in Orewa, Auckland

Completed: July 2020

Software: Procreate and Adobe Illustrator


Business links: 


I was initially asked by the property developer to come up with a long panel that would appear along the shop front. The restaurant is set to open late 2020. The Japanese word 'yawara' is related to the martial art judo which the family running the restaurant has been heavily involved in. However, they wanted to avoid martial arts themes and requested a 'manga' of other bright characters. I am personally interested Yokai (Japanese monsters / spirits / demons) so I included some of the most famous ones such as (in order or appearance):


The bakeneko (bewitched cat that acts like a human), an oni (devil), a kitsune (fox spirit), tengu (raven headed mountain monk), tanuki (a Japanese racoon dog who loves to drink sake), a chochin obake (haunted traditional lantern), an onikuma (bear that acts like a human), and a kappa (scary duck frog that has an indentation or bowl on its head - in this case ramen). The other characters are Okinawan in origin to reflect the background of the family who runs the the restaurant: an Okinawan village dancer with a shisha (a protective lion dog creature) and further along, a courtly dancer with marine themed hat. 



The colours were based on a limited summery palate, inspired by Hokusai's 'Eight Views of the Ryukyu Islands' (Okinawa). Orewa is a beach town with a lot of visitors during summer, I wanted to keep the feeling energetic and fun. The green colour was already existent in the interior of the building and has been incorporated into the image with complementary colours.

new Yawara pic-01.png