Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Art of Yuki-Onna - The Master Post


Today I've decided to a final post about my work for The Art of Yuki-Onna collaborative visual development book I've been writing about. Hope I haven't tired you out with it! There are previously un-posted illustrations below, so stay a while. =)

**Edit: It seems that for some reason Blogger decided to turn the white backgrounds on most of my images grey.... For proper colours, please see this post's "twin" on my Behace page----> here

This collection of images represents a portion of the work I created for a visual development book called "The Art of Yuki Onna". It is a sampling of character, environment, and pattern design I contributed to the project.

Book Brief:
"The Art of Yuki Onna is a collaborative, yet independent, artistic exploration of a Japanese folktale about a mysterious snow spirit - Yuki Onna. Various interpretations of the story from each participating artist have been curated into a humble, limited edition book.


The snow spirit Yuki-Onna glides through the winter forest in contemplation and solitude, hardly detectable by mortal eyes.

*For close ups from this image, please visit through the "Concealment" project folder.
"Duality Discovered"

This is a scene in which the duality of the protagonist is revealed through a reflective moment of her husband Minokichi.

Yuki-Onna (above) and O-Yuki (below)

With our protagonist having two contrasting identities - an winter enchantress and a mortal mother -  it was a great opportunity to design (at least) two distinct looks for her. As the daughter of a winter god her clothing and hair are more elaborately ornamented, while as a human wife her styling is simpler.

Inari the Fox Woman

In one of our adapted versions of the folktale, Inari is Yuki’s guardian who is akin to an older sister that needed to take on a parental role. To allude to her fox-form and to contrast with Yuki’s aesthetic – I gave her sharper features and less traditional garment and hair. Her more traditionally masculine attire articles, combined with feminine pattern motifs, symbolize her playing the roles of both mother and father to Yuki.
Inari's fox form, rendered in a naturalistic style.
Potential accessories for the characters.
Some of the motifs I created to be used as clothing patterns and as decorative design elements throughout the book.
"Family Stroll"

This image depicts a scene from the folk-tale which speaks of the flourishing family of O-Yuki and her husband Minokichi. My favourite part was giving the baby white hair, as a symbol of the winter magic that is secretly passed down from O-Yuki to the children. This baby might even be fully blessed with Yuki’s immortal legacy.

*For close ups from this image please visit the "Family Stroll" project folder.

Environment - Maps Triptych

Inspired by traditional Japanese woodblock triptych landscapes, I created a triptych of my own. What resulted was narrative map triptych (for those with keen eyes) which captures three scenes from the story that take place in proximity to the human settlements -  the wood cutters’ discovery of the hut, Minokichi and 0-Yuki’s first walk together, and 0-Yuki’s ‘misty’ farewell.

In the original text, the story ambiguously ends with O-Yuki/Yuki-Onna turning into mist and disappearing through a chimney. My personal belief was that she did not perish, but became a part of the wind, so that she could still look after her family. Perhaps one day she will re-materialize.
The first printing of our book.

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