"This is Osaka" with Lilo Coffee Roasters

30 August 2017 ● 1 min read ● 1 image
"This is Osaka" with Lilo Coffee Roasters

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!

Great job, very creative!

Thanks, George Popescu ! I tried to fit in a little bit of everything :)

So cool!

Glad you like it, Mark Mcfarlane ! Thanks for the support :)

This has been a lot of work! I can't guess how much time it took, but so much detail! I also enjoy your behind the scenes descriptions.

Petar Tasev thanks for your comment! I will admit this particular project took a lot of time, certainly the actual drawing itself but also the planning and balancing of elements. The "behind the scenes" was so intriguing (even for me!) that I couldn't help but share it with other artists. I figured Canvas was a great and appropriate place to do so.

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About Erica

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Erica Ward

I'm an illustrator in Tokyo, Japan

Pen and watercolor illustrator from the redwood forests of California now exploring the cement forest of Tokyo. Forever inspired by Japan.

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