Ukiyo-e Heroes


One of my favorite types of art work is woodblock printing. The process is very long, precise and results in beautiful and very original prints. Originating in China, this technigue was not only used to make fine art, but also for quickly printing books. A picture would be carefully drawn onto a special kind of Japanese paper called washi, then glued to a plank of wood. The wood is then cut out based on the drawing outline. Colors are individually added to parts of the block and then pressed onto paper using a small wooden tool called a Baren. Different layers of color are added and a while later, a picture come together in a one of a kind sort of way. While this was all by hand originally, machines have been produced to make the woodblock process go a bit smoother and a bit more seamless.

Now the purpose pf this article was to not tell you about a great art style, but what has been done with such a technique. Back in 2011, two great minds set up a kickstarter campaign to bring the woodblock art back, with a wonderful kick: Game based prints with an epic Japanese style. A mega nerd named Jed Henry teamed up with a wood block God, Dave Bull and the two have made a super alliance of artistry wonder. Releasing just under 20 different prints ranging from Pokemon to Metroid to Mario Cart, these two reached their goal no problem and had so many pre-orders that they were set back months just trying to catch up on the fans orders. Starting at the beginning of the year, they have announced that they will be releasing a new print every month, as well as still selling the originals. With so much success, Mr. Bull was able to hire apprentices as well as seasoned woodblock masters.

Another reason orders were delayed, is that each print is hand made on a very delicate and temperamental type of rice paper, which is very much so worth it. The detail and just overall coloring of these bad boys are just so breath taking, whatever your living room center piece was before, is going to be replaced with these geeky yet sophisticated pieces of art. Here’s a taste of what they have to offer:


Enough reading and more acquiring! Check out their story here!! Watch how these are made and be sure to sign up for their e-mail list to keep up on new releases.


** Note ** if you happen to order a print or two or six, I highly recommend getting them professionally framed, special matte must be used to avoid chemical burn and the paper is just too beautiful to blindly mess with.