Every culture on Earth has fairy tales and yet we hear the same few European stories told again and again. I’m creating a series of picture books telling lesser-known fairy tales.

The first book in the series is the ancient Japanese tale Shita-Kiri Suzume (the tongue-cut sparrow). This story tells of a kind woodcutter, his mean and greedy wife, and his friend, an injured sparrow he nurses back to health who turns out to be a powerful fairy and a few monsters in a box.

Through the story, kindness is rewarded, friendship and service are valued, and anger, greed and malice are punished.

While the setting is fantastical, much of the visual reference including plants, clothing, homes and vehicles, is rooted in the Jomon Period, Japan’s Neolithic era. The art will have a feel of acuracy, mixed with timelessness and wonder. So, it won’t belong to any particular time period.

I’m hand inking each page with kuretake fude and brush pens, then adding subtle digital colors based on pallets from the Japanese woodblock prints of Hiroshi Yoshida.

The pages are all thumbnailed, some inked, and the story plotted.

Watch me draw!

Process Videos and Vlogs

The following videos are from my youtube channel and show some of the work I’ve done up until this point on this book. You’ll also hear me talking about different things, so if you’re here just for the art, hit that mute button.

Clicking on the title of each one will open that section.

character designs & setting sketches
Sketching to get the feel of the Sparrow
inking: floating island home (and talking about Paper Wings, Inkpulp, Making Comics, etc)
inking: Woodcutter saves the Sparrow
inking: foliage edges
Are reference photos cheating?
inking: Sparrow's door pattern
artcasters traditional