’s from the same publisher, PIE BOOKS, as my other book on traditional Japanese patterns Wave Cloud Pine.

Wave Cloud Pine

August 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today I bought this book…

After a visit at Kinokuniya. It’s called Wave Cloud Pine by Pie Books which features some beautiful traditional patterns in Japanese Design. I thought that this would be a good source for Japanese patterns I can encompass in my illustrations. Although I don’t want my illustrations to be obviously Japanese, at least I do want it to have the essence of a Japanese aesthetic.

Yuzen Paper

August 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

I bought some Yuzen paper…

from an Art & Craft shop the other day to use as a reference for patterns. I’ll probably need to get my hands on a book of Japanese patterns too! But there’s some beautifully patterns I good use as a starting point to allow a bit more of Japanese aesthetic take shape in my illustrations.

Japanese Art Influence

August 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

What was the kind of art around WWII in Japan?

Well from just sussing a little bit out, it seems that there were two movements derived from the Meiji period (a time of political & social change influenced by Europe and the process of modernization). So there was the Western style of painting coined at Yoga; where many artists studied abroad. Then were was the revival of appreciation for traditional Japanese style of art which was coined as Nihonga.

Here is a painting by a student from the program in Nihonga (Japanese style painting), which is for students who majored in Art and Design at the University of Tsukuba.

These are two movements that I can be influenced by, to introduce a bit more of a Japanese aesthetic to my illustrations, but I will nonetheless keep true to my style. I feel that the illustrations should not be defined by Japan, it is more about the animals and my interpretation of those animals and their experience. The illustrations would be tailored to my style so that the audience can perceive my illustrations as not obviously Japanese but perceive and embrace my subjective interpretation.

Anyway, during World War II, the government had control and censorship which meant that only patriotic themes could be expressed. Many artists were consequently recruited into the government propaganda effort. You can see with the graphic design of that time of how the European style influenced their own. So it is appropriate for my illustrations to have that amalgamation for the two cultures I would like to think.

So here are some examples of Japanese graphic design preceding World War II | and have a look at more here Click Here

The Age of Feminine Drawing

August 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Introducing a Japanese Influence…

My supervisor, Jacqueline Gothe suggested to me that there’s needs to be more of a Japanese feel to my illustrations (As the animals are from Uneo Zoo in Tokyo). So I’m looking at recent Japanese illustrators and their style and see if there is anything that makes it look Japanese?

I start with one of my favourite books The Age of Feminine Drawing which contains several Japanese Illustrators.

I don’t see a particularly obvious Japanese style, except maybe the large eyes for the figures. But I can’t really translate that for animals. But it’s a start and I love these Illustrations anyway! The patterns on the kimonos are quite flowery and botanical so that is something else to consider.

Making Art of Ueno Zoo

August 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

Here’s the current map of Ueno Zoo.

I don’t know if I can find one from about 60 years ago, but it is potentially something I can base an illustration upon.

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