In the three years I’ve been running The Desktop Wallpaper Project I’ve made a concerted effort to not use an artist more than once. This is only because I want to keep introducing new creatives, but there are times when I go back to someone who’s work I really enjoy. Dan Matutina is a perfect example of that. His previous wallpaper featured an epic battle between a pirate and a ninja, which is still one of my favorites. This time around we decided to collaborate a bit on the wallpaper.
Over the past few months I’ve become interested in the story of Urashima Taro. It’s about a young boy who helps a sea turtle who’s being harassed by a group of children. The next day a giant sea turtle rises up from the ocean to greet Urashima Taro, who unknowingly saved the daughter of the Emperor of the Sea, Ryojin, who wants to see him to thank him. Urashima Taro is brought to the bottom of the ocean where he meets the princess again, only this time she is a beautiful maiden. He stays for a few days but then wants to go home, as his mother is ill. The princess then gives him a mysterious box called tamatebako which will protect him from harm but which she tells him never to open. When he gets back to the surface nothing is the same, his mother and his village gone. It turns out that 300 years had passed while he was underwater, though it only felt like a few days. Distraught, he opens the box given to him by the princess, only to find that it contains his age, instantly becoming old and grayed. From the sea comes the sad, sweet voice of the princess: “I told you not to open that box. In it was your old age …”
I thought this would be fun to reinterpret a bit, instead saying that Urashima Tar? woke up in the distant future, filled with all kinds of fun sci-fi stuff. So Dan was awesome enough to take a stab at this, illustrating the point when Urashima Tar? returns to the surface, accidentally being caught the fishing captain. Here’s how describes it:
It’s Taro-san meeting the 3 futuristic fishermen. We see the fisherman on their hover dock. It’s like a normal dock with boosters. :D We see the Taro-san getting caught by the captain’s fishing line that’s why he surfaced.
I love it. I think Dan does amazing things with texture and color, he gives his work such life. There’s also a minimalism that really makes these work as desktop wallpapers. A huge thanks to Dan for hustling this wallpaper out to me quickly, I’m so happy with how it turned out.