Here is my refined illustration for Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I was first introduced to this tale through the first Murakami book I ever picked up, The Elephant Vanishes, a short story collection.
The first chapter of this novel is a kind of rewrite of one of the stories from that collection, and one of my personal favourites. On first reading this novel, I didn’t know that Murakami often took his short stories and transformed them into a complete novel, so I had a strange sense of deja vu at first. The novel begins with a man looking for his missing cat, and, in true Murakami style, this mundane tasks leads him to a rather bizarre adventure. It is a favourite of mine; I find it a fun and intriguing ride, and completely captivating.
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 his 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, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. This is one of the illustrations I am most delighted with. I always loved the idea of the wind-up bird, and think it makes for a really alluring image. So there wasn’t really a better idea for what to depict.
As normal, I have released it as an A6 and A4 print on my Etsy store. You can also buy the illustration on a number different products over on my Society6, Redbubble and Art Rookie stores, from cushions and cards to mugs and rugs.