Please check out the very first manga I created, published by Shogakukan.

The story is written by a writer and personal friend, Yuuki Abe, about her own real life experiences having clinical depression.
Sounds heavy, but have no fear!
I've done my best to keep it all light and often even comical, so that the reader can learn about the terrible illness without getting sucked into the dark side, and even enjoy doing so.

If you can read Japanese, or are interested in taking this opportunity to learn the wonderful language, please have a look!!
Amazon page here.

And for those of you fabulous people who have actually taken the time to read it, do let me know what you think!!


Japanese Lounge Night @ the Pink Cow

Painted with Keiko at a monthly event called the Japanese Lounge Night at the Pink Cow, organized by an elegant shamisen player, Kumiya Fujimoto. Kumiya is a passionate shamisen teacher who wants all, both Japanese and foreigners, to learn more about the exciting world of traditional Japanese music.

Played at the event were the shakuhachi, koto, shamisen, and even a not-so-Japanese instrument, the didgeridoo, which accompanied along with the shakuhachi a cool UK rapper, Leigh. The quality of the players was way beyond anything I had expected and the music was just plain amazing. I encourage anyone and everyone to go and experience it for themselves! JLN is held every month at the Pink Cow. To find out when, go here.

These images were taken by a talented photographer, Shane Wadleigh. Check out more shots taken at the event by Shane here!

ピンクカウの「ジャパニーズ・ラウンジ・ナイト」というイベントで描かせてもらいました。オーガナイザーの久美弥さんはとても素敵な三味線奏者で、一人でも多くの人に日本の古典音楽を知ってもらおうと活躍している方です。このイベントでは、三味線だけでなく、尺八、お琴、三線(さんしん)ともりだくさん。その他にディジュリ ドゥやラッパーも登場!音楽のレベルも、私の期待を大きく上回り、ハンパなかったです。ライブペインティングにも最適だったし、日本の音楽ってこんなに素敵だったんだ、と思い知らされました!

写真はShane Wadleighさんが撮ってくれました。他の写真はこちら


Sia's jam session @ Gokai


あ る日の深夜、原宿の「バー誤解」へ、イラン人の友人で、ネイというたて笛を吹き、すてきなペルシャ音楽を奏でるシーアとスペイン人のバンスーリ奏者のカル ロスさんたちのジャムセッションを聴きに行きました。Mysticという言葉がぴったりの、どこだかわからないけど居心地のよい別世界へ連れて行ってくれ る、いつまででも聴いていたいような、そんなセッションでした。

A little while back, I started bringing my sketchbook and crayons whenever I went to hear live music. I love letting my mind and hand go to simply let the music move me to choose the colors and shapes I put on paper. I never know what I would end up with and it's exciting to find out what kind of artwork the day's music would create through me.

This is one of the images I came away with one late night at Bar Gokai, where my Iranian friend and ney player Sia played in a jam session with, among others, Carlos, a Spanish bansuri player, who was visiting Japan and whose gig I had just attended hours earlier. What a special night! Sinking into one of the big cushions in this dark, ambient hideaway bar, listening to nonstop mystical sounds carrying you to another dimension.


Come by!


Will be paining at Tony's show again.
His music is simply amazing. You won't be disappointed, I promise you!


Umi by KAZZ



A wonderful wonderful musician, a guitarist and djembe player named KAZZ, whose music I heard for the first time at a bar named 73 in Nishi-azabu on July 3rd and fell instantly in love with, gave me a copy of his album Glassy when I saw him again performing as a guest at Hiro's gig.

I don't think KAZZ was expecting me to get as excited as I did! hee.
Most of his songs are inspired by the ocean, to which he lives very close in a nice beach town called Hayama.
I painted this while listening to the first song on the album called Umi, which means (surprise!) "ocean."


Electric Soup EXperiMENTAL music night @ Gamuso

以前、個展をやらせてもらった阿佐ヶ谷のお店「我無双」のイベントでのライブペインティング。今回はケイコと私とブッチャーさんの3人コラボ!いつものかっこいいモノクロのポートレートをライブペイント(ドローイング?)すると同時に、私たちと一緒にカラフルに色をのせてくれました♪ 今回のイベントでは4組ほどのグループが様々な音楽を披露。なかでもRajasthanというギタリストとタンバリン&ボーカルの2人組みがよかった!2つだけの楽器なのに、こんなにも盛り上がれるのかー!というぐらい、ご機嫌でした!写真はうわさのブッチャーさん。(ケイコはどこにいたのー!?)

