Everyone has a different way of tuning out from the bustle of daily life; Sawako Kabuki’s favourite outlet is drawing dozens of cheeky cheeks in every scene unimaginable. The animator and illustrator uses simple color contrasts and juxtaposed proportions for the process’ meditative effect, and this calmness resonates through the pieces despite the naughty subject matter.

“I am a freelance Animator and Illustrator. Though I mainly work on animations, which can be hard and tiring, I try to do some illustrative work once in a while. It’s a good change and sort of an escape from reality.”

“I love drawing a lot of butts, it really calms my mind. I call this “butt therapy”.

This has a meditation-like effect on me, and is also very good when I need to think deeply about something”, says Sawako.

“Sawako’s subject matter is generally constant; a natural progression from the cheeky and comical drawings of a few years ago, recent work has seen Sawako drawing butts on an even smaller scale than before. She remains unafraid of using copious amounts of nudity and sexual references to communicate her ideas, and she continues to tackle taboo subjects with her work.

“Sawako has been playing around with new colour palettes, using lots of reds and blues – a combination she says she has been fascinated with since she was a teenager: ‘Like bulls hate and attack the colour red, there are a few colour combinations that have always aroused me… like magenta and cyan, red and blue, yellow and blue, peach and sky-blue etc. I use them depending on my mood.’ These eye-catching colour palettes are frequently accompanied by the same naked, dark-haired, female figure that has populated Sawako’s illustrations for years. Only now, there’s more of her – a lot more.” says Sawako in the interview for It’s Nice That magazine

Did you like it?
Share it with your friends


Sawako Kabuki is an animated film director and illustrator based in Tokyo and New York. After studying graphic design at Tama Art University, she worked as an assistant director for a Japanese porn video company. She then began to study graphic design and animation again. Her films have been selected and awarded at festivals in more than 20 countries such as Annecy, Ottawa, Animafest Zagreb, Rotterdam, Sundance and SXSW. She is known for her distinct directorial personality in hand-drawn animation. Her film, Summer’s Puke is Winter’s Delight (2016) was the first Japanese student film to win an award at Annecy International Animation Film Festival.



Artist / Sawako Kabuki @sawako_kabuki

You may also like

“The bug has always been a reflection of the self”, and Riniifish’s illustrations and animations explore the unique beauty and mystical activities of these seemingly uniform creatures. In her works, the artist creates a mythology of the M7 Planet, which her bugs co-created and have since thrived on. Join us on Sugar Rush’s first sweet feature to these vivid worlds of wonder.
The fine-line illustrations of emerging artist Lorenzo Raimondo explore a realm where beings and flora intertwine into a unified whole. While some works depict more cognizable expressions, others showcase their creator’s masterful form in more abstract shapes, allowing everyone to connect their own dots. Read today’s interview to learn more about Lorenzo’s inspirations and plans for the future.
Voidbug blends the inspirations she finds in science, fantasy, and vintage encyclopedias to map the inhabitants of the fairy realms. Join the artist on this journey of playful discovery, and let the fae help you re-find the purity and joy that often go amiss in today’s world.
Olga Wieszczyk's intensely corporeal, borderline body-horror, and uncomfortably seductive illustrations feel like your eyes have been spellbound not to look away… or blink. In the interview, Olga shared with us her childhood fascination with the occult, dark Catholic themes, sombre Slavic folk tales and myths – and, clearly, manga.