limited edition Detroit prints for sale + online store finally!

Finally finally, limited edition letter press print I had made during my visit to Detroit is for sale, and I have also finally finally made an online store go live!
Since it is brand-new, and our two person operated mini-store is just starting up, we are going to test out the water with just one item for sale for now. This is a hand-pulled letterpress made with love and passion by my friend and amazing artist Donald Kilpatrick III. 
Please read more details of the print, and you can even place an order if you like on my new online store.
Thank you!

kids book artists: Original Art 34th Exhibition is now accepting entries

Children’s book artists,
Society of Illustrators’ The Original Art – The Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration call for entries is now open.
Last year, I had an honor of receiving Founder’s Award for my first kids book Barbed Wire Baseball, and this year, I am coming back to the award as one of 7 judges.
If your book is published in the US (exclude self-published books), you should apply to this prestigious award celebrating the art of children’s books for 34 years.
Learn more and download the application form here

Raúl Colón, Chair  Carin berger, Associate Chair  Jury: David Gordon Bagram Ibatoulline Donna Mark Kelly Murphy Elizabeth Sayles Paula Wiseman and myself. Thank you Raúl for getting me on board.
Looking forward to seeing many wonderful entries!

Win my drawing: Skillshare Ink Drawing Challenge is now on!

I made this drawing specifically for Skillshare Ink Drawing Class and I want you to have it! (and other awards)
Take my class and create and upload your awesome final projects. Deadline is July 15th (Tues) because it’s my birthday, and to see awesome works by you is the best birthday present I can ask for!

I will personally pick one winner to give this drawing to you.
Also, two runner-ups receive signed prints, as well as two of you who recive the most appreciation from the peers each receive a print as well.

Eligible to anything that’s uploaded already, as well as new works uploaded till the challenge deadline.
Don’t be afraid if you are new to inking, or new to art. I am an experienced art school instructor as well, so I won’t just pick because someone has the highest skill. I will pick works that speak to me the most, hopefully, something that shows who you are, what you want to express, and effort you have put into work. Good luck! Really looking forward to seeing your projects!

I have spent a lot of time and effort into creating this online class. Learn more about my Skillshare class here

and… here is the result. Thank you!

The bidding has ended!
Thank you everyone who has participated in Friends of Bob auction to bid on my original drawing as well as all the other beautiful illustrations and photographies donated by Bob’s friends.
Here is the bidding result for my piece. It started with very low starting bid of $100, but thanks to those who participated, we can now donate $1,700 to Bob’s medical expenses.
Dear Mayor West, as soon as I get your information from the auction organizer, I will get in touch to arrange shipping of the piece.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

you can buy my art, and you will help Bob.

UPDATED on May 24: bidding has started now. Bidding link here (the link works on your computer, but not on mobile devise unless you have account with them. )

Maybe you want to buy my drawing, especially that your purchase will help out Bob’s medical expenses.

I will be auctioning off this, one of my favorite original drawings, as a part of Friends of Bob Benefit Auction,  to raise fund to cover medical cost of a friend, long time supporter of my work, art director Bob Newman. Please read more about this benefit here.

Starting bid will be set low, about $100, which is equivalent of one print. And, matching color print comes with the drawing as an extra gift for the winning bidder.

Bidding has started with many beautiful illustrations as well as photography up for sale by artists who are friend of Bob.
Please follow for details and what will be available at auction.
There will also be a benefit party at the Society of Illustrators NY on May 29. RSVP and info here.

Bid on this drawing of mine, or many other beautiful works by illustrators and photographers here (the link works on your computer, but not on mobile devise unless you have account with them. )
Auction should start in mid May and end on May 29.  I hope to keep you updated when the site is up, but I am traveling abroad now, and may not be able to update details till I come back. So, follow Tumblr page for the latest news, please!

