artist Maiko Kobayashi in her studio

Maiko Kobayashi

A window into emotions

“To me, the creatures I invent are essential to realise what I want to do in the field of expression. They would grow in proportion as I explore my interests.”

Child-like creatures portray emotional depths in Maiko Kobayashi’s paintings. Each illustration begins with a layer of gesso and acrylic on Japanese Washi paper or canvas. After drawing her characters with charcoal, she blends the sketch with her hands. Kobayashi then paints over with another, simple monochrome background. She redraws the figures repeatedly. With each layer, the paintings gain mat...

Read more
Sign up for all things Maiko Kobayashi, including new collaborations and collecting opportunities.

Maiko Kobayashi (she/her) was born in Yokohama-City, Japan, in 1977. She currently lives and works in Tokyo.

Did you know?

While living in the UK, Maiko Kobayashi began sketching her first creatures on small pieces of newspaper. These early drawings still hang in her studio today.


In 2008, Kobayashi’s graduation work was bought by Northumbria University in Newcastle, England, where she studied for her masters.

Collaborations with Maiko Kobayashi

Avant Arte and Maiko Kobayashi have one upcoming collaboration.