They say that beauty is fleeting and withers with age, at least in the personal sense. Perhaps that’s why Takumi Kanehara walked away from a life of charming women as a professional host in order to pursue a career as a comic artist. Now, the self-made illustrator is gaining international attention for his beautiful re-interpretations of the characters created by Studio Ghibli. The combination of recognizable characters and subtle symbolism shows the artist’s deep love of the source material, and the artistic execution is positively stunning, ensuring that these works will never lose their luster no matter how many years ago by.
Until quite recently Takumi worked as a host in Hokkaido, making a living by chatting up women and encouraging them to buy drinks at the club where he spent his nights. But now, he’s set aside that life of painted lips and over-abundant alcohol in order to pursue art!
Takumi is one of the skilled recipients of Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine’s Treasure Newcomer Manga Awards. He was given an honorable mention when he applied in June of 2012, though considering that only one comic is chosen from the enormous pool of applications every month, this is quite an impressive accomplishment!
However, according to the blurb at the top of his Twitter page, Takumi has been neglecting his storyboards in favor of illustrations these past few months. Honestly, it’s hard to act disappointed by the lack of new manga, when the full color pictures that Takumi has created are so beautifully crafted and tied to our interests. When images from his Ghibli illustration series were shared on the English-speaking site, io9, foreign Internet users had this to say about his art:
“It’s like a wonderful fusion of art nouveau and anime.”
“It reminds me a lot of the art of Jim Fitzpatrick.”
“I need a poster of every single one of these.”
“I’d like a tarot set of these, please.”
“I like the depiction of Kiki the best.”
Overall the comments were immensely positive and appreciative of both the style and the content.
Amazingly, Takumi claims to have never taken any formal art classes and is entirely self-taught. It is because of this that his ability to draw is limited to traditional hand drawings, but to exhibit such mastery over line and color is really impressive, even for working in just a single medium. All of Takumi’s drawings are done by hand on regular paper, inked with a thin felt-tip pen, and colored using Copic markers (alcohol-based magic markers).
For the full collection of Takumi Kanehara’s art nouveau Ghibli series, look no further! We’ve got them all right here!
Of course, Takumi draws more than just Ghibli. In addition to his original characters, he has a large collection of drawings from action manga, especially One Piece and other series which appear in Shonen Jump.