Artist Spotlight: Chiaki Okada

Chiaki Okada
Chiaki Okada

Today we are celebrating the illustrations of Japanese artist Chiaki Okada. She has illustrated books by different authors around the world, including a book by her husband, Ko Okada, called Rabbit and Freckle (Кролик и Веснушка).

Chiaki Okada has a unique talent for capturing the innocent beauty of childhood home life as well as imaginative childhood themes. For instance, notice the sense of delicate comfort that Chiaki has created in “Tea Party Late at Night” where a girl, her teddy bear, and a polar bear all enjoy a quiet night around the table with tea:

Tea Party Late at Night

Or note the sweetness captured in this intimate cat and mouse scene:

Chiaki Okada

Chiaki Okada recently released a children’s picture book from Candlewick publishing, written by Karl Newson, called For All the Stars Across the Sky.  In For All the Stars Across the Sky, Luna’s mother recites a poem to Luna, asking her to tell her what her wishes are. 

For all the stars across the sky,
Big and little and bright,
Here’s a wish from me to you,
Before we say good night.

Luna answers “I wish that we could fly like birds!” and from that point on, they take wonderful adventures through magical places over land and under sea.

For All the Stars Across the Sky

Chiaki Okada has also illustrated for C’est toi le printemps?, Button Friend, I’m Still Small, Jour de Pluie, J’Attends Maman, Sport, Social Development and Peace, Baby Fox Beans and King, Viens, rejoins-nous!, and Le Portrait de Nounours, among others. If you can’t find a translation you’re familiar with, the drawings are captivating enough to enjoy these treasures.

She has also been been featured in numerous art exhibitions, including her “Light” exhibition for Tokyo Art Beat, featuring her illustrations from her book Akari (Light), published December 2014.

TAB describes the gallery as:

“Telling the story of a candle, in Akari Okada wanted to portray the flickering warmth of its protagonist.”


She has captivated my heart with her soft and intimate portraits, her wonderful world of animals, and sentimental home life illustrations, and I hope you enjoy her work too.  You can view much more of her artwork and children’s book illustrations on her website.

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