As a Studio Ghibli fan, I really enjoy all the art books and extra materials that the studio has available. A series of books that I'm very fond of are the storyboard collections. This storyboard collection is from The Wind Rises, which is one of my favorite Ghibli films.
For anyone unfamiliar with the animation process: the director (in this case, Hayao Miyazaki) drew these storyboards in preparation for the film. The storyboards are the basis for the movie and it shows the major scenes and shots. It also includes camera instructions and additional notes to show the movement and backgrounds. Although the storyboards are a functional part of the film making process, they inspire me as a painter for purely artistic reasons.
Something to keep in mind for anyone looking to purchase these books is that the storyboards are all in Japanese; Although I don't know Japanese, I'm interested in the beautiful artwork. This storyboard collection is especially nice because it's mostly painted with watercolor. The book comes in a textured paper slipcase which is sturdy and keeps the book and pamphlet together. Every part of this book makes me really happy.
Hayao Miyazaki is one of my favorite artists and his artwork and films inspire me a lot. It's amazing to me that he draws all these beautiful scenes from his imagination with such clarity. I'm sure that he uses references for certain things like the planes and some scenery, but the design and composition of each shot is magical. The other thing I love about his drawings is his line work. Miyazaki sums up a whole scene with a few lines. Sargent is another artist who had the ability to simplify a whole scene with simple lines. I also see many parallels between these storyboards and the croquis (thumbnail sketches) of many 19th century artists. Bouguereau himself would do these sort of sketches in preparation for his large oil paintings.
Flipping through these storyboards really feels like watching the movie again but in a manga format. Miyazaki's artistry, imagination and storytelling ability all combine to create these great images. He's truly a master and I look forward to his next film which he's working on now. Check out the pictures and video below.
I love the action and animation of these three shots below
Anyone looking for more info about these storyboard books should check out this video:
I just started a new book and it's a very interesting one. It's called No Heaven for Gunga Din by Ali Mirdrekvandi Gunga Din. The book has an introduction written by a man named John Hemming who knew the mysterious author of the story.
I just started reading the story so I don't know how it is yet, but there was a line in the introduction by Hemming which made me think.
"He (Gunga Din) held as it were the mirror up to Nature, being so natural, so close to Nature himself--not to the truth of fact, the truth of reason, the truth of the head, but to the truth of the imagination and of the heart, the vision of the child."
This quote reminds me a lot of what I want to achieve with my own paintings. I am a representational painter, but I don't want to just record "the truth of fact". I want my paintings to achieve this childlike vision of the world around me. I'm always thinking about the ecology or interrelatedness of things and it's beautiful to come across writing that relates to my own work.
I recently finished reading the 2022 reprint of Hayao Miyazaki's brilliantly illustrated story, Shuna's Journey. I have a copy of the 1983 original which I purchased and read years ago so I thought it'd be interesting to do a comparison.
The first thing to note is the size different between the original and the reprint. The original is a pocket-sized book, about 6" X 4.25" and the reprint is larger at 8.75" X 6.25". I enjoy the size of the 1983 original, but that's a personal preference.
For the text, I enjoyed being able to read the translation because I don't read or speak Japanese. The placement and color of the text matches the original pretty closely. When I got the original version years ago, I found an online translation and read the book alongside that--not the best way to enjoy a manga/illustrated book.
The reprint still has the right to left format, which I was happy to see and it also contains an insightful note from the translator, Alex Dudok De Wit (son of the director of The Red Turtle (2016), Michael Dudok De Wit).
As I was reading the reprint, I was really distracted by the feeling that the artwork was really lacking. So after I finished reading it, I pulled out the original and noticed some major differences. The reprint is very bleached out and as a watercolor painter myself, I was really disappointed; the reprint almost looks monochromatic compared to the original (see below). Now, it may be the case that the original artwork has faded over time and the reprint is showing how the paintings look today; watercolor can fade over years of light exposure, but it's impossible to tell without seeing the original paintings.
Overall, I'm glad that this translated reprint was published and I hope some more of Miyazaki's work gets translated. I'd love to read a translation of Miyazaki's watercolor manga, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu).. Or maybe I should start studying Japanese..
Yesterday I was at Barnes & Noble and stumbled upon a new and intriguing Studio Ghibli book. I pride myself on my Ghibli collection, but I hadn't heard of this book before - not surprising considering that the book was printed only last year in 2021.
The book, Studio Ghibli: The Complete Works, is basically an encyclopedia of all things Ghibli. I just started reading it last night so I'm still reviewing it, but it contains facts, trivia, movie synopses, history, interviews, movie stills, poster designs and other fun bonuses.
I first heard about Studio Ghibli when I was in college and have been obsessed with their movies and artwork for over 10 years now. Their films and particularly the work of Hayao Miyazaki have really inspired me as an artist so I'm really glad that I spotted this book and plan to enjoy all the great information inside.