Thursday 10 April 2014

Inspirational Artists - Yoshitaka Amano

Hello, you scrumptious lovelies!!

Have you had a good week? I do hope so - time to breathe....time to play...time to ART! Mine's been MASSIVELY hectic - in fact, I think my poor li'l computer forgot what I look like... But today I have time to sit and read through your wonderful comments, which have made a LONG few days of grot disappear in MOMENTS, to be replaced by happy faces and renewed optimism, so thank you SQUILLIONS for that! You know I loves ya xxxxxxx

I've not had any real time for art since my last post, although I have some new jewellery ready for Etsy - here's a sneak peek -

Seriously....I can't resist beads... It's a genuine weakness! I've just about been able to exercise severe restraint over paper buying, but beads? Nah.... they're too pretty...! I don't know if it's the variety of shapes, the feel of them, or the GORGEOUS colours - maybe a bit of everything! YUM!

In my last post I asked for suggestions on what I should post next, and Carmen (visit her fabulous blog HERE) reminded me that I've not written an 'inspirational artsists' post in quite a while! She's so very right - and I have a LIST of them too! So I've sifted through my notes and images and stuff, and decided on an artist to spotlight here for you. I'm sure many of you will know of his awesome talent and stunning art, but I have so much love for his work that he's an easy pick right here, right now.

Inspirational Artists - YOSHITAKA AMANO

Yoshitaka Amano is a Japanese artist, born in 1952 who STARTED his career as a teenager, working as a character designer for animated series such as 'Speed Racer', 'Gatchaman (The Battle Of The Planets)' and 'Robot Hunter'.

He stated once [to paraphrase] that if life's too stable, creativity dies so he left a comfortable career and at the age of 30 started to work as a freelance artist. He has designed characters for MANY massively popular computer games, most notably, Final Fantasy. He has exhibited worldwide, and produced [now] iconic pieces illustrating a variety of books and comics including 'Vampire Hunter D', 'Elric Saga', 'Elektra And Wolverine: The Redeemer', and also, spectacularly, 'The Sandman: The Dream Hunters' (with Neil Gaiman). He's also had several collections of his own works published, each of which is a genuine delight and inspiration. Here are some of the books that I proudly own -

Now, you know I love you guys, but I'm not risking spine cracks to scan stuff from these lovelies, so you can thank Pinterest for the assistance with most of the images from hereon in... I knows you understands!

Ok. Sooooo.... I first became aware of Amano's work in the late '90s and haven't been able to get enough of it ever since. I find his books incalculably invaluable, especially when I'm suffering an artstic 'brain freeze'. He is fearless. His work OWNS the page and the canvas and achieves a genuine presence and life of its own.

Amano's work shows heavy influence of tradition Japanese artwork combined with more recognised manga styles and techniques...

...and he also shows aspects of influence by western artists and art movements...

It's always interesting trying to divine where other artists find their own influence... In Amano's work I can see the influence of the art nouveau movement, a hint of some of the long-standing fantasy artists such as Michael Kaluta or Charles Vess, as well as echoes of the work of Aubrey Beardsley, maybe even Arthur Rackham -and many others.

This is Beardsley's illustration for Oscar Wilde's 'Salome' ...his fantastic extention of costume and headdress and exquisitely delicate, posed limbs seem - to me - to be reflected in Amano's characters.
Amano doesn't seem to be intimidated by bold colour - not only combining them passionately to produce evocative and romantic images...

...but also using them selectively to create powerful, high impact works with only one, single colour - unafraid of an ABSENCE of colour as he is by bold, definitive strokes. He manipulates colour and makes it work for him -

With simple black ink he produces sketches that are are so dynamic that they almost seem to move on the page -

  - and allows the viewer to add their own imagined detail ...

His work ranges from the beautifully impressionistic... the detailed and precise-

Although he may be best known for his fantasy art, he has produced some fabulous pop and graphic  art -

When you look at these, then look at this :

- you'd not think it would be the same hand that created them.  In my opinion, he's one of the most versatile and gifted artists working today. I can't get enough... really. I could fill this post with words, rambling on and on about his style, his skill, his technique... But I honestly think that I'd rather encourage you to go hunting for his work - on Pinterest, on Google...or your search engine of choice. Check out your local library, comic shop or book emporium and treat yourself to something you'll treasure. Looking at this online is nothing compared to enjoying it in print. And if you are EVER lucky enough to visit one of his exhibitions, then drink in all that awesome and then smuggle one out for me, will ya? A biggun.

I'm going to leave you with another few images - you've no idea how tough it' been here to CHOOSE!  I really hope you enjoyed this post and that you go find out more about Yoshitaka Amano. I hope you're filled with inspiration and make some beautiful art to share with us in the blogosphere.  Thank you for visiting! I'll be back as soon as I can with more STUFF - and another one of these inspirational artists posts, now that I've been reminded of how big my list is... Yep.

Sending out love and hugs to all of you - Shroo :) xxx

Full credit to the awesomeness that is Yoshitaka Amano - long may you be EPIC!


  1. Uhummenahummena! Wow - what an AMAZING post! It's posts like this, seriously that I curse even more the years I spent in limbo because I have been blind. I have missed so much beauty. And I'm so saddened by it. BUT at the same time, I'm having this HUGE reawakening so am discovering people and things for the first time. Gorgeous post, I see the Art Nouveau influences because I'm reading a lot about that at the mo, especially Mucha. But you're right - it doesn't look like the body of work of one man. So inspiring.

    Am rambling. Drooling and rambling. More please!

  2. P.s - The jewellery is beautiful. I don't suffer the same bead stroking affliction - unless they are unusual like skulls or such. I do have a crayon/pastel sniffing obsession and if in a art shop have to test the brushes on my face... but that's normal right?

  3. Love the jewelry!

    Yoshitaka Amano is an amazing artist. I recognized a number of the pieces. Glad to have a name & face to associate with the art. Thanks!

  4. I enjoyed seeing the work of Yositaka Amano and I love your jewelry! I can't resist beads either. In fact, yesterday I found some really fun brightly colored skulls. I have no idea what I'll do with them but I had to have them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. good morning Shroo-I agree with the others this is an amazing post-love your jewelry-I know what you mean about not being able to resist beautiful beads. Thanks for sharing this amazing artist with us

  6. Wow Shroo! This post was such an eye-candy. Thank you for this I really enjoyed Amano's artworks. Your jewellry looks lovely. I jewellry sometimes too but I don't have much patient with them. Nice that you are featuring different artists. I just started to do that myself also.