Saturday, April 23, 2011

illustration friday (bicycle)

This etegami was inspired by real life experience (lol), and the Shel Silverstein book-length poem The Missing Piece, part of which goes like this:

It was missing a piece.
And it was not happy.
So it set off in search
of its missing piece.
And as it rolled
it sang this song -
Oh I'm lookin' for my missin' piece
I'm lookin' for my missin' piece
Hi-dee-ho, here I go,
Lookin' for my missin' piece.

[Note: I'm curious about whether bicycles are sold with little locks on the front wheel in your country, as they are in Japan. When I googled bicycle locks, all I could find on the English language sites were chains that lock. We buy locking chains for extra protection if we want, but our bikes always come with a small lightweight boxy lock on the front wheel. The key that I drew is the kind of key that comes with that boxy lock.]


  1. Christ has Risen, Debbie! Happy Easter!

    my word about bicycles. I live and work in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Bicycles are used in this climate for about 9-10 months then it's too icy and it's too cold for cycler BUT they are getting more and more popular. To add that we dont have any helping facilities in our city for cyclists at all, like parking places, bike tracking on the streets.

    I am a cyclist. I can tell you NO bicycle is sold with locks in this country (Russia), all come without any lockers and if you want to be sure that you find your bike where you left it is to park it inside buildings or to drag it with you =))) most of people buy bike locks but some people prefer simple good old metal chains and huge metal locks with big key (it is said to be safer).

    I respect Japan for its love and care about cyclists needs.

  2. The Missing Piece is one of my all time favorite books as is The Giving Tree!

    I've never heard of bicycles comiing with locks like those. Seems like a splendid idea instead of draping chains and cords around a pole!

    Wonerful etegami :)

  3. Hi Debbie,

    Love the image. I recognized it immediately. The text is so clever it made me laugh out loud. Great way to start my day.

    In the US I have never seen a bike lock like the one you are talking about. We use the chain type or the U shaped lock to secure bikes to poles. I know of the type you have painted from my years in Japan.

  4. Életem első ilyen alkotása.


  5. i really like this. i had not heard of etagami before. what a happy discovery for me :)

  6. I love your etagami! We need to drag around big cables and chains to lock the bicycle up. This seems much easier.

  7. I DO know what you are talking about with the small little locks built into the bike. We have them too here in Belgium (at least they're similar, the key seems a bit different but I suppose it's the same basic principal:)). You do need extra protection chains here because the tiny locks do not prevent the bike being stolen.

    I love your work and have been wanting to comment for a couple of weeks. Seems this is as good an occasion as ever. I had never heard of etagami beofre visiting your blog either. I'm loving them!

  8. How you are preparing the captions?

  9. @Kri, Do you mean how do I write the words? For this one I used sumi ink and a bamboo quill pen. There is a photograph of a bamboo pen here:

    Or do you mean how do I chose the words? Usually the idea just pops into my mind.

    Does that answer your question?

  10. No bikes don't come with front wheel locks in the UK actually a hefty bike chain is no guaranty of bike safety here, bike theft is rife. Your illustration reminds me of my poor husband a few months back of walking out of the supermarket and finding his bike gone, It had been stolen.