Takao Nakagawa


Wakayama, Japan

I primarily work on picture books and illustrations, and I also run a small gallery in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. Recently, I've been enjoying holding creative workshops for local children at the gallery.

“I used to get scolded for my mischievous behavior.”

What did you get in trouble for as a kid? Anything adults told you to avoid that’s actually a big part of your life now?

I used to get scolded by adults for my mischievous behavior as a child. However, I think that mischievous spirit has contributed to expanding my imagination in my creative work.

Do you listen to music while you work? Anything special in your workspace that unleashes your creative juices?

I always have something playing in the background while I work. It could be music, traditional Japanese storytelling (rakugo) or even radio shows.

What do you do when you need a break?

I'm  not very good at recognizing when I need a break, but I often spend time playing with my children.

What was your favorite thing to draw as a child? Why did that lodge in your head?

I loved drawing manga and anime characters, especially from "Dragon Ball." I think it stuck with me because I used to imitate and draw those characters.

What’s your biggest art inspiration? This may not be visual. Like, anything!

Living in Wakayama Prefecture, which is surrounded by nature, I draw inspiration from the sea, mountains and other natural elements.