The latest release in our Shēngxiào Collection celebrating the Chinese zodiac features the kind and gentle rabbit. The coin was designed by Louie Maryon, a recent Game Art graduate from Falmouth University who specialises in concept art and illustration. We caught up with Louie to find out more about the design process and how it feels to see his creation come to life.
How does it feel to have designed your first coin?
“I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to be given the chance to design a coin for The Royal Mint. I have always admired the designs of the past, so to become part of this heritage myself by creating the Year of the Rabbit coin is something I still can’t quite believe.”
How does coin design differ from your usual work?
“My usual work involves creating illustrations and concept artwork, usually for fantasy projects for video games and television programmes, so designing a coin is quite different, but it was actually my first job after graduating from my master’s degree in Game Art – so the coin was my first real art job.”
What was your inspiration for this coin?
“I delved deeply into Chinese folklore and mythology, and I knew I wanted to be able to show a side of the rabbit that might be unfamiliar to a Western audience.”
How did you go about designing this coin? What did you do to research?
“I started by researching the Chinese zodiac and investigated the significance rabbits have in Chinese folklore. I came across the story of Chang’e, a Goddess who lives on the moon and has a rabbit who creates the elixir of life in a mortar and pestle, which I included in the original design.”
Talk us through the different elements of your coin design.
“Although the coin is rooted in Chinese mythology and tradition, I wanted to include an element of British culture as well, hence the oak leaves. There are eight in total because this is the luckiest number in Chinese culture.”