'Ukiyo-e Heroes'

Print #9 - Flight of Fantasy

Title: Flight of Fantasy

Comments from Jed: "This design was a challenge! My goal was to echo the steampunk fantasy aesthetic of the original game, while maintaining an 1800s Japanese plausibility. The result is what I call 'Edo Steampunk'. The Steampunk aesthetic is so completely tied to Victorian England that it's hard for us to disassociate Western European aesthetics from the time period. But what if the Industrial Revolution had taken root in East Asia instead? We would have all the same machines, but based on a completely different design sense. As I drew these buildings and machines, I constantly referenced 1800s Japanese cast iron pots, incense burners and other trinkets. I borrowed those cast iron forms, and applied them to the Victorian machinery. I'm pleased with the results, and I hope to revisit Edo Steampunk in future art projects.

"The kanji in the top cartouche reads: むげんの果 which translates as 'Unceasing Fruition' or 'Unending Ending'. The bottom cartouche contains: 呵責乃闘志, meaning 'Fighting spirit born of a tortured conscience'."

Comments from Dave: "This is another example of something that I am constantly touching on when discussing our Ukiyo-e Heroes prints - the fact that enjoyment of them can be divorced from knowledge of the underlying themes and characters. The best comparison I can make to illustrate this, is with the many Edo-era kabuki prints that we have left. Very few of us now have any knowledge of the actors and situations depicted, yet because the artists were so good at making their lines and colours come alive, we still feel an appreciation for the prints as beautiful objects.

"Jed is constantly pressing me to learn more about the games that our prints are based on, but I always refuse, and will continue to refuse. The less I know about them, the better ... it is only by keeping ignorant of the 'content' of these images, that I will be able to judge them on their inherent artistic merit, and then produce the best physical representation of his imaginary ideas."

Order this print

Video of the production of this print: