January 30th, 2013

I was contacted by the AD of Hadassah Magazine to create an opening illustration for a fiction piece called 'Relic and Type' by Edith Pearlman, who's book won the magazine's annual literary prize. The story is about an aging Jew living in Boston, who's grandson marries a Japanese woman. On a whim he decides to start studying Japanese, despite his old age. The story had a somber feel, but also a subtly positive undercurrent. I wanted to visually convey the internal clash within the main character, between secular Judaism and the culture of Japan. Falling flowers and leaves are replaced by Hebrew and Japanese type floating down to the pond as the old man is deep in self reflection. The AD wanted the old man to look slightly less somber in the final than he did in the sketch, but I think I still managed to relay some of the sadness of the story.