Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Rattle & Hum illustrated

See the sunrise over her skin
Don't change it
See the sunrise on her skin
Dawn changes everything

And the delta sun burns bright and violent

Mississippi and the cotton wool heat
Sixty-six the highway speaks
Of deserts dry, of cool green valleys
Gold and silver veins - shining cities

In this heartland
In this heartland
In this heartland
Heaven knows this is a heartland

She feels like water in my hand
Freeway like a river cuts through this land
Into the side of love like a burning spear
And the poison rain brings a flood of fear
Through the ghostranch hills, Death Valley waters
In the towers of steel belief goes on and on

In this heartland
In this heartland
In this heartland
Heaven knows this is a heartland                            lyrics by Bono

Hawkmoon 269
Silver & Gold
God Part II
When Love Comes to Town
Angel of Harlem
Bullet the Blue Sky
All Along the Watchtower
Love Rescue Me
All I Want Is You
Once again I present an illustrated version of one of my favourite records. While U2's 'Rattle & Hum' (released in 1988) itself is sort of a concept album, love & critic of USA of the time, I wanted to form my own concept with these pictures, a ride through 'Heartland', but at the same time remain true to the original lyrics. There are 17 songs in the album but I chose 11 of them that would serve my conceptual story. While doing the pictures, I somehow subconsciously inserted some of Neil Gaiman's 'Sandman' mythology in there too so it played one of the key roles while deciding the final order of the images, as the 'songs' here don't appear in the order they did in the record.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

(Fallen) Angel

The concrete closes on me
I curl up
Try to the soften the fall
But it hits hard

I pull myself up
Few staggering steps
My broken wings weigh me down
I crawl on my hands and on my knees

I stumble across a piece of glass
Cut off my feathers
The blood wreathes art on my dirty skin
Pouring at my feet

I steal clothes from a window display
Dress up like a whore
I guess it wasn't a fashion
but a fetish show

A man whistles
Wants to buy me
I glare back
My soulless eyes driving him away

I walk on
The streets crowded
I'm beautiful
They are grey

Lyrics © J. & P. Piira

These pictures were originally intended as a part of another illustrated album, but I felt that despite of some inspirational lyrics, the album wasn't strong enough so I scrapped the idea. However, the drawings turned out too well to go amiss so I came up with another theme to put them under. As they stand now, they are 'stills' from a fictional music video for a fictional song by a fictional artist, complete with lyrics written by me and my brother. Look at the pictures, read the lyrics and 'listen' to the song with your mind's ears...

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Video the 80's

Up-beat girl rock - Wake-up, heroine!
Up-beat girl rock - The heroine in stage make-up and montage
Dark ballad - The wanderer in grey
Dark ballad - In the end, colors come out
Love ballad - Daydreamer
Love ballad - Dream street in pastels
Love ballad - Dream night
Power ballad - Dirty Cop
Power ballad - Naughty Lover (only for the late screenings)
Glam rock - Harlequin's puzzle, can you crack it?
Tried to evoke some of the feel of 80's music videos with this set of pictures. VH1 Classics is da channel! Very dangerous to sit down to watch it if you have lived your childhood and teens in 80's... Dangerous because it's hard to leave the screen!

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Innocent Days
A reluctant bride to be
War in the horizon
When a girl becomes a boy
Matter of honor
Encounter with the dragon kind
Light my fire
A nigthswim
A hardship won
The ride atop mountains
The pillaged village
The hun attack!
Exposed and abandoned
Beijing is burning!
Face to face with the man who scolds the earth
Humble champion goes home
My longest series in the making, the first pictures for Mulan were done already last year. At the time I was discussing Shu Pei with my friend over e-mail and she found her a handsome model and even though she thought Shu Pei is very much feminine, she remarked there were some alluring tomboy qualities to her as well. So I thought, I must turn Shu Pei into a Chinese legend Mulan then! What turned out to be the most difficult in portraying scenes from Mulan's story (I partially based it on Disney's excellent feature) was finding the right source material to work from. Most of the material at hand I used to other pictures stories and portraits, most of them seen here. That's why it took so long but now I can finally say my take on Mulan is finished - for now. I might return to some scenes later if I happen to bump into just the right pictures to work from. Instead of two parts, I decided to release Mulan in a one go as I think the strongest pictures are in the latter part and I couldn't wait to show them.