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

Hungarian artist Liliána Pálfai explores a femininity she sees as innate to every woman through her illustrations. By employing vibrant colors and fairy-like aesthetics, this aspect is transposed on digital paper to invoke spiritual and ethereal atmospheres. Read today’s interview to learn about her creative approach, technique, and the border between art and therapy.
Zsófi Edőcs’s illustrations and animations explore a care-free, joyous realm of vivid colors and playful shapes, accompanied by her analog synthesizer. When exploring the medium of film however, the Hungarian artist’s works delve into the anxieties of adulting, yet retain her signature humorous touch.
“We always wanted a place to hide. To inhabit islands with their own rules, where we can die and be reborn.” Today’s feature by Bára Čápová explores the parallels between Deleuze’s utopia of desert islands and contemporary liminal space aesthetics. Her meditation is accompanied by illustrations by Andrea Sklepek Šafaříková, underscoring the mysterious atmosphere of once-crowded, now-empty environments.
There are only two scenarios for the future. In his philosophical essay, Becoming a Nuclear Ghost (Notes on the Non-Existence of Utopia), on the basis of postapocalyptic pop-culture visions, Martin Charvát constructs the outermost possibilities of social existence. Illustrated by Dominik Turan.