The second series in the Nazareth Project is Mosques. 2 of my favorite illustrations are in that series. Unlike Christianity, In Judaism and Islam praying places are mainly functional. Their looking is less important. There are some beautiful mosques, as there are some beautiful synagogues, but I think most of them are mainly used as praying places. In Nazareth, however, there are several beautiful mosques. The White Mosque is the first card of this series. It is the oldest of the mosques in town – was build in the beginning of the 19th century. It is located in the market. It was called “white” as a symbol of purity, peace and co-existence between religions, but it is also – well, white. When I went there to take pictures for reference with Efrat Reiss and Rama Refael from Shenboov and Nuha Bolus from the Nazareth municipality, it was the middle of the day. Most of the people, as they are working people, simply come to prayer and go back to their business. Those who stay are the elderly, and it reminded me much of my great-grandfather when he was old – going to the synagogue in order to meet people. It was like that also in my childhood neighborhood. Those who went to the synagogue in the middle of the day were the elderly, and they stayed there to argue about politics. Here is the sketch:
The final colored illustration
The second card was the Mosque al-Salam, or the Mosque of Peace. It is a beautiful mosque, with a lovely painted dome, so it was clear to me this card will be an inside scene.
The final colored illustration
The third card in the Mosques series was al-Nabi Sain Mosque. It is an impressive building, both from the outside and the inside, with a painted dome and painted pillars in the inside, and a golden dome outside. I chose to draw the building from outside, as the golden dome is very significant to this Mosque.
Here is the sketch:
Due to the issue of no-line-on-the-minaret, the illustration was scaled down on the final Black and White:
The last card in this series, the Al-Huda Mosque was a bit of a challenge. The building itself is not impressive, not from the inside, nor from the outside. It has red pergolas, indeed, but not beyond that. Having an interior scene would create 2 cards of interior scene, 2 cards of exterior, which is a good balance in a series. As I didn’t want to draw praying people again, I asked if there are Quran lessons in the mosque.
Yes, there are. So that’s the scene that was chosen.
The final colored illustration:
The printed cards:
It was a long project. It was a very interesting project. I did a lot. I learned a lot.
The Nazareth project, or in its official name – I Am From This City. The title is taken from a song by Mahmoud Darwish, who was born in Nazareth.
In the Arabic sector of Israel, so I was told, there are no card-games for children. There are cards, yes, but they are used for gambling etc. Card games, such as Go-Fish, or Quarters do not exist, and certainly there are none educational card games. Therefor, the municipality wanted to create a card game about Nazareth – so the children of the city will learn about their town, its heritage, its historical places, and will be proud of it.
The producers, the art-directors and the designers of the card are Shenboov company, who already created similar cardgames about Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The game contains 12 series, and I also did the back illustration and the warp-illustration for the box.
In the following posts I will show the process and sketches.
The first serie was Churches.
Since it is a game that was done for the children in the city, the churches that were chosen weren’t necessarily the most important, or the most impressive, but those who represent different sects and communitis in the city.The city municipality asked to have no clergy men on the cards – in order to avoid the anger of clergy men pictured in the wrong costumes. So with the exception of the Anglican Church, there are no clergy men.
There was request, applied to churches, mosques and towers: the line – onwhich the card’s name shall be written, shall not cover any turret, tower or minaret.
Both of those requests rose during the work process, so in the sketches you can see both clergy men and title-lines that cover the minarets and towers.
The first card was the Church of the Annunciation.
The church is build over an older building. It was Designed by Giovanni Muzio and was build by Solel Bone in 1969. On the inside, one can visit the ancient remains of former chruches that were build here.
My first idea was to illustrate the church from the inside. Showing it’s main area, in a ceremony.
The municipality of Nazareth asked to have the building from the outside, saying it is more recognized and iconic, and to avoid clergy men.
Here’s my second sketch:
As the title line coverd the church, the whole illustration was shrinked, so this is the final black & white version:
and the final colored one:
The second card was the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, also known as the Church of St. Gabriel. It is build on the original site of the fountain, inwhich Gabriel annunced Mary she is going to have a baby.
The customers explained that you mustn’t drink in a church, and that they prefert more iconic image.
That’s a sketch of the church itself
And that’s the church from outside.
They chose that, so that’s the final black and white:
The third card was the Synagogue Church. It belongs to the Greek Catholics. It is an ancient sinagogue that became a church in the middle ages, and has the structure of an ancient sinagogue.
In this synagogue Jesus is said to read the Bible and gave a lecture, afterwhich the people present wanted to throw him of the mountain.
It was important to show the written sign – Synagogue, so I drew the door open, and the inside is visible.
At first, there was a priest there.
But the customers asked to avoid the priest, so I added the picture of Jesus lecturing there:
The customers were quite happy with that
but I felt something is missing. So this is the final colored illustration:
Last, is the Anglican Church.
Once upon a time, in 1861, several British sailors visited Nazareth, and didn’t find any Anglican Church there. How could it be, no Anglican Church in the city of Jesus? They wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury, sums of money were raised, and the church was inaugurated 1871.
The sketch (showing English sailors in the inaugurate ceremony)
The B&W illustration:
And the final colored one:
The printed cards: