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Illustrator Mari Kaneko

Mari Kaneko, a Tokyo based freelance illustrator has been working in a wide range of editorial fields such as books, magazines, newspapers, and corporate PR magazines. She also specializes in metaphorical illustrations for book covers and column articles. In creating her original works besides commission works, she is inspired by the trivial or subtle changes and discoveries she gets from nature such as wind, light, rain, clouds and plants that exist in our daily life. Invisible phenomena such as clouds, fog, smoke and steam mean a lot to me because they allow her to maximize the space of the painting. Her ideal is to expand space on the limited screen and to leave an impression that makes the viewer want to peek into the world beyond.

Her way of painting is a sort of “minimalist” to leave white space as much as possible. She believes that drawing as minimal as possible allows us to imagine the world and feeling directly. She spares more time to make composition rather than painting for well-proportioned, symmetrical paintings with a strong frontal aspect. This gives her a good sense of tension to the painting. Concentrating on the main motifs and to leave the rest of space as plain as possible gives a unique view of the world.

Small elements, in particular, birds are her favorite to use as an accent and rhythm in paintings, and they are also a symbol of herself.She wants to express the free world as seen through the eyes of birds.Warm tones are her favorite, too.She loves layering textures because they give more weight and depth feeling on colors. It might be contradictory to minimalism, but she believes that the complexity of the coloring is one of the appealing aspects. She enjoysthe Vienna Secession, such as Klimt trying to find something to incorporate into own paintings.

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