Aya Kakeda’s Vibrant Fictional Worlds

by Andy SmithPosted on

Aya Kakeda, a Tokyo-born, New York-based artist, moves between illustration and personal work, all carrying a vibrancy and a dynamic layering aesthetic. Much of her work is created in gouache on wood or canvas, with Kakeda using the texture of each to breathe life into her fictional worlds.

Kakeda’s personal work is marked by engaging narrative, as is the case in the below pieces from the body of work “Yashita Tribe Myth.” “Yashita Tribe lived in ToTai Island around 14th to 16th centuries,” she says. “This is a story from the Yashita Tribe during the plague causing many people to die. They believed it was caused by a curse of bear spirit. In order to get rid of the curse they sacrificed 11 girls to the secret pond.”

As far as her illustration goes, the artist’s work has appeared in books, magazines, products, and more. Her clients include the New Yorker, NIKE, Nickelodeon, Men’s Journal, The New York Times, Disney, and Delta.

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