The Tanabe Influence

One of my influences in art is Hiroshi Tanabe. In my advanced drawing class, I was encouraged to find inspiration for my drawing style that also connected with my area of study, which of course, was graphic design. When I saw Tanabe’s work, it attracted me in several different ways. It seemed like a marriage of art and drawing with graphic design. The simple flat shapes, patterns, bold colors and use of negative space all drew me to his work. My favorite Tanabe technique is the way he implies the presence of a shape without actually making the shape. For example, in the girl with the green wings and balloon, her head is only made up of the silhouette of her face, yet it suggests face-framing hair.

Hiroshi Tanabe’s work has been used in many editorials. He was mainly a fashion illustrator, but his work has found its way into ads for Clinique mascara and other products. To view some of his newer work go to

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