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The charm of the gentle emptiness of illustrator Kae Tanaka’s works

2023.11.27

#ART

A circle of friends connected by gut touch! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.

On September 25, illustrator Kae Tanaka will appear. We asked her about her passion for the characters she draws, the artists who have influenced her, and the appeal of professional wrestling, which she has recently become addicted to.

Ever since I was a little girl, various genres of drawings have always been by my side.

Celeina (MC): First up for the week is this person recommended by the program. She is illustrator Kae Tanaka. Please give her a hand.

Tanaka: Nice to meet you, my name is Kae Tanaka.

Takano (MC): Kae has uploaded many illustrations on her SNS, so I would like to encourage everyone to check out her SNS. Currently, she has 38,000 followers on Instagram and 26,000 followers on X (formerly Twitter). And I hear that you have many followers not only in Japan but also overseas.

Tanaka: That’s right. I used to be in a Netflix show called “Queer Eye,” and I also produce soft vinyls, so I often get followed by people overseas through that.

Celeina: I see. Here is a brief profile of Kae Tanaka: Born in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture in 1995, she graduated from Tama Art University’s Department of Information Design, Media Arts Course in 2017. After graduation, she started her artist activities while working as a company employee. Recently, you have collaborated with Nogizaka46 and MomokogumiCompany, as well as Onitsuka Tiger, BEAMS, New Japan Pro Wrestling, El Desperado, and designed the TV show “Bakusho Hit Parade 2023,” which is a really diverse genre. The first thing I noticed is that we are the same age.

Tanaka: We are the same age.

Takano: That’s nice, like we are a little closer just by being the same age.

Tanaka: Like we share the same culture that we have walked through.

Celeina: I think we are close.

Takano: You have collaborated with various genres, and Kae’s illustrations are really wonderful.

Celeina: They are cute, aren’t they?

Tanaka: Thank you very much.

Takano: Moreover, they have something more than just cute and cuddly. I feel a gentle sense of emptiness.

Tanaka: That’s a nice word.

Takano: There are many elements in this song, so I think it will be easier to understand if you look at the illustrations on Kae’s SNS while listening to this radio show.

Celeina: I was wondering, looking at your illustrations, what kind of culture were you exposed to in your family?

Tanaka: When I was in kindergarten, my parents drew pictures of my favorite characters on my slippers and my mother drew picture books. My mother drew picture books. In that way, I have always been involved with drawing, and I always felt that I was always around. Around junior high school, I became more of an otaku and came into contact with painting in a different way, but I feel that I have always been involved with it.

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