Aimee loves Macoto Takahashi!

Macoto Takahashi

For this Friday Fave I want to show you the romantic work of Macoto Takahashi ( 高橋真琴 ) from Osaka, Japan. His website is here. He was a major artist during the 50’s and 60’s shoujo romance period (what we today look at lovingly as retro shoujo style.) A lot of people rediscovered him when he did some artwork in the 2000’s for the Gothic & Lolita Bible fashion magazines.

I know some people don’t like the big sparkly-eyed look of this sort of style, but I find once you get used to it there is real beauty. I love the appealing shapes that Macoto uses on his clothing and hair and I love the stylized shapes used for flowers and backgrounds as well. Instead of just drawing a flower how it looks, each flower and wave and hill is a thoughtful shape. His work reminds me a bit of Edwin Earle (the background artist of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty) or Mary Blair in some ways.

Look how sensitively done this Little Mermaid is!

Macoto Takahashi

I love the clothing shapes on this Snow Queen art and look at the charming hanging plants outside the window. Macoto obviously researches clothing some too. I don’t think they are straight up historical, but I like the touches of actual clothing to them.

snowqueen

He has an official gallery located in Chiba, Japan where you can view and purchase his work. It is possisble to order his books on Amazon Japan. Yes, you can order internationally! (Read this page or google other pages to find out how to order from amazon.jp.) You can see some of his books here on amazon.jp and another selection at the top of this page. You can also sometimes find people selling his items on ebay.

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I have these two Macoto books (above and below) that I bought off Amazon.jp. One is pink hardcover book with Cinderella in an 18th century gown on the cover. It is a general collection of some illustrations from various fairytales. It’s actually still available for it’s original price on Amazon.jp here. The other has blue cover with the Little Mermaid, ISBN4-8354-4089-7 now out of print. It originally was 4900 yen. This one is actually a collected box of five softcover fairy tale books; Snow White, Thumbelina, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and the Little Mermaid.

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More about Macoto on Baka. You can also see more of Macoto’s work on this TUMBLR tag.

Happy Hinamatsuri! I made new baby dresses for the twins for the occasion. (Hinamatsuri was yesterday.) Hinamatsuri is a Japanese holiday that celebrates girls. I made the dresses inspired by the traditional Hinamatsuri sweet, hishimochi, which is three layers of pink, white and green.

The dresses were made using Oliver and S’ Family Reunion Dress pattern. I was really happy with this pattern! It’s the second I’ve made from this company and so far my favorite. I loved that you didn’t have to handsew the hem of the dresses, instead there’s 5 lovely bands of topstitching. They had lots of tips for making the dresses look clean and beautiful which I mostly followed and I really liked the pintucks, the shape of the dress and the lovely collars. I followed the pattern pretty closely except I added the contrast green band at the bottom by using the “shirt version” of the pattern as a guide. All the fabrics and supplies (except a small 3/4 yard bought on 50% sale) were stash fabrics! Go me! These dresses are 6-12 month size and my girls are 5 months old, so the dresses are a little big for them. The last time I made a dress for them they barely got to wear it before they outgrew it, so this is better.

The flower headbands were a sweet gift from Sarah! I love them! If you like them, you can buy some on her etsy page!

The gold screen and the lanterns behind them are actually meant for a large Hinamatsuri doll set. I bought them years ago on ebay, but they’re perfect for baby photos, too, right?

hinamatsuri baby dresses

hinamatsuri dresses

Omake: Miss J about to devour Sophie the Giraffe.

twin baby dresses

Hey folks!
I’ve got almost 800 likes on my Facebook page, once I get to 1000 I’m going to do a kiriban giveaway!

I’m going to do some free original sketches for people (of whatever they want) as well as give away some sketchbooks and a copy of Japan Ai, and we’ll see what else! So please help me get to 1000! You can “share” my FB posts with your friends or ask them to “like”, that sort of thing. Much thanks, y’all!

Aimee loves Sakizo!

I’m starting a feature on my website which is basically “pretty stuff Aimee loves on Friday”.

sakizo artwork

To start off, I want to show you the watercolor artist Sakizo from Okayama, Japan! Their website is here and they have a DeviantArt account here.

Sakizo is well known for doing detailed fanciful, beautiful girl illustrations based on sweets, but the artist also has other themed collections based on things like flowers, jewels and perfume. Some illustrations are over the top rococo style and others feature embellished kimono.

The artist doesn’t speak English or sell overseas but you can buy their work from the shopping service Alice Books! I just placed an order with them. It seems like a lot of the books in this category on Alice Books are small artbooks that artists sell at comic cons. They have a lot of other beautiful artists, too. I’m really looking forward to getting them!

The artist also seems to like people cosplaying their work. Cosplayers definitely seem to like the cute designs and sumptuous details. You can view people cosplaying the artist’s appealing work here on World Cosplay website and here on the DeviantArt website. Below on the left Playing Cards cosplayed by KRYS, on the right Opal cosplayed by Shichi.

sakizo cosplay

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