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Tatsuro Kiuchi: The Japanese Illustrator Who Loves Old Things

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Tatsuro Kiuchi is a Tokyo-based illustrator who has created art for clients like Google, Royal Mail, The New York Times, and The New Yorker.
Last updated Dec 29, 2023
by Sal

Introduction

Tatsuro Kiuchi is one of the most influential illustrators in Japan, as he has contributed to the development and diversity of the field. He has shown that illustration is not only a commercial art, but also a personal and expressive one. He has also encouraged and mentored many young illustrators, who admire his skill, creativity, and generosity. He says that his goal is to create works that make people happy and curious.

2018 FIFA World Cup Film Illustration by Tatsuro Kiuchi
2018 FIFA World Cup Film Illustration by Tatsuro Kiuchi

Background

Tatsuro Kiuchi was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1966. He grew up in a family of artists, as his father was a painter and his mother was a textile designer. He was always interested in drawing and reading, especially books about animals and nature. He studied biology at International Christian University in Tokyo, hoping to become a zoologist or a veterinarian. However, he realized that he was more passionate about art than science, and decided to pursue a career in illustration.

Tatsuro-san moved to the United States in 1989, and enrolled in the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. There, he learned the basics of illustration, such as composition, color, and perspective. He also discovered his love for old things, such as vintage cars, advertising memorabilia, and library card catalogs. He graduated with distinction in 1991, and returned to Japan to start his professional career.

PyeongChang 2018 Olympics Illustrations for The New York Times Winter Olympic issue - Tatsuro Kiuchi
PyeongChang 2018 Olympics Illustrations for The New York Times Winter Olympic issue – Tatsuro Kiuchi

Tatsuro Kiuchi Art: Notable Works

He began illustrating children’s books with several publishers in the US and Japan, such as The Lotus Seed, Secret Excursion, Golden Desert, and Paper Airplane. His first picture book, The Lotus Seed (text by Sherry Garland / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide. He also branched out into editorial work for magazines, book jacket illustrations, and advertising commissions. Some of his clients include Google, Royal Mail, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Starbucks, and more.

Tatsuro Kiuchi for Criterion
Tatsuro Kiuchi for Criterion

His work has been recognized by many awards and exhibitions, such as the Society of Illustrators Gold and Silver medals, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the Communication Arts, and the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava . He is the owner of studio PEN STILL WRITES and a member of TOKYO ILLUSTRATORS SOCIETY. He also teaches illustration at AOYAMAJUKU, a school he founded in 2006 to share his knowledge and experience with aspiring illustrators.

Tatsuro Kiuchi for Omega
Tatsuro Kiuchi for Omega

Tatsuro Kiuchi: Style and Inspiration

Tatsuro-san’s style is characterized by a nostalgic, textured, and serene quality, reflecting his love for old things and the natural world. He often uses muted colors, organic shapes, and subtle details to create a sense of warmth and calmness. He also experiments with different media and techniques, such as acrylic, oil, watercolor, digital, collage, and printmaking. He says that he is inspired by everything around him, from nature to urban life, from books to movies, from music to silence.

Over the Waves- By Tatsuro Kiuchi (木内達朗)
Google Chrome theme – Over the Waves- By Tatsuro Kiuchi (木内達朗)

Conclusion

Tatsuro Kiuchi is a Tokyo-based illustrator who loves old things. He has created works for various clients, such as Google, Royal Mail, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. He is also a prolific children’s book author and a teacher of illustration. His style is nostalgic, textured, and serene, reflecting his love for old things and the natural world.

Read more:

Japanese Art Prints by The Art of Zen featuring Wave Art
Japanese Art Prints by The Art of Zen featuring Wave Art

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