In each issue of Flow, we ask three creative entrepreneurs: ‘what are you up to’? In Issue 29, we talk to Kei Mogari, an illustrator from Tokyo, Japan.
Was it always your dream to become an illustrator?
It took a while for me to start painting and drawing professionally. Before that, I worked in a bank and took care of my children. I always liked to draw and at some point I uploaded an illustration to my blog. That led to me being invited to exhibit in a gallery in Hong Kong, and after that I participated in group exhibitions in Singapore, Taiwan and Japan. It was at that time that the dream of becoming an illustrator started to emerge.
What happened next?
I found a beautiful book by Japanese designer Seiichi Suzuki at a bookstore. I felt strongly that I wanted to work with this designer. I enrolled at an illustration school and studied painting. My first illustration assignment was to draw the cover of a book that Suzuki designed. It felt like a miracle had happened.
What are you trying to achieve with your drawings?
When I make an illustration for a book or an article, I try to imagine what the author’s intention is. I hope my images are not just cute, but also feel like a little story with a detailed setting for the characters. I care about shapes and lines very much, and challenge myself to make pleasant shapes or simple lines.
- Read the full interview with Kei in issue 29.
- Want to see more of Kei’s work? Take a look at her Instagram.
Text Jeanette Jonker Photography @keimoga on Instagram