Another month, another one of my Haruki Murakami illustrations. This time it is of Norwegian Wood, the novel that made the novelist so famous he felt the need to flee from Japan.
I love all of Murakami’s novels, but enjoy his realistic novels a little less than his metaphysical ones. And of these realistic novels, for some reason I think I enjoy Norwegian Wood even less than normal. That’s not to say it isn’t a fantastic novel, and one that I devoured happily. But for some reason (maybe due to the hype), it just didn’t excite me as much as normal. But don’t let that stop any of you out there from reading it. I can definitely see why it is his best known and loved work.
As I've mentioned before when sharing my other Haruki Murakami illustrations, a few years ago I decided to do an illustration for each of Haruki Murakami's novels in order to practice. Each was hand drawn in pencil and coloured digitally in Photoshop. I was surprised by how popular they became, and had many people asking if any of them were for sale as prints. But I wasn’t quite happy enough with them to have them printed; I was at a point where I was still deep into training and hadn’t yet developed a style I was settled on.
Two and a half years went by. I was now working full time as an illustrator and designer, my skills had developed fourfold, and I had a look and feel I was delighted with. So I felt that maybe it was time to recreate the whole project and finally allow fellow Murakami fans to purchase them as prints and other products.
So here is my new version of the illustration for Murakami’s novel, Norwegian Wood. If you know a few kanji, you may realise why I have used three trees in this piece, and arranged them just so. The illustration is a based around the kanji symbol for forest, three trees (森). For the background I created a simple alpine mountain range. I didn’t want to add any other trees as I felt they would complicate the piece too much and distract from the three main trees.