27 November 2008

08 November 2008

危機 | きき

The kanji that go with these illustrations, make up the popular axiom 'crisis = danger + opportunity'. While it's a nice sentiment, a closer look at the second character shows that its primary meaning is 'loom' or 'device', or even 'machine' and, get this, 'airplane'. Somehow, 'Crisis! Dangerous airplane!' doesn't have the warm fuzzies that make me want to emblazon a tattoo on my bicep.
Ages ago the meaning of 'loom'  lead to the idea of 'wherewithal' and 'means' to get stuff done, which in turn lead to the associated meanings of 'occasion' and 'opportunity'.

02 November 2008

竜 Dragon | リュウ , リョウ , ロウ • たつ , いせ

Over the past three years I've been working on a 6-box set of kanji flash cards. In that time I've redrawn the 1,000 illustrations that are in my book, Kanji Pictographix. I've also taken on the task of creating mnemonic illustrations for the official 'Joyu' set of the Japanese Ministry of Education of 1,945 kanji. To date I have over 1500 illustrations drawn. Only 445 more to go.

Here is my mnemonic for Dragon. This kanji also holds the meaning imperial.

My New Book Cover Design

I'm working on an updated and expanded version of my kanji book.
Years ago when my son was a little guy I drew this. It's a different style than what I normally do, but I really like the energy and humanity of the image. I thought it would make a great poster. Now I'm thinking it would tie in great with a father's day promotion for the sale of my book. My publisher is against changing anything in my books especially the cover, but I think a change is due.