And another one of my Haruki Murakami illustrations. This time it is of Pinball, 1973, Murakami's second novel, and the middle novel in the Trilogy of the Rat, along with Hear the Wind Sing and A Wild Sheep Chase.
Pinball, 1973, although an early novel and quite different stylistically to Murakami's later work, shares many common Murakami elements, with themes of loneliness and companionship, purposelessness, and destiny. As with the other books in the "Trilogy of the Rat" series, three of the characters include the protagonist, a nameless first-person narrator, his friend The Rat, and J, the owner of the bar where they often spend time.
Focusing on the narrator's obsession with pinball machine, his job as a freelance translator, and his later efforts to reunite with the old pinball that he used to play, it also his relationships with various women, and his friend, the Rat.
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 Pinball, 1973. For the Japanese, pinball usually means pachinko, so really the only thing to draw for this illustration was a pachinko machine, with all of its bright colours and mechanisms. As I'm more used to drawing things from natural (portraits of people and animals), it was quite a challenge to figure out the elements of a pachinko machine in order to draw it accurately. Hopefully it looks realistic!