Ten Japanese Illustrators and Painters To Watch

As our readers may know, we like to regularly introduce talented Japanese illustrators and painters who regularly produce high quality art in their own unique style.

We'd like to present a selection of ten of the best and brightest we think deserve your attention, along with links to the articles introducing them:

Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi

Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi is one of those artists you can instantly recognize. Known internationally for his vividly colored illustrations which seem to resonate with multiple strands of Japanese and global youth culture, he continues to gain fans worldwide. In addition to illustrations, he also does live paintings, creates designs for apparel and recently even designed his own original vinyl toy.

If the image above looks familiar, that's because Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi, along with Kato Miki (see below), designed one of the original illustrations featured at the top of our grape Japan website!

Read our article here.

With permission from © Hiroyuki-mitsume Takahashi

Miki Katoh

Miki Katoh's passion for kimonos and Japanese fashions of the Taisho and early Showa periods is reflected in her exquisite paintings of beautiful women in kimonos against a backdrop of both modern and traditional architecture. Recently, she collaborated with the Kyoho kimono brand in Kyoto on an original line of kimonos called Mizu Tama Tsubaki.

Read our article here.

With permission from © Miki Katoh


Avogado6's dark and thought-provoking illustrations often use powerful imagery and symbolism to reflect on societal problems, but also personal depression and trauma. While many seem to share a common theme of dark satire, layered symbolism leaves their meaning open to interpretation.

Read our articles here and here.

With permission from @avogado6


With influences rooted in retrowave and a self-admitted fascination with "neon, pop, kawaii, psychedelic art", BerryVerrine's stylish girls and landscapes explode with color in a dazzling style all her own.

Read our article here.

With permission from @berryverrine


Sapporo-based illustrator TAO is particularly fond of cats, Showa Era things, and sneakers. With their cheerful tone and kawaii characters enjoying relaxing moments, coffee mug in hand, her artwork will surely put a smile on your face or dispel any clouds hanging over your head.

Read our article here.

With permission from © TAO


Consuming or being consumed by demons, whether figurative or real, seem to play an important role in the works of illustrator and manga artist Sakiyama. At times dark and ominous and at other times animated by a quirky sense of humor, her creations can be both visually arresting and amusing.

Read our article here.

With permission from © Sakiyama


If the girls populating the illustrations of Kaechang, with their long limbs and large hands, their small heads and big eyes, remind you of Osamu Tezuka's works, that's because they served as her inspiration when she began drawing in her childhood years. In addition to her illustrations, she also does live painting, designs CD jackets, T-shirts and stickers.

Read our article here.

With permission from © Kaechang

Motocross Saito

Pixel artist, designer, DJ and track maker Motocross Saito creates memorable GIF animations in a retro style, channeling '80s and '90s culture and music, with a focus on hip hop. His design work is often featured in magazines in Japan and he also contributes to international projects. For example, he is designing the background art for the indie video game 198X, now on Kickstarter.

Read our article here.

With permission from © Motocross Saito


PALOW is an illustrator and character designer who creates original universes and characters in a stunning blend of fantasy and science fiction. His illustrations feature hybrids of metal and human he calls "insect mecha girls", and fantasy designs which could fit in the universes of Princess Mononoke or Alice in Wonderland, and even breathtaking Blade Runner-eque cityscapes--all while feeling strikingly original.

Read our article here.

With permission from @palow_


Hasuimo's illustrations bring together a kawaii and fashion-conscious aesthetic and a fascination with Christian, Buddhist and Shinto iconography, sometimes blended together in startling new configurations.

Read our article here.

With permission from © Hasuimo

By - Ben K.