Illustrator Spotlight: Akemi Ito

 

© Akemi Ito

Oct. 1, 2020

We are excited to feature illustrator Akemi Ito and her banner design for Kidlit411. We just announced the winning banners for 2021 - check them out.

Check out her gorgeous illustrations!


Tell us about yourself and how you came to illustrate for children.  


Hi Kidlit 411. I am very glad to be here. I am an illustrator (and a writer). Originally from Japan, and now living on the West Coast of Canada. Drawing has been always part of my life since I was a child. However, I had forgotten my passion of drawing for a while after moving to Canada as I was too busy adopting new life. Fortunately, there is a big art school in my current city, Vancouver BC, and I am glad that I came across their brochure at a subway station. That was how I found a picture book making course. I loved leaning the process of making a dummy, developing my own style, and meeting like-minded artists through the course. Since then, I have been carried away with the picture book world. I joined SCBWI in 2014, and keep leaning and pursuing my dream of becoming a picture book illustrator.


© Akemi Ito

   

 

Congrats on your banner design for Kidlit411. How did you approach this project?  


Thank you. I wanted this updated version looks more colorful and fun to give more cheerful impression.  


(Editor's note: Akemi originally provided this image to us via a past banner contest):

 

© Akemi Ito


Who or what inspires you?  


My inspirations are everything I see, feel and experience, and I take my imaginations with them. Sometimes the drawings develop into more in depth ideas and detailed images.  

© Akemi Ito

 

What projects are you working on these days?  


There are so many things I would like to do. Keep revising a dummy, creating new stories, and trying to make new images constantly.  


© Akemi Ito

 

What is your illustration process?  


Often, my inspirations come during a walk in the neighbourhood. This is one of photos of someone’s beautiful backyard I encountered.  





Then, the inspiration developed into more detailed ideas with my own characters.  This time was a little music concert in the backyard.  


© Akemi Ito  



© Akemi Ito


I work traditional with mixed media, mostly using ballpoint pens, ink, gouache, colored pencils and crayons.  


What is one thing most people don't know about you?  


When I need a meditation, I go to a cafĂ© for sketching with a big cup of coffee beside me.  


I like the feeling of that there are only me and the objects I am drawing, and everything else would disappear.  


© Akemi Ito


 

Where can people find you online?  


https://www.mypicturebookcafe.org/

https://www.instagram.com/mypicturebookcafe/

 

https://www.facebook.com/mypicturebookcafe/

 

© Akemi Ito


 


Akemi (Emma) Ito is a mixed media illustrator and picture book maker. Originally from Japan, and now living on the West Coast of Canada, her creative style and drawings are influenced by both Eastern and Western cultures. She has been an active member of SCBWI since 2014.
  

6 comments:

  1. Your pictures are lovely. I love the way your pictures are soft and whimsical . I really like the one where you used the house you came across while walking. Gorgeous art!

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    2. Thank you. I have a lovely neighbourhood, and love to imagine that there is always something happening on the other side of the world that I just cannot see it :)

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  2. Beautiful illustrations. I love the softness of the colors.

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  3. Gorgeous art! Would love to spend some time in that garden or bookstore ��

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