Following on from our first Studio Tours: Tokyo Special in which we visited the home of artist and illustrator Bunny Bissoux we now return to Tokyo to visit the home and work space of Japanese born artist Chika Takei of the Tokyo Illustrators Society. Born and raised in Japan, Chika now resides in the Setagaya district of Tokyo where after leaving an administrative 9-5 bank job she now creates her paintings in a full time role. It was here we met with Chika to look through the archives of her work and to find out what some of her inspirations and influences are... Who are you, where are you from and what do you do? My names Chika Takei, and I'm a Japanese illustrator based in Tokyo. What is keeping you busy at the moment? I've been working for some magazines and I'm also currently working on a new book illustration right now. What paint and brushes do you primarily work with? I often use Holbein acrylic gouache with some kind of fine-point brushes when I'm creating my work. How would you describe the space you work in? Comfy! What inspires you? I'm inspired by friends, movies, pop art, magazines and pop stars - in particular Britney Spears. Is your work a reflection of the culture you are surrounded by? I feel it is, yes. There are so many talented and attractive people around me. Your work has featured on the covers of many Japanese story books, do you have a favourite? My favourite is a book which has been translated to Japanese. The original title is The Big Necessity, and it's written by Rose George. This book is really great. It's one of my early works as an illustrator, so I have a special attachment to it. What has been one of your favourite projects to work on? My solo exhibition! It's going to start this year from July 28th to August 2nd at Space Yui in Aoyama, Tokyo. It's been almost 3 years since my last exhibit, so I'm excited! Who are some of your influences in your work? My former teachers and friends. What do you love most about where you live? The people in Tokyo are friendly. I like that. What is your most treasured possession? I think maybe a trophy I received when I won a grand prize at a Tokyo Illustrators Society competition. If you could be anywhere in the world right now you would be... London! I've never been there. Three of your favourite things that aren't friends or family? Watching movies and dramas, collecting tableware's and walking around Tokyo. Favourite export from the West? I love Sofia Coppola's films, especially Lost in Translation and SOMEWHERE. I love the atmosphere of the films including the music. My favorite singers are Adele, Britney, Jem, Katy Perry, Maroon5, Kristina Train, Aerosmith and more. I also like classical music, my favorite is Debussy. There are too many favorite things and people from the West to write here! Find out more about Chika Takei by visiting her on Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and her official Website.
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