Yugen collaborates with local illustrators to capture and visualize the Yugen essence. Their creations conceptualize how they interpret this Ancient Japanese concept. It's their personal homage to the beauty of the natural world and the limitless creativity of the mind to capture the subtle details of life.Â
In this ongoing series, we ask every illustrator the same questions, who are they, what is the story behind the design, and what holds the future. Let's dive deep into their minds and join them in their imaginary world of wonders.
Who is Artuur Vandekerckhove?
Artuur Vandekerckhove is a Belgian graphic designer, born and raised in an artist's nest in Belgium. His professional work as a servant of aesthetics and functionality is balanced by his personal expressive illustrations. For Yugen, he illustrated the Apple-Mint flavour.
From a young age Artuur discovered the meditative quality of drawing. Every holiday was spent illustrating the books he read and music he listened to. Later in life, it seemed a logical step to enrol as a graphic design student. In 2004 he graduated from Sint-Lukas Ghent.
What is the story behind the design?
Artuur's design is loaded with hidden motifs and symbolism. The Japanese term Yugen is at the core of this design. It values the power to evoke, rather that the ability to state directly. The main themes in the illustration are the coherence between life and nature and its cyclical behaviour.
The barely visible, hidden skull represents death; while the ladybug and daffodils suggest rebirth. The two stems of wheat symbolize abundance and fertility and growth in life while the five mushrooms stand for happiness, wisdom and enlightenment. Sprinkled on top are the dew drops. The Old Greeks related dew with fertility myths, embodying the fertilizing dew of Heaven.
What holds the future?
The past decade flew by and sketchbooks were filled, but it wasn't until 2012 when Artuur decided to pick up the quill and go back to meticulous black and white illustrations. His current illustrations are like stories in a diary. His own adventures, inspired by everyday life and dreams.