Written for Little Burgundy Magazine, published in September 2008. Online version can be found at Little Burgundy Shoes.
Chika Ando the Kooky Toonist
Ando Chika’s illustrations are intimate, funny and imaginative. This young Japanese artist moved to Calgary in 2002 and has since been creating situations in her head which come out in images of cartoonish people, sparse words and endless sensitivity, all in delicate watercolors.rel=”prettyPhoto
Tell me a bit about your background. What was growing up in Japan like? How did you end up in Alberta?
It just happened. My aunt’s friend lives in Calgary and I visited her a few years ago and liked it. I came as a high school exchange student and found ACAD (Alberta College of Art and Design).
What would you say are the main inspirations for your work?
I am pretty emotional and my work is very personal. I pick things that seem to be really normal and ordinary but I find something weird about them. I draw and write my ideas down into sketchbooks.
What should your audience know?
That my English is not perfect and I like it that way! People get my message that way. Don’t try to correct it! I have a struggle with expressing what I see. Also, I am losing my Japanese. Pictures come more clearly, it’s my translation.
Besides art, what are your passions?
Traveling. The main thing is trying to make art as a full-time job. I really want to start a business, create my own brand, specifically clothes. I want to sell my illustrations anywhere and turn them into products, like shoes.
Where’s your favorite place to go to relax and get away from it all?
My bed, for sure. I love sleeping. I love to hang out with my friends but I also love being alone. This weekend, I’m going camping with my friends. It’s gonna be really awesome, gonna have some beers. Sweet!