The Crane Princess
Laine Hamamura is an author who lives in Hawaii. We have stayed friends since middle school when I lived in Kaneohe, HI, and I was delighted when she hired me to help bring her story to life. I used a real paper texture for the moon and painted the artwork digitally with Photoshop and Procreate. I added the text with InDesign. I selected a font for the title with a refined and epic personality. I wanted to show the bittersweet mixture of joy and sorrow that the main character, Mai, experiences in this retelling of a Japanese folktale. I used design thinking to solve the problem of how to represent the duality of Mai, who is part human, part crane. The wing of the crane has a human face, which is framed by black feathers, which also double as hair. I then was able to execute this design concept with my digital painting skills in Photoshop.
I started off with concept art that was drawn and painted on a canvas with pencil and watercolor paint. I then took a photo of it and manipulated the paint texture in Photoshop with the brush and brush blender tools. I received feedback to make the crane look less sad, so I changed the wings to be lifted.
A Collaborative Process
A lot of the artwork was based on concept sketches by the author. The left sketch is from the author, and the right artwork is what I created in Photoshop with the brush and brush blender tools.
From Sketch to Page
This shows the three step process I used to design the book, from the client's sketch, to art I created with Procreate, to my addition of Typography in InDesign.
You can view the book here: https://indd.adobe.com/view/d4e9159d-75db-43f8-bb83-16c0ffaab165
About the Client
Laine Hamamura was born and raised on the island of Oahu in the State of Hawaii, and is often involved in community-driven projects such as food drives, non-profit work, and event planning. The lack of the representation of Asian-American culture in America ignited her desire to create opportunities for these stories to be told. Laine’s hope is that The Crane Princess will open up space for discussion about these types of cultural stories.