cut and torn paper / illustration board I blame Global Warming for the lack of new, bizarre critters gracing this blog (and my apartment). And no, I'm not just complaining about the sudden and brutal onset of summer here in Tokyo (seriously, we went straight from rainy and clammy to hot and humid, shooting past all those nice days in between. Not fair!).
TIME (the magazine, not the slow grind of the ages), asked me to provide an illustration for their special report on the G-8 summit for the July 14 Asia edition, depicting what Japan can do to help stop global warming. You can see the final artwork above. Notice the Asia-centric globe. My brain kept trying to slide North America back into the center.
The first version is below. While I still hold the burning red planet dear to my heart, I completely understand why the magazine made the choice it did. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to introduce more color, which helps to define the sumo's fundoshi (his pants). And I've got to admit, the torn paper glow around the planet worked out very nicely indeed.
I always find it interesting how a project develops conceptually. So, here are a couple of sketches along the way. Bits or ideas may find their way into my work at some other point:
The first idea was to use a samurai. While everyone liked the idea of slicing down the smokestacks, another illo in the same issue used a similar concept. Bummer.
Here, our intrepid sumo fights a fire creature. The other option was smashing a thermometer.
And finally, the samurai returns, doing battle with a creature born of car exhaust. While I like this one too, I think the sumo with the fan gets right to the heart of the struggle with global warming, rather than it's various and nefarious symptoms.