asking for trouble

Drawing For Fun #1

I get so caught up in creating things for products and clients that sometimes I forget that I’m allowed to draw for fun too! While the whole point of drawing for fun is that you don’t have to worry about sharing it publicly, I’m going to start sharing a few that I like. This batch are all of manhole covers that I photographed in Japan. It’s a completely pointless project but I started it during the original lockdown and it really helped me get back to creating original work.

japan manhole covers

This is the first one I did, from a very fun manhole cover I saw everywhere in Nagoya. I really hope I can go back to Nagoya sometime as I had such a great few days there.

japan manhole covers

This one might be my favourite with all those graphic sakura flowers, ginkgo and bird. I spotted this at Koishikawa Korakuen, a really lovely garden in Tokyo.

japan manhole covers

More sakura, in one of the most popular places to see it – Ueno Park. I only finished this one last week as I really wasn’t enjoying all those flowers. The real one was very worn so I had to block out the kanji here in case I got it wrong.

japan manhole covers

A much simpler sakura flower. You’ll spot this design all over Tokyo. I think this particular one was near my hotel.

japan manhole covers

This is the second drawing I started but took a long time to finish with all those straight lines and details. It shows Osaka Castle.

japan manhole covers

This Mt Fuji design has always been one of my favourite manhole covers so I drew it even though I haven’t seen it myself. Plus I wanted 6 drawings to do the matching colours!

As I say, these were done with no end purpose but I might find a use for them in a future Japan zine or guide. And if you’re getting started with digital art and finding it tough (or have a big case of art block), do read My Tips For Procreate, iPad Pro & Apple Pencil as I have very much been there.


Hello! I’m Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I create illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. This is my business and personal blog where I write about my creative doings, inspirations, travels, Japan trips and daily life. Read more »

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