With distorted bodies, crossed eyes and friendly expressions, Miroco Machiko’s portfolio of animal illustrations is exactly the kind of zoo we can get behind. The Osaka-born, Tokyo-based artist and illustrator has an incredible knack for capturing the magic of the animal kingdom, her expressive brushstrokes and rainbow palette transforming even the most mundane creatures – moths for example – into glorious beasts.
Scrolling through Miroco’s Instagram, she’s clearly prolific, producing a new painting every few days. Sometimes full of colour and pattern and at others minimal and more precise, Miroco’s illustrations demonstrate expert characterisation that seems to both capture the essence of an animal and also present it entirely new.
It’s unsurprising given Miroco’s naive style that she has been commissioned to illustrate numerous children’s books in Japan, as well as published several of her own. Tetsuzō Wane is a picture book published by Bronze Shinsha about her late cat Tetsuzō, which helped her overcome her grief when the little chap passed away. Ōkami ga Tobu Hi (translated as The Day the Wolf Flies) is a more upbeat stroll through the animal kingdom, with Miroco’s full-bleed paintings making for an immersive adventure. The book scooped up a Japan Picture Book. We can’t wait to see which creatures Miroco takes into her menagerie next.
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