There are two sides to Tokyo-based illustrator Okamura Yuta’s portfolio. One shows highly detailed monochrome botanical drawings and landscapes, shows his jaw-dropping skill with a brush and ink. The other, shown here, demonstrates his knack for character creation.
Sitting somewhere between Georges Remi and Joan Cornellà, Okamura’s characters are studies in effortless charisma. Used in commissions for school textbooks, property catalogues, business manuals, event posters and restaurant menus, as well as comics and books, the people show expression and gesture with the slightest marks of the illustrator’s brush.
In one collection of drawings, which Okamura simply annotates was made for a “learning and school discovery book,” he depicts characters in various professions, using brush and ink lines and a simple palette of blue and pink. Each person is beautifully drawn with his cute cartoonish flair, with commas for eyes. In another, tourists are shown seeing the sites of Japan, with the backgrounds drawn as simple red line drawings, putting focus on the characters in the foreground.
Though only in his late 20s, the illustrator displays a flair for creating charming personas on paper with a highly traditional medium.