The pen-and-ink drawings of Manabu Ikeda are enormous in both size and detail. Working on paper canvases several meters in size, the Japanese artist spends up to two years on a single one of his masterpieces, never knowing what they are going to look like until they are finished.
Manabu Ikeda begins work on his monumental artworks by sketching some images in his sketchbook as they pop into his head. He is always thinking about his art and sometimes sees images when he is doing the most mundane things, like having dinner with his friends. His drawing are a combination of the things that inspire him, from nature and history to technological advancements and catastrophic events like earthquakes or tsunamis. Although he has an idea of what he wants to lay down on paper when he starts to draw, a lot of time he just uses the images that flash in his mind as he is working, and the end result is a big mystery until the final stages of the drawing process. Filling a white canvas big enough to cover a large wall is a painstaking task, as Ikeda works at a very slow pace. His works are so insanely detailed that he will sometimes work for eight hours a day on a single 4-inch square trying to get everything just right.
History of Rise and Fall
“Meltdown”, the 40-year-old artist’s latest creation, took only five months to complete, but that’s because he worked on an abnormally fast pace. Ikeda usually needs at least a year or two to finish one of his drawings, and he estimates his next project will take even longer, three years. Asked if he enjoys the process of creating one of these colossal artworks from beginning to end, Manabu Ikeda admitted it is sometimes frustrating, but also very rewarding.