Friday, March 5, 2010

Rapunzel Illustrations by Yuko Michishita

With all-things-Rapunzel hotting up as Disney's "Tangled" barrels toward its release date late in the year, I'm not surprised to see quite a few new Rapunzel drawings appearing on the web. This is always the interesting time - right before a big movie version of an old story is released - for seeing what parts of a story people are tapping into.

(Side note: As someone who has very long hair - currently to my waist - I'm always curious about how women with long hair manage sleeping. This is one of those day-to-day headaches [sometimes literally] I don't really see mentioned in stories or dealt with in illustrations.)

The images of a pregnant Rapunzel aren't as many as one would think (just like images of Sleeping Beauty with twins is rare) so it always catches my attention when I do. Yuko Michishita has a lovely blog and website for her illustration and today she posted three interesting Rapunzel images. While she obviously loves hair, especially braided hair, (see this interview HERE to read more about her) - and so Rapunzel is an obvious subject for illustration and study - she's focused on some different aspects of the story (have a look at those scissors! Interesting symbols there with the flowers, their open cross-shape and the patterns...) Ms. Michishita's blog says her original idea has been so enjoyable and expanded so much already she's working on a type now too. Her work reminds me of old fashioned end papers, mandalas and the work of Bev Doolittle (minus the camouflage aspect) combined in a whole new way, with a formal graphic design balance.
See more of Ms. Michishita's work HERE and HERE. I recommend clicking on her Faceless Women Trilogy at her website. Unusual, lovely and somehow mythical.
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