Ink, watercolor on watercolor paper.
This is a piece that was commissioned at the start of this year as a "3rd Anniversary Celebration" design by Osaka cafe and roaster, Lilo Coffee Roasters.
The initial request was definitely one of the most dynamic I've ever received, with a vision of "a goat with a bow-tie and a man's tuxedo (textile patterned with a feeling of the neighbourhoods of Osaka) who exudes a feel of the history of coffee and holds a mug with Lilo's mark. Artists' free-reign of supplemental decorations as long as they convey "Osaka," "Coffee," and "Japanese-ness.""
I let that swim around in my mind for a second before smiling to myself thinking: Lilo, you've come to the right woman!
Though sketch revisions with clients is often the most challenging step of the illustration process for me, this time was really enjoyable: while a "goat" is a "goat" there are so many different varieties! Between sketches we also tried to find the right balance between "modern" and "nostalgia," mixing retro kissaten imagery with more hip cafe vibes (I decided to add Lilo Coffee's store front directly). I personally wanted to express as mush "Osaka" as possible without just regurgitating the typical go-to Osakan caricatures, and am pleased with the balance (How many can you spot?). It was fun doing the visual research and remembering my years living in Osaka working on this watercolor.
The Cafe debuted the framed original along side printed posters and shop cards (embalazened powerfully with the phrase "THISISOSAKA: Lilo Coffee Roasters") at their 3rd anniversary event earlier this month.
Lilo Coffee Roasters works closely with many artists and designers to make original goods, enliven the cafe atmosphere, and support artists in general. Check out their website: http://liloinveve.com/coffee/
or their shop when you're in Kansai!
Pen and watercolor illustrator from the redwood forests of California now exploring the cement forest of Tokyo. Forever inspired by Japan.