For this week’s casual Friday, I wanted to share with you a book from one of my favorite illustrators: Yoshitaka Amano.
“Looking at paintings by Yoshitaka Amano, I am reminded of the phrase “a fantasy machine for reclaiming times lost.” – Hiroshi Unno
Yoshitaka Amano is a Japanese illustrator, and has illustrated many works in the Japanese market. Examples of his more famous works include Vampire Hunter D and The Tail of the Genji. You may have seen his work in the US graphic novel The Sandman: The Dream Hunters or Elektra & Wolverine.
Amano has also served as character designer for much of the Final Fantasy series, which is how I came to know of his work. I have fond memories of examining his unique style of illustration, when I was first was introduced to his work in the instruction manual for Final Fantasy VI, back in 1994.
I remember thinking at first “this style looks rather sloppy,” like the drawings were incomplete, or not cleaned up for production. After studying the drawings and paintings for a bit long, I really liked the sense of character and depth captured by the style. Still very memorable for me.
Fast forward a few years, and I had a great opportunity to travel to Japan in 2000. While in Tokyo, I was able to visit a showing of his art.
The amazing detail and unique character of his work was even more impressive in person. The owner of the art gallery was surprised that I knew Amano’s works, and very kindly gave me several prints that I still have to this day. Before leaving the gallery, I purchased a beautiful (and somewhat expensive) art book, and I would like to share a few of my favorite pages below. (All images copyrights of the original owners – images are photos of select pages from the Japan only release of “a fantasia.”)
Who is your favorite artist?