One of my earlier assignments was for a Hareruya player card set. I mighta gotten pigeonholed by the ukiyoe style in this...
Again, studied a bunch of ukiyoe pieces for this, especially for the outrageous posing and hands. Kenji is famous for the peace-sign thing, and Saito for hats, so I wanted to include those. I had to include their uniforms, but other than that, could do whatever, so I tried to give them old-fashioned vibes otherwise, particularly on the footwear, which was quite fun. I saw facial hair rendered as grey-blue in my research, but it looked really bad in this modern interpretation, so we painted it black.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa riff is probably played out by now, but it felt kinda expected, if I'm doing a this style. The subtler element I'm probably more proud of is the sun, which I wanted to be prominent since that's the shop's mascot. And then the little hanko red-ink stamp I designed went through a couple iterations; I wanted it to be generally illegible, since I don't like screaming my name on stuff--just dumping the url on my posted work irks me, so I try to minimize even that.
Fun things that came from this were first, actually seeing these guys reenact the pose, and then later, giving Christian Calcano a good chortle with these when he randomly stopped by Hareruya some time around a GP. No, I don't whip out work whenever I meet people, but he asked to play Magic with me and tokens just tend to come up as you play and talk. He was playing Abzan and I was playing mono-stupid-rookie-mistakes.
I've played a few pros by now, and he's the only one that didn't sorta command an intimidating presence--it didn't feel like he was a "murderer," as I call them: he really puts you at ease when you play, despite painting bricks with your face. Only other guy like that is probably Saito himself. You're like haha, guess I had no chance after all! Other pros I can think of, it's more like you're there but not really in the game. One guy though...misery...
Anyway, as far as I know this was a pretty limited printing, though whomever did get to see it enjoyed it, but the only way to get these was via a random lottery pack thing, where you buy a random, custom-made, all-rare pack that may also include a tag redeemable for these or other fabulous prizes.