Aimee loves 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!
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.
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.
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.