Kaori Wakamatsu is a Japanese Illustrator whose work spans from design goods to magazines, to advertising work. I came across her work a number of years ago in the form of postcards sold in stationary stores, and I'm happy to report she now has an art book dedicated to her work.
What is instantly recognizable about Wakamatsu's work is her absolutely stunning use of pattern. Her patterns tend to be very flat and graphic, and are contrasted with form and layering that makes the shapes appear more dimensional. This is most notable in the fabrics of her character's costumes.
This one is particularly lovely, as she uses the pattern to create a dream-like atmosphere.
Wakamatsu is also fantastic at creating series, and in fact, most of her work is part of one series or another. Sometimes joined together by a common theme, such as card suits or days of the week, these series usually have similar palettes, motifs, and/or patterns in each image that makes them instantly recognizable as a set.
Wakamatsu tends to be very clever about her use of black. A strong color, she still manages to make all of her images light and airy feeling, with a tinge of nostalgia.
Similar to Hyung Tae Kim, her character's faces have little dissimilarity between each other. Instead, everything is expressed in the color palette and some fantastic costume design.
The end of the book also contains a couple of pages of sketches of the final work presented throughout the rest of the book. Sketches of this nature tend to be very common, especially among artists who work predominately in Illustrator.
If you look under the book jacket, you get to see a sketch of the image on the cover.
Pros: This is a sturdy book, with great binding. The paper is matte and thick, and a little textured, which suits Wakamatsu's more subdued palate. There is also a lot of work, and no text.
Cons: The import cost makes it expensive. Still, I would say it's totally worth it.
How to Buy: I bought mine directly at a Kinokuniya Bookstore, but this book can be found at a number of websites such as Otaku.com Because this book is being imported from Japan, it is a little more expensive, but it's popularity is also making it cheaper!
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