The White Hands Choir.

Title: White Hands Choir, 2017

Client: AD Ogoto Watanabe, T Magazine (the NY Times Magazine Japan)

Description: I did a piece for Art Review section in T Magazine Japan.  The review was about a performance by the White Hands Choir of Tokyo and Venezuela.  The Venezuela choir is the original, and a part of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs (also known as El Sistema) which was founded by José ANtonio Abreu in 1975.  The choir is also one of the leading group of the Special Education Programme for children and young adults with disabilities in Venezuela.  They sing without vocal sounds but with the movement of hands and body.  The review explains how spiritual experience it is to hear their music through our heart and soul.

The keywords that I was given by art director was 1) spiritual, 2) wave, and 3) prayer.  The article didn’t state anything musically technical but went the journalist’s emotional/spiritual experience, so AD wanted an illustration to visualize what the article says.

I had a very tight schedule at that moment handling a book cover project and a poster project, plus it was bit rush deadline, I sent them all-in-one thumbnails; concept, color comps, rough sketch-like thumbnails.

AD chose #2; super! It displays the power of their spiritual sound wave bursting out to sky, a bird is chirping instead of the children and young adults in the choir; symbolizes their voice, and colorful and cheerful. Hands shows caring and prayer-ish.

Ink on Paper, my routine.

Final drawing.  I used to be a member of Handbell choir in my church, so I happen to have a pair of white gloves!  I took several reference photos of my hands with the gloves, and used it for this piece!

Unfortunately, this piece was killed at the end.  They thought it became bit too “religious” for the article; oh well.  I’m still happy that I got my first kill-piece from the NY Times Magazine though! hahaha.  And I’m happy with this piece, AND they paid in full, so it was a win win haha.

Thank you very much AD Watanabe-san, I enjoyed the assignment!