Monday, January 5, 2015

A Japanese New Year's Card

Back in college, when I studied abroad in Japan, I met a girl named Saki and we became good friends. Many Japanese families send out postcards for New Year's, and Saki's family likes to put a family photo on their holiday postcards. This year their family photo didn't turn out so well, so they asked me to draw one instead! They specifically asked for a cute, simplified style rather than my usual realistic work. Here are the two options I sent them:

Saki sent me as many recent photos of her family she could find. The main challenge of drawing in this style was trying to capture each individual's look without losing the simple cuteness.

I had fun picking out a Japanese font. I went through a few until I found one that had a chunky, handwritten look that matched the style of the illustration. Obviously, the center of the scroll says "happy new year," and in the lower left the year is written in the Japanese Imperial system, a formal system of dating which has something to do with the year of the emperor's reign.

Saki's family sent me a copy of one of their postcards!

I like how this turned out so much that I'm thinking of doing more work in this style. What do you think?

Happy New Year to you, blog readers! Welcome back after the holidays. I'm hoping to have some exciting stuff for the blog this year, including some interviews and giveaways. Thanks for your comments, tweets and emails. It makes me happy to know that people are reading this thing.


  1. Looks great, I would like to see more of it. And what a great work for a friend, they really must like it. I would.

  2. That's adorable! I'd bet a lot of people would like this done for their family. I know I would! ;)


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