Mar 07, 2017
Mateusz Urbanowicz aka. Matto, is a very talented illustrator and digital designer. Born and raised in Silesia, Poland, Matto currently lives in Tokyo. The artist has a lot of beautiful artworks on his portfolio. But one series of illustrations he created really caught my attention. Tokyo Storefront series is a collection of exquisite watercolor pieces showcasing Tokyo shops. What is so unique about it is that Matto turns the busy life of Tokyo into delicate illustrations. You are almost transported to a parallel Tokyo where everything is calm and quiet. Subtle lines and colors give life to storefronts the artist encountered in some of his explorations around the city. Forget the concrete jungle and all of the gray colors you see in Tokyo and enjoy some beautiful watercolor storefronts.
I have been to Tokyo in 2013 and I loved everything about it. And Matto is totally right, the small shops in super old buildings will grab your attention. His idea of illustrating these unique storefronts is amazing. The watercolor give them a nice delicate touch. Check out his pieces and get ready to see some Tokyo gems. Make sure to visit his websites to see some making-of videos of his pieces. Enjoy!
Born and raised in Silesia, Poland. Studied electronic engineering until found out that making art can be more than a weird hobby. Finished Computer Graphics at Polish Japanese Institute of Information Technology, and thanks to a Japanese government scholarship, moved to Japan to study animation and comics. Graduated with honors from Kobe Design University with a short animated movie "Right Places." From 2013 started working as a backgrounds artist and animation creator for Comix Wave Films animation studio in Tokyo. Apart from professional work, keeps creating illustration series, paintings, comics, videos and other personal works.
Left: Yamane meat shop from Nippori district / Right: Tsuruya (former) tailors, now retro variety shop from Jinbōchō district
Kobayashi hair salon from Sanbanchyo district
When I moved to Tokyo, more than 3 years ago I was really surprised that upon my walks I encountered so many shops still in business in really old buildings. Differently to Kobe, where the earthquake wiped out a lot of these old downtown houses and shops, in Tokyo they still survive. I chose the best reference pictures from the ones I took during my explorations and decided to make an illustration series of old Tokyo storefronts.
Technical stuff for the series: Medium: HOLBEIN Waterford white 300g/m cotton paper; Lines: COPIC Multiliner SP 0.7mm; Colours: Winsor and Newton, Schmincke custom watercolors set
Left: Chinese food restaurant from around the Takadanobaba district / Right: Miyake bicycle shop based on shops from Kagurazaka and Kichijyouji
Left: Isetatsu traditional color woodblock print store from Yanaka district / Right: Ootoya meat shop from Koujimachi district
Left: Nakashimaya Japanese sake shop from Mejiro district / Right: Kitchen Kuku restaurant from Kichijyouji district
Noike sushi restaurant from Yanaka district