Japan’s biggest tourist company JTB (Japan Tourist Bureau) has just released a promotion campaign featuring this illustration. Starting from 1st July the image is being displayed in posters and other print media in JTB outlets across Japan.
It was a memorable job in more ways than one, as I began on the final artwork just as news of the Tohoku earthquake reached us. As I drew cheerful smiling faces for the illustration I watched with horror as shocking and distressing events unfolded in Japan. The tragic irony of this was profoundly saddening, it was a very tough illustration to finish.
Nevertheless having completed the poster and with it’s release across Japan, for me personally the image has become a symbol of strength and optimism. In addition to the original concept of a “world of JTB travel” for me it also represents the stoic determination of the Japanese nation. This cheerful image helps to show that across the world people are behind Japan and stand together in unison and support.