This artwork was inspired by Sayaka who I met in Japan four years ago. She visited the Philippines the year after and has since then made it a point to spend a few days of her vacations here, at the beach. One of the fond memories I have of her was the night we went swimming when a sea snake crossed our path. I can still remember the shock in her face that was somehow highlighted by a group of glowing umihotarus (sea-firefly) surrounding us. She is indeed a phosphene to behold and a remarkable person, who dances salsa, plays the shamisen and has an insatiable wanderlust and zest for life. She’s also the one who always shouts ganbatte every time I start a new drawing.
I originally intended to post this on Sayaka’s birthday as a gift. But the March 11 earthquake that wreaked havoc in Japan prevented me from doing so to sympathize with them. If you look closely at this artwork, you'll understand what I mean.
As my way of giving back to her, I'm releasing a special Umihotaru print that is now auctioned at Art for Japan until April 24 in an effort to aid the survivors. If you like this, please bid. Not only are you going to have this one-off print, you'll also be helping the affected areas in Japan recover. Gallery Nucleus is also selling my Yuka-chan button below with all proceeds going to Give2Asia.org.
By the way, my friend Bella is also giving away the Daruma Doll (Japan flag anyone?) art print below. This is a personal favorite because I think it’s clever and is one of the most inspiring artworks created to help Japan. Please head over to her blog to learn how you can get hold of this and the various ways you can help. Thank you so much for reading.:)
PS: Sayaka is Yuka-chan's elder sister.