As a family we weren’t really that resilient. We all need extra time and space to ourselves to keep our equilibrium. If we do more than one thing in a day we feel frazzled. Travelling to Japan was the crucible for that.

We really surprised ourselves with some crazy adventures of endurance. The epic train, bus and icy mountain climb to spend a half hour at the snow monkeys was the high point. We all had our moments of losing it, but we pushed through and got some great rewards for it. Crepes after 9pm in Harajuku anyone?

This idea came together on that journey, rollercoasters and bullet trains and giving yourself up to the ride. It doesn’t look much like what I initially imagined, with arrows peppered everywhere and blood. It also doesn’t have much of the zen asymmetry of Japanese prints I was aiming for, but it does have a ludicrously accidental mirroring of the banner and the serpent!

Despite being a bit of a train wreck of mediums it needed no resilience to draw, coming together in a two week purple patch of late night sessions. The unexpected revelation was after a week or so of repeated scribbling, trying to get the feel of the coiling serpent in tiny thumbnails, I threw caution to the wind and just started on the big A2 board. The freedom of big drawing gestures was amazing, so I’ll have to start going big and to hell with the practicality.

I just have to learn how to take good photos instead of scanning!


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