The Nazareth Project (part 1): Churches

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.

My first idea was to have draw the cript inside – that’s the most ancient and holy part. As it was originaly a fountain, I draw a mother and boy drinking.

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:

That’s the final colored illustration:


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:


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