This was a tough one for me coming up with a right image. The story is about a father who lost his wife when their daughter was very young. He has been raising the daughter all by himself and now she is in high school and he worries too much about her. There was a scene I found very impressive where she was so indecisive in selecting which cake to eat. I determined to illustrate the scene but with a bit of exaggeration.
I had to draw a lot of different kinds of cakes. I thought it would be very hard to make them up right from my head. I wanted the cakes to be convincing looking to a certain extent. Then I suddenly remembered that there was a cake shop right next to my studio. I buy cakes there occasionally. I decided to draw each and every cake in that shop. You might be able to see my Photoshop layer palette where I organized each cake into a folder labeled with its name. I think these are pretty accurate in terms of shapes and colors. (who cares though…)
This is one of my favorite cover illustrations I have done recently. It’s about the old professional yakyu (Japanese baseball) team called Hankyu Braves. The story takes place in modern Japan and the protagonist somehow ended up traveling through time to 1969 as a boy, where he once had watched a game at the stadium with his father.
When I was a kid in elementary school, which was in the early 1970’s, it seemed that yakyu had been very big to Japanese people as professional sports, and many people watched games on TV everyday. There were many yakyu-themed anime and manga at that time and I remember watching and reading them myself. This particular stadium I depicted here on the cover was old Nishinomiya stadium in Kansai, which no longer exists. As I read the story I was surprised to learn that the stadium had been used as a baseball stadium at night but as a keirin bicycle race track during the day. I was familiar with Hankyu Braves but didn’t know about this fact at all.
Anyhow, I enjoyed illustrating this cover very much. Coming up with a good combination of colors, which I pulled from the story, was fun.