Bon Festival Dance – rough sketch

The scene of the illustration, Japanese Buddhist festival takes place in August when people show respect to the dead. Incorporating traditional Japanese old tale monsters and ghosts with a mixture of western taste.

The scene of the illustration, Japanese Buddhist festival takes place in August when people show respect to the dead. Incorporating traditional Japanese old tale monsters and ghosts with a mixture of western taste.

Lately I’ve been immersed in the lovey-dovey children picture books with sweet and tender illustrations. I love the sincere, tender and hopeful illustrations that speak directly to your emotions that lead the readers to unwrap the messages the writers/illustrators had left within the picture books. But then, so naturally, I had an urge to illustrate something completely different. I remember as being a child, I loved borrowing ghosts stories. I listened to my mom reading the stories while I held onto her dress and peeked through the scary illustrations with awe. It was the most exciting experience when I felt like I was entering a whole new adventure knowing that I was safe sitting beside my mom. It truly was a great feeling.

So……I started this new project where both western and asian ghosts come out during the Bon season* dancing Bon Odori to the upbeat rhythmic drum played by a frog. I can’t wait to add colours to them soon!

*In Japan, Bon is a very important Buddist custom when we honour the spirits of our ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori. (reference from wikipedia)

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