The Glowing Visions of Andre de Freitas

Illustration // Monday, September 02, 2013
Andre de Freitas is a photographer and illustrator who studied at Full Sail University, earning a Bachelor's Degree in computer animation. After discovering that the concept of stillness inherent in static illustrations captured his imagination more than moving images, he began to focus on illustration but with a photographer's eye, hoping to recreate the serenity of portrait photography in his art. His glowing compositions certainly embody a sense of tranquility and calm, presenting otherworldly figures of beauty and mystery.

Empyrean Worlds by Celina de Guzman

Illustration // Monday, September 02, 2013
Celina de Guzman, aka Celdee, is an illustrator based in Manila, Philippines. Using a combination of traditional illustration and digital techniques, Guzman creates incredible compositions comprised of conceptual forms and loosely rendered figures, employing a beautiful digitally-applied pastel palette to enhance her delightfully topsy-turvy drawing style. She describes herself as the owner of a pair of caffeine-congested lungs and a lover of goldfish, mechanical pencils, and the Oxford comma.

Midori Yamada's Strange Seascapes

Illustration // Monday, August 26, 2013
Midori Yamada's whimsical depictions of lithe young girls caressing the scales and tongues of sometimes fearsome looking giant fish are delicately rendered using a combination of watercolors, pens, coffee, and acrylic paint. The artist's fanciful visions seem to take place in some strange space between land and sea, where awesome deep sea fish and tamer freshwater koi live in harmony with gentle schoolgirls. Yamada's fine lines and pale colors lend an extra dash of playfulness and levity to her already fantastic illustrations.

Shohei Otomo's Delinquents

Illustration // Monday, August 26, 2013
Son of the legendary Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of the acclaimed manga and film AKIRA, Shohei Otomo firmly holds his own as a world-class illustrator, creating technically subtle and culturally insightful works that reveal the superficiality of Japan's commercial world and the anarchic attitude of its thriving underbelly. Through his ballpoint pen depictions of "furyo," or Japanese delinquents, Otomo combines traditional motifs with a detached punk conceit, portraying scenes of violence and vulgarity in a unique fusion of realism, manga, and graphic design.

Japan Rocks by Anna Tsubaki

Illustration // Monday, August 26, 2013
Based in Tokyo, Japan, illustrator Anna Tsubaki's bright and kinetic work takes a modern spin on the traditional art of ukiyo-e, using blocks of vivid color and bold linework to create her own visions of a floating world overflowing with rock n' roll swagger. Tsubaki's figures run the gamut from demons to rock stars to ninjas, all possessing a characteristic buoyancy of movement and personality that mimics the insouciant bluster of the rock n' roll lifestyle: cool, confident, and ready to rock your socks off.

Kotaro Chiba's Girlish Innocence

Illustration // Monday, August 19, 2013
Kotaro Chiba is a professional freelance illustrator, designer, and animator based in Niigata, Japan. Her work is clearly heavily influenced by her home country, containing elements of traditional Japanese art as well as anime and manga, showing lithe young women with long delicate necks and soft features in a variety of natural landscapes.

Back To Nature with Hiroki Takeda

Illustration // Monday, August 19, 2013
Continuing in the the artistic tradition of classical Japanese interpretations of the natural world, illustrator Hiroki Takeda creates portraits of animals through delicately placed strokes of watercolor that represent the plant life of each animal's environment, resulting in a beautiful fusion of flora and fauna. Takeda's work possesses a meditative quality in both subject matter and technique, reflecting the artist's own relaxed approach to his art, preferring to begin his work in a calm, introspective manner in order to fully express the emotional intent of each creative piece.

Fashion Savvy from Shouta Sanoda

Illustration // Monday, August 19, 2013
Shouta Sanoda began his education working in product design but quickly found that illustration piqued his interest as a career. His mastery of the mechanical pencil and his unique blend of realism and graphic elements have made him a rising talent in the fashion illustration industry of Japan. Fully devoted to his hand-made craft, Sanoda's detail-rich and finely precise illustrations take about 20 to 30 hours to complete and are completely rendered without any computer manipulation.

Sakuan Izumi's Bright Simplicity

Illustration // Monday, August 19, 2013
After graduating from art school, Sakuan Izumi worked as a graphic designer for 10 years before deciding that she wanted to become an illustrator. She has since developed a style that combines whimsy and humour with clear, simple lines and bright, garish colors. "It is always my goal for my illustrations to make people happy and surprise them at the same time," says Izumi, who often fuses traditional Japanese art techniques with a distinctively modern sensibility. As the artist explains, "I like to boldly defy boundaries and cherish traditions at the same time."

Sae Tachimori's Vibrant Illustrations

Illustration // Monday, August 12, 2013
Born in 1984 in Osaka, Japan, Sae Tachimori began to work as an illustrator after graduating from the Kyoto City University of the Arts. Her whimsical and vivid illustrations harken back to the fantastical and technically magnificent picture books of the early 20th century, erupting with bright, brilliant colors and chocked full of natural elements and symbolic imagery. The complexity and elegance of Tachimori's work puts her at the forefront of the up-and-coming generation of young illustrators making waves in Japan today. 
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