The Small Design Studio with Big (Green) Plans
Japanese culture is something I (Allysia) would love to experience firsthand one day.
From the music, fashion, art, and architecture, it just seems like a completely different world all compressed into one island. I imagine when you visit, the experience is something you could never get tired of, and no matter how long you stay, you’re always going to have something new to do.
Japanese art and design has always been a major interest for me.
When I was younger I would decorate my room with tapestries, Asian décor, incense, and paintings. Today I’ve quite a collection Japanese art and have come up with some ideas to create my own Japanese themed décor. But for now, I will have to enjoy discussing selected works from some of today’s creative Japanese designers and illustrators.
Japanese art, for the most part, has a very modern and minimalist quality, yet there is much to say about how the designs evoke a response.
In such an overpopulated area of the world, simplicity and creativity are essential to communicate. If a message can’t be conveyed in a short amount of time, it is looked over, thrown away, and forgotten.
Shun Kawakami (a.k.a. artless) designed this wonderful piece. I am an avid lover of typography, so when I first saw this I was very intrigued. The bonsai tree fits in seamlessly on top of the O, and the mono-black gives the entire design a nice minimalist touch. There is quite a bit of activity in this illustration, but not enough to make it busy. You can check out more of Artless’ designs at pingmag.jp.
Feebee really knows how to draw Japanese girls! There are so many intricate details in her illustrations, yet there is a very simple creative edge to them. Her style is very unique in the world of Japanese illustration though, as it is a blend between traditional Japanese art, and modern art technology. Feebee’s official website is in Japanese, but you can visit her MySpace for an English experience or friend request.
Chiho Aoshima takes a more busy approach to her designs. She uses vector-styled art to create a traditional “flat” style that has no shading. Chiho has a tendency to mix very warm colors with very cool colors, yet the contrast somehow blends nicely. My favorite parts of this design are the little extra details she hiddes in various parts of the picture – little faces, animals and such. To learn more about Chiho, visit Kaikai Kiki Co, Ltd.
I for one, look forward to trying a few of these creative approaches in my future work. I hope to one day be able to employ simplicity in art and still make it look amazing. Japanese art has always been the cutting edge, from painting and printing, to architecture and interior design. If you’d like to study some more Japanese art, I’ve supplied a book list below, all available from Amazon.com. Feel free to leave your input, comments, or thoughts below.