“Matto,” as he’s called in Japan, seriously impresses with his delicately colored illustrations of Tokyo shops.
Polish illustrator and digital designer Mateusz Urbanowicz holds a master’s degree from Kobe Design University. Obviously, that’s no small feat itself, but he’s also landed a job at CoMix Wave Films animation studio in Tokyo, which is best known for animating director Makoto Shinkai’s beautifully illustrated films (including The Garden of Words). In fact, one of Matto’s main tasks is to draw deliciously detailed background art for anime and animated TV commercials. His name even appears in the credits of high-profile anime series such as Studio Bones’ hit Space Dandy (no really, check it out!).
Matto also enjoys spending his free time sketching and painting as much as he can. One of his latest personal projects is a series of watercolor illustrations titled “Tokyo Storefronts,” which is just what it sounds like. The beauty of his style, however, is that he doesn’t focus on the blaring neon signs, crowded intersections, or futuristic scenes that are often associated with Tokyo, but instead on the relatively simple, everyday architecture you’d happen to spot while taking a stroll in a residential area. In that sense, his art is like the hand-drawn equivalent of Hitoshi Kobayashi’s snapshots of rustic building facades.
Prepare to fall in love with this sampling of pictures from Matto’s Tokyo Storefronts series:
▼ His drawings possess an uncanny ability to evoke a sense of familiarity, illustrating sights that you, me, or anyone would see on our way home every day.
Thirsting for more? Check out some of his background art sketches as well:
Finally, here’s the man behind the magic happily eating a donut: