How less can be more: Tatsuro Kiuchi

Written by Barbara Maliukaitė

Tatsuro Kiuchi is an artist born in Tokyo, Japan in 1966, that is well known for his first-​class skills in the “bloodthirsty” field of illus­tra­tion. Instead of tak­ing under­sized steps on the career’s lad­der, he took a short­cut and, let’s express the situ­ation in a cre­at­ive turn of phrase, util­ized a lift in order to be able to reach the fin­ish line faster. Some might feel cheated or even start protest­ing this injustice (him tak­ing a short­cut); non­ethe­less it is noth­ing but a nat­ural out­come, since T. Kiuchi was born with the tal­ent which later he enhanced before and after gradu­ation with dis­tinc­tion from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. So, the game of reach­ing for the top is fair and square – no tricks, and then auto­mat­ic­ally the protests that I’ve men­tioned are just ima­gin­ary friends of mine.


Tatsuro’s first pic­ture book The Lotus Seed (text by Sherry Garland /​Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) has sold more than 250,000 cop­ies world­wide, which pretty much describes on which floor the doors of the lift have already been opened for him. If you, dear read­ers, are lost with the num­bers (not all of us are good with maths) let me drop you few names instead of fig­ures… Does Royal Mail, Starbucks, New York Times or Washington Post ring a bell to you?

Yes, you are right, or another option would be that you are wrong, which would say a lot about your intel­lect capa­city! Tatsuro Kiuchi prob­ably no longer has a fear of heights, if you know what I mean. Well, not like he was ever scared or not like I have pro­fi­cient inform­a­tion to cover this sub­ject, most import­antly the point that I am hid­ing in this jungle of meta­phors is that he is doing very well.

Originally and sur­pris­ingly, the illus­trator was a gradu­ate in Biology at International Christian University in Tokyo, how­ever, he made the change to an art career. At the begin­ning of career as an illus­trator for the most part he illus­trated children’s books with sev­eral pub­lish­ers in US and Japan. Eventually, Tatsuro Kiuchi branched out into edit­or­ial work in magazines, advert­ising com­mis­sions and book jacket illus­tra­tions.

His work is a per­fect amal­gam­a­tion of simple and sparse col­ors. Without doubts there is some­thing heart­warm­ing about his work that just reaches out to the ones explor­ing it. That’s why his work has been recog­nized by Communication Arts, American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, Art Directors Club, 3×3, The Association of Illustrators Images and Design Week Award. Less being more at least works for T. Kiuchi’s case.

More of his works can be found here.

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