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Release | みふねたまき(Tamaki Mifune)

Enjoy Hokkaido “coloring for adults” produced by the traveling painter Katsumi Imai

はじめての塗り絵・北海道の旅 イマイカツミ

The recent “coloring for adults” boom continues, and I found a book with “Hokkaido” in the title. The title is “Coloring for beginners thought for adults, the journey in Hokkaido”. (Illustration and text by Katsumi Imai, published from Ikada-Sha)  The illustrations and texts are by Katsumi Imai; a painter lives in Furano. The soft feeling watercolor painting is very calm, and I could feel the smell of the sun. Well, who is Imai, the author of the book? I visited Imai to Furano, the center of Hokkaido. 


The scenery of Hokkaido appears in the book, flower field in Biei, Otaru Canal, and Garinko ice-breaker

By the way, did you know that “coloring for adults” is a huge boom that there are shelves dedicated in bookstores? In France, where the beginning of this boom was, it is called “coloriage”. It became popular as anti-stress for busy women. The characteristic is its neat and beautiful designs such as botanical print. Putting colors on those illustrations, using color pencils or color pens makes mindless. Finishing colorful piece of illustration makes people away from daily lives and frees from stress. It does not only stimulates creativeness, but also people can expect therapy effects.  

So this is the summary of the situation around coloring. Let’s take a look at the book “Coloring for beginners thought for adults, the journey in Hokkaido”. There are 12 illustration pieces by Imai, put together with example works. “Sunflower Field in Hokuryu” depicts beautiful layers of yellow colors, “Old Sumitomo Pombetsu Coal Mine”, “The summer scenery of hills in Biei”, etc. All the illustrations are drawn by Imai at the exact place. Is that the reason? The example works tell us the atmosphere of the season, too. 

はじめての塗り絵・北海道の旅・イマイカツミ 北竜ひまわりの里▲“Sunflower Field in Hokuryu (difficulty level 2)”, which is also on the book cover. * I put some colors on the illustration above. 

はじめての塗り絵・北海道の旅・イマイカツミ 札幌時計台▲“Sapporo Clock Tower” (difficulty level 3) Imai told me that he had not painted too many typical sightseeing sites. In the book, there are also Otaru Canal and drift ice seen from Garinko icebreaker which are specially drawn for this book. 

はじめての塗り絵・北海道の旅・イマイカツミ ポストカードサイズ▲The coloring piece in the size of a postcard. If you did well, put stamps and send it to your friends. 

Imai’s work use watercolors but the book introduce watercolor pencils and color pens as more casual materials. There are explanations about the tips to color for both color pencils and watercolors, so as the book title is, I feel like beginners can enjoy this book, too. Similarly, I thought coloring these dense illustrations are very difficult at first, but I discovered coloring is so much fun and I concentrated very hard for a while. I experienced why this boom is huge. 


Katsumi Imai keeps drawing Hokkaido, living in Furano

富良野在住探訪画家イマイカツミさん▲Katsumi Imai with an adorable smile. He was a very calm man, just like his painting work, felt like he has some healing effects. 

Let me introduce Katsumi Imai, the author of the book.
Imai was born in Osaka in 1975 and grew up in Yokohama. His major in college was literature. Through the tremendous amount of books he read, he touched to the passions of writers, painters, etc., who dedicate their lives to create something. He was a member of an art club in the college and started to draw. He got a job in publication company but he quit the job in one year to dedicate his full time in drawing. This was also his way to express determination to “live as a painter”. 

It was 2001 when he came to Hokkaido. He stayed in Furano as a farming helper and started his life as a painter. After that, he went to a painting round-the-world trip in 2003. He spent ten months to travel Europe, Middle-East, and Asia. When he was painting and traveling in different cities of the world, the scenery of Furano came up to his mind as he thought about going back to Japan. “I want to draw scenery in Furano more”, this was the only thing he thought when he came back to Furano. 

富良野在住探訪画家イマイカツミさん 画材▲Imai uses these watercolor paints and pencils all the time. Paints are “Winsor &Newton” and brushes are “Raphael”. Both of the materials are parts of his body. They are very precious. 

富良野在住探訪画家イマイカツミさん 原画▲Imai visits places where came up to his mind and draw what he really wants. He spends four hours only for sketching and another four hours for coloring.


Seeking for new expressions

イマイカツミ探訪画集▲“Book of travel paintings, Katsumi Imai“ series published by Jurou-Sha. There are four books; “Lily in the Valley Yubari” “The Earth Song Furano” “Stations in Hokkaido (book 1 and 2)”.

14 years since he moved to Furano. He helps to farm in summer and travels around places to draw. “It was my eighth year as a painter when I held my first exhibition and tenth year when I published my first book of painting. So I have a pretty slow career as a painter.” He has a series of “Furano Farming Calendar” in Hokkaido Shimbun (newspaper) Furano Edition. Imai loves Ukiyo-e work of Hiroshige and got inspired to seek for new expressions to draw farming. He will start another series in Hokkaido Shimbun afternoon edition about drawings in Ohenro (pilgrimage journey) in Shikoku region. We can’t wait to see his new series! 

Publishing a coloring book was also a new challenge for Imai.
“I never knew that coloring was such a boom so I was surprised to hear about publishing this book. However, as I thought about it, my drawings have neat lines and color as the real scenery, so they were perfect as coloring materials.” He accepted the offer. He chose pieces which suit for coloring from this past works, added some, and drew new pieces of sightseeing sites for this book. There are difficulty level and advice from Imai written on each piece. 

“I also wrote this in the book, but I want people to consider my work as an example. I want them to enjoy coloring with colors and equipment they like and would be happy if this book becomes an occasion to feel delights to draw.” 
As the season and time changes, colors in the scenery will change even if it is the same place. After you finish enjoying traveling in Hokkaido with coloring, why don’t you actually visit Hokkaido to see the real scenery with your book? 
  • Enjoy Hokkaido “coloring for adults” produced by the traveling painter Katsumi Imai