Sharing is much appreciated.
Thank you!

the drawing was originally created for Bernstein & Andriulli alphabet book as letter Y for “yourself”

SPECTRUM 21 silver medal, and my love letter to fantasy art

It was a huge surprise.
One of my pieces won a SPECTRUM 21 silver medal in editorial category. This happened over the past weekend’s SPECTRUM Fantastic Art LIVE event in Kansas City.

It is supposed to be “the Oscars for Sci-Fi fantasy art”. I am in the midst of four trips in two months (heading out to the last trip tomorrow), so I  was not there. I saw the photo of the theater, and it was BEAUTIFUL. I wish I was there.
With the event’s request, I wrote a small acceptance speech beforehand ‘in case’ if my piece wins something. I sent this very last minutes, so I am not sure if it was read on stage or not, but I though I post the whole thing here anyways.  It was a love letter to fantasy art, and how it helped me get through my first years as a kid newly living in the US.

When I moved to New York as a child in the late 70s, I didn’t speak any English. My parents and teachers thought it was a good idea I read a lot of English books to get better at my second language and soon, I found myself spending every weekend for many hours in the sci-fi fantasy section of the bookstore, just because covers were so beautiful. I picked up many paperbacks with covers illustrated by Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo, among other artists who’s work I loved. My English was terrible, so I couldn’t read most of them, I bought them for the covers, and most of them are still in my parents home in Tokyo. 

I tried to imitate their wok with my very limited ability to draw and paint. My dream was to be on the covers of those books one day. I even wrote a fan letter to Boris, when I was around13, with a xeroxed copy of one of my drawings folded into half and tacked into a small envelope.

It is a HUGE honor to receive an award from Spectrum. I wish I can go back to 1977 and tell that kid in the Fantasy isle of a bookstore in suburban New York. Though I don’t think she would ever believe it. 

Thank you SO much.
The piece was created for AI CIO Magazine, AD was SooJin Buzelli.  Congratulations to all the winners. List of all the medal winning pieces here

Barbed Wire Baseball selected for Teachers’ Choice Reading List

It has been a year since Barbed Wire Baseball, the first kids book I illustrated, was published.
As a first time kids book illustrator I feel extremely blessed by the amount of recognition this book has been bringing in. Of course, it is because of the huge effort by the writer Marissa Moss, editor Howard Reeves, art director Chad Beckerman, and by all the members of the team behind the project.
Another fantastic news just came in, the book was chosen as one of International Reading Association (IRA)’s Teachers’ Choices Reading List of 2014.  And we are all extremely honored. Thank you.

Baseball season has started, and now may be a good reason to check the book out, if you haven’t already. This makes a great gift for kids who are into baseball, sports, interested in history, or just to learn about endurance, hope, and what people can accomplish under a hardship.

Barbed Wire baseball is available from Amazon, or bookstores near you and online.
See more images from the book here. 

Skillshare inking class now live!

Since winter, I had put in a lot of time and effort into this. And now, it’s LIVE!!
People ask me all the time, what materials I use, what paper and ink and all the mediums I recommend. Besides, I have been inking since like 6th grade (hoping to become comic artist one day, that was the plan, though the plan has shifted a bit over the years…), and I think I have a pretty good knowledge in this to share those who are interested.
Class is organized in a way it is useful for those who have not inked before, but I also try and share some secrets and tips pros may appreciate.

Anyway, here it is, hope you enroll. Please use the referral link to help this artist get paid for my work! Thank you !

come to my talk in Detroit on April 9, free and open to public

I will be coming to Detroit next week.
Lecture at College for Creative Studies on Wednesday, April 9 is open to public, so if you are in Detroit or near by area, please come stop by!

Wednesday, April 9, 6:00PM
Walter B. Ford II Building, Walter and Josephine Ford Campus, College for Creative Studies
(presentation was made possible by generous grant from the Japan Business Society of Detroit Foundation)

Thank you Donald Kilpatrick III for all the arrangements, and print awesome letter press posters.
Looking forward to seeing you there!