Our live painter friend whom everyone calls "The Butcher" (apparently he used to be quite hefty as a little kid and had a striking resemblance to Abdullah The Butcher if you can believe it--that's him in the photo!) joined us for another live painting gig, this time at Gamuso - Gallery Chroma in Asagaya. A very eclectic mix of musicians took to the stage--quite an interesting experience. My favorite group was Rajasthan. The name doesn't necessarily reflect the kind of music they play, but their stuff was fun and upbeat--perfect for painting to. Thanks Herman for inviting us! Look forward to going back!


Tony Guppy Special @ KAMOME


Tony is a very talented steelpan player from Trinidad and Tobago. I met him over a year ago and we had a happy reunion at Blues Alley. Keiko and I were thrilled to be invited not only to hear his music, but also to paint to it!
It wasn't until we were all set up, the show had started and we were about to paint that we realized I had forgotten all my paint brushes! Eek! We quickly decided that tonight, we were meant to paint with our fingers, so that's what we did :)
There was another amazing steelpan player besides Tony, this one a Japanese fellow. Them and the rest of the guys on stage totally brought the house down with their groovy stuff. Thanks so much for such a fun night, Tony!
Tony has invited us back to do it again, this time at B-Flat in Akasaka, in November.


HIRO again @ Blues Alley Tokyo

Had another chance to paint to Hiro's music, this time with Keiko. Hiro has created new songs (Port is my favorite) and it was such a treat to get to hear them again! Painting alone is great fun, but doing it with a partner adds a different kind of energy and I love finding out what comes out of it. Many more guests tonight including Tony Guppy, TOKU, and Shanti. The core quartet was once again amazing and I got a bit carried away with the paint. I hope the owner of Blues Alley doesn't notice the splashes (tiny--really!) I got on their curtain!



Motion Blue Yokohama

西藤大信さんがHiro Jazz Tourで横浜のモーションブルーでライブ。いつもながらすばらしいミュージシャンのグループで、しかもゲストにKAZZさん!とてもハッピーな気持ちでステージ横で描かせていただきました。ステージの反対側にはブッチャーさん!再会できてうれしかった~。

Painted at an awesome gig by Hironobu Saito and his crew, on their annual Hiro Jazz Tour, at Motion Blue Yokohama. I had promised Hiro that I would only paint during the first set and listen during the second, but I couldn't stop! Ended up painting till the very last song. Thanks for the great music as always, Hiro!

Steve's groovy music

Had the honor of painting to the music of an awesome guitarist Steve Fell, who happens to be my best friend's husband :) and his side-kick Haru-san. Was great to see you guys back in Tokyo!



Brian Eno on paper

My painting partner Keiko and I painted to Brian Eno. Love his stuff!


Live painting on the beach, July 28th

Painted at Current, a beach house in Kamakura while listening to beautiful music by beautiful people including Yukalicious, KAZZ, Hironobu Saito, Keison and Shanti against the backdrop of the sound of breaking waves. The added *HUGE* bonus was a chance to see Denjiro Sato's awe-inspiring surf video MANA for the second time! What a treat!! 

Check out Shanti's blog about the event here. (Sorry it's in Japanese but you can view photos!)

鎌倉由比ガ浜の海の家、『カレント』でライブペインティングをさせていただきました。ユカリシャス、KAZZ、西藤大信、Keison、シャンティと、人柄も音楽もとても素敵なミュージシャンたちの音楽を聴きながら、波の音を聴きながら。。 そして 佐藤傅次郎さんの映像、MANAをまた観ることができたのが、この上なく嬉しかったです!!(そしてまた観たい) ブッチャーさん、ありがとうっ!



Another froggie


Emigon loves reptiles. Frogs, geckos and turtles, especially.
She used to have a turtle named Wasabi. Did you know that turtles yawn and sneeze? They're so adorable when they do.



At least that's what Emigon says this bird is. She likes it because it's blue.


