Masahito Leo Takeuchi is an illustrator who works from London. He specialises in playful illustrations which are inspired by nature, daydreams and the Japanese "#KawaiiCulture.”
Masahito, what’s your story? How did you get to where you are today? Well I was one of those quiet children with lots of imaginary friends (I do still actually keep in touch with most of them… TeeHee) and I enjoyed drawing – ALL OF THE TIME. So, when I found out that people could be a professional drawer my path became crystal clear. I went to an Arts Uni and once I’d graduated I decided to go to Japan for two years to become a ‘Tenrikyo Priest’. It might sound a little random, but I do believe that God created #Art to make this world a happier place. Anyway, after my spiritual training I returned to London and became an illustrator. My mission through illustration is to make the world a happy place.
Which is your favorite character illustration or GIF that you ever created? HMmmm… Tricky… I can’t really choose, but if I absolutely had to, I suppose I would pick the “Panda Office”. It just randomly popped into my head one day and I just had to draw it. That’s the best thing about illustration – Your ideas become manifest.
What did you want to be when you were 10 years old? I have always wanted to be an artist however I did want to write too. One day I might re-visit the idea of creating a collection of children’s books.
Which UNI did you go to and what did you study? I Studied at Central Saint Martins. Graphic Design specializing in illustration.
What’s the proudest moment of your career to date? Well, at one of my exhibitions, I noticed a little girl peering intensely at one of my artworks. When she turned away, I saw that her face was blooming with a huge smile. A priceless moment.
Which project has been your career highlight? My ‘Panda Project’ has been my favourite but I am also proud of the ‘Bunny’. It represent’s the first physical print that I ever sold!
How do you promote yourself? I’m still a little bit introverted so I’m not too good at the old self-promotion… Will you do it for me? I occasionally take part in exhibitions but I also just show people my work directly whenever I get the chance to.
So, do you love or loathe social media? I find it interesting. I enjoy the random interactions and I love to receive feedback from people I would not have met otherwise.
Which tools do you use to create stuff? I use my #WacomTablet religiously and #AdobeIllustrator for my final file finish. I always start with a pencil sketch though. I love painting and drawing with super-fat-chunky-markers.
Where do you find inspiration? I love searching for images. I have a scrapbook and recently joined Pinterest too. I archive every doodle I create as I often return to older characters and re-develop them. I am a #DayDreamBeliever.
What do you spread on your toast in the morning? I actually like my toast plain. It’s probably why I am so skinny…