March 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

The quake and subsequent nuclear crisis has prompted much media attention (understandably).

Graphic designers, illustrators and fine artists around the world have been inspired to create some powerful images.  Press here to see this one by Edel Rodriquez for the New York Times.  I also came across a site called Cover Junkie featuring ten of the best magazine covers determined by a poll (I imagine of cover junkies) featuring the Japanese sun symbol.  My personal favorite is the one created for the magazine, The Economist, illustrated by Jon Berkeley.  It’s a strong, clean, simple image created in the style of the famous Japanese Woodblock prints.  It says a whole lot of things all at once.

I had been working on a few ideas myself when I ran across these images and I almost put them aside feeling that everything had been said.  But it’s an artist thing.  Somehow you have to get it out of your head and onto the page and move on.

Here are my sketches and final image.

I wanted to combine some elements that symbolized Japan and put them together to tell the story.  Below are three sketches.



In the first I wanted to go for the colors and style of the Japanese Woodblock print making the geisha’s eye red to depict the red sun of the Japanese flag.  I put a crack in it to symbolize the earthquake but it didn’t seem to translate well.  The second I focused on the wave of the Tsunami and this time I put a nuclear symbol in the geisha’s eye and cropped in closer.  The nuclear symbol wasn’t readable and the image seemed to lose immediate identity.  The third image I made wider to recapture some of that identity.


The final result is a combination of the three using traditional colors of the Japanese woodblock style and showing more of the geisha’s hair.  I also changed the nuclear symbol to be more readable.

My heart and prayers go out to all of those suffering from this terrible disaster.


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