A snail came for a visit

Emigon loves snails, too! She likes to collect them and line them up along the handle bars of her bicycle. She gets a kick out of touching their eyeballs and watching them pull back and stick back out again. She found a teeny-tiny baby snail last night in the bathroom. Its house was the size of a sesame seed. She couldn't figure out how it kept from falling as it crawled down the wall. She let the snail climb up onto her toothbrush and took it outside where it could safely hang out on a neighbor's plant.



Emigon loves frogs. She doesn't understand why some people don't like them or are even scared of them. She used to find lots of them in her yard when she lived in Kugenuma.


Emigon's work --butterfly

I've decided to hire another inner artist. Her name is Emigon. She's about 8 years old. She likes to draw bugs and animals. I'll be showing a series of her work for a while :)


Another Thursday afternoon

Taking a break from work to doodle.


Thursday in Asakusa

This is how I was feeling that day.


Drum Art Part Two

Went to do another round of drum art, this time with my friend Kei who's studying to become an art therapist. What fun. In contrast to the last time, where I sat literally inches away from the drum as it was being played, I sat a few seats away this time. It think the difference shows in the images-- bit calmer and less wild, don't you agree?
There were a few more participants this time and the energy in the room during the 10 or so minutes of work was pretty intense. Very exciting.



Timid girls


Went to another night of Dr. Sketchy's. These are a couple of the five-minute sketches. The models, who curiously call themselves the Shoshins (shoshin means "timid" in Japanese), are a couple of odd-ball pantomiming maids who do seem a bit shy but are courageous enough to get up there and share their eccentric routines. Great fun!




I felt like a kid making this card for my dad.




ニュージャージーに住む、エイミーという素敵な名前!笑 の高校時代からの友人がたまに、いろんなプレゼントをこちょこちょとたくさんつめた小包を送ってくれます。一つ一つ色紙で包んでいて、いつもわくわくしながら大切に開けるの。その中に入っていた小さな色鉛筆のセットを使いました。

Went to my favorite spot in all of Tokyo. Such a peaceful and welcoming place. I go there every time I feel my mind has overspun from excessive, needless thoughts and I need to recenter and recharge.
These guys, I swear, were beckoning me to come draw them.
I had brought with me a set of 12 kid-sized colored pencils I just received in a lovely care-package from an even lovelier high school friend Amy (with a super-lovely name! hee) in New Jersey.


I let my paint brush do the work and this is what bloomed.




A lovely sign of spring ♪


Drum art





Went to a super fun gig at Patika Village, a cool basement cafe with an African look and flavor, in Koenji. Holding bright-colored oil pastels, we let go of expectations and simply allowed our hands to move to the groovy beat of live djembe drum played by the amazing "village head" (i.e. cafe owner) Aki-san.

I got so into it, I couldn't even get myself to stop to take a breather, and after it was over I felt so high it was as if I'd done a full workout. Can't wait to do it again!




In a sunny mood today, thank goodness. I took the back cover of a catalogue just because I liked its color, covered it with gesso and painted over it. I love using the combination of blue and orange.


Brown Rice Cafe


Saijo-san is a friend I see every once in a long while. This time he'd lost quite a lot of weight, he looked almost like a different person.



That's how I felt today. It must have been the rain. Or that's almost a full moon. Or the old hag that likes to disguise herself as a little birdie on my shoulder and tell me that butterflies are silly.



live show


Went to Earth Day Tokyo on Sunday. Unlike any of the past years, the place was so packed you could hardly see your way around. So we just plopped ourselves down in front of the main stage and listened to music all day. Got lots of sunshine! A guy in front of me was blocking my view so I decided draw him.



Been trying out a watercolor paint set I'd wanted for a long time and received as a Christmas present. I love the beautiful saturated colors.



green pants

This bird has been appearing in many of my drawings lately. Inspired by the wooden bird Cherry Typhoon, a voluptuous burlesque dancer who models at Dr. Sketchy's events, was holding during her routine as a Hawaiian hula girl.



The last of a beautiful bouquet displayed at Genesis Art Lounge. Something about the weary look of a half-dried flower I find very appealing.



A new friend Yuko came to our Sunday hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen wearing a cool, black-and-red striped kimono.