December 07, 2016
Japanese art is a huge influence on Daniel's work in DM Collection. If you look through, you'll also detect in most designs there is a hint of that gentle shade: pink. The colour is not so subtle in his Pink Cat design. In this illustration, Daniel has gone to town on both - and what a stunning result.
Choosing a cat for a Japanese make-over is very apt, as you find cats all over Japan from cat cafes to Hello Kitty. But the Japanese esteem for all things feline is part of a much more ancient tradition associating them with good luck.
The maneki-neko, or waving cats, are found everywhere from to small shops hoping for a boost in trade to student's desks to help them on their way to good results. But how did a puss giving a one-paw wave become a national symbol of good fortune? Folktales abound as to the exact origin.
In one version, a cat brings good fortune to a poor shopkeeper. Either a stray puss was brought in from the cold, and revived with a full belly, began beckoning customers in - transforming the fortunes of the enterprise. Or the cat was a former pet who came to its owner in a dream with the (rather vain) business idea of selling statues of itself in the now famous waving pose. Certainly if you had a patent on the design you would be extremely wealthy indeed!
In another tale, a nobleman (or was it the Emperor?) on a journey saw a cat waving to him from the side of the road. Intrigued, he stopped to find out what the cat wanted. Just then, he saw he'd narrowly avoided a trap laid by his enemies. From that day on, the cat was proclaimed both wise and lucky.
Yet another thread of the maneki-neko folktales involve an impoverished temple. The starving monk takes in a moggy and treats it kindly (as befits Buddhist monks). The cat then beckons to a group of samurai who are then obliged to stay as a great rainstorm arrives. To while away the time they listen to the monk's preaching and are so impressed they become benefactors of the temple, making it a prosperous and revered institution.
Whichever tale you prefer, the cat is a sure sign of good fortune. What better to have with oyu.
Daniel's Pink Cat design is available as an art print, greetings card or part of a coaster set.
Prowl around the entire DM Cat Collection.
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Welcome to The DM Collection, a collection of products by award winning Artist Daniel Mackie.
All cards, prints and coasters are printed and made in the UK.