Japanese artist Yumi Kitagishi takes her inspiration from children’s picture books and the fairy-tale books of her childhood. Which makes sense, judging by the naive quality her illustrations and paintings have. Focusing mainly on cute animals and characters, her art is painted on both canvas and nails.
“I love drawing, and I draw on any blank space I can find,” said Kitagishi in an interview with Flow Magazine. “So one day, I decided my nails were just a good a canvas as any. When I started, I soon realized that it’s just like drawing on paper. I haven’t studied anything specific about nail art; I simply learn a little more each day through trial and error, and the details get better all the time.”
Based in Tokyo, she studied graphic design at Nihon Designer Gakuin Kyushu College and worked at a design studio in Fukuoka, before moving on to illustration. But it took her some time and practice to fully embrace her artistic style.
“I often draw characters like cats, owls, rabbits, girls with bobbed hair and men with mustaches,” she said. A self-taught illustrator, Kitagishi made an illustration every day for a whole year, sharing her progress on Instagram. She hasn’t looked back since.
Here are some highlights from her page: