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Biography

Below: A few of the commissioned
assignments
from my illustrator days:



National Geographic Society


Science Digest: Sigmund Freud


TV Guide Magazine


Time Magazine


Kinuko and Wolfgang III 02/2006

"Kinuko Craft is a Renaissance woman. By this I mean not that she paints like the Renaissance painters, but that she is an artist for all seasons, for all kinds of subjects, and in all kinds of styles. If you will survey her works, you will find little duplication in form, color or texture. She fits herself to her subject with charming ease and yet leaves herself free to remain herself. There is an air about all of her illustrations of one who is a true connoisseur of art, wide-ranging through all the countries of the world. One cannot help but think how delightful it would be to walk into gallery of her kaleidoscopic talents.”

(With thanks to Ray Bradbury)
“With her broad range of work and international acclaim, there is no further explanation required about Kinuko Y. Craft as an artist. In spite of the many awards and honors bestowed upon her, we must respect most of all, her steadfast attitude and the desire which drives her to continue to follow her artistic dreams.”

Shinichi Doi, Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Last updated January 26, 2010
  • Kinuko Y. Craft is one of the most widely respected and well known fantasy artists in the United States today. She considers herself a story teller. Her past commissions have included paintings for the book covers of many well known fantasy authors, opera posters, fairy tale books and covers for many national magazines. During her career she has become known for meticulous attention to detail, a passionate love of fine art and a deep knowledge of art history. Kinuko Y. Craft considers her self a story teller. Her fairy tale books are currently distributed in the USA, other English language countries, Europe, Greece, China and Korea. Her art is also widely licensed on calendars, posters, greeting cards and other consumer goods. Her work has been widely exhibited and is now in private collections in New York City, Atlanta GA, Santa Barbara CA, Dallas TX, Connecticut, San Francisco CA, Italy, Japan and Greece. It can also be found public collections at The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian, The Cornish Colony Museum in Windsor, VT, The Museum of American Illustration in New York City, The National Geographic Society and other corporate collections. .
                Ms. Craft is a graduate, BFA 1962, of The Kanazawa Municipal College of Fine and Industrial Art (known in Japan as The Kanazawa Bidai). She was born in Japan and came to the United States in the early sixties where she continued studies in design and illustration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a year and a half.  Subsequently, she worked for several years in well known Chicago art studios. By the end of the decade her work was in wide demand and she had begun her long and successful career as a free-lance illustrator. For most of this time she worked in editorial and advertising markets where her work regularly appeared in national magazines and newspapers. Since the mid 1990’s, she has concentrated on children's picture books, fantasy book jackets and poster designs.Her original work and fine art prints are currently represented by Borsini-Burr Gallery in Montara, CA . Kinuko Craft's work has been recognized repeatedly by professional art and design publications, competitions and shows, garnering numerous awards over the years. To name a few highlights:
Articles:
  • Communication Arts Magazine October 1981
  • Featured artist in Step-By-Step Graphics Magazine
  • Idea Magazine (Japan) Seibundo Shinkosha 1989
  • Illustration Magazine (Japan) Genkosha, #42/October 1989
  • Cover painting for the American Illustration Annual
  • Realms of Fantasy Magazine, 1999
  • Artist Interviews 2003: http://www.artistinterviews.com/art/kinukoycraft.htm
  • Locus Magazine, August 2002: http://www.locusmag.com/2002/Issue08/Craft.html
     
  • Collections:
    Paintings in the permanent collections of:
        
  • The National Geographic Society
  • The National Portrait Gallery at The Smithsonian
  • The Cornish Colony Museum in Windsor, VT
  • The Museum of American Illustration, New York City
  • Other corporate collections.
  • Private collections (to list a few) in New York City; Plainfield, VT; Atlanta, GA; San Francisco; Dallas, TX; Japan and Greece.
     
    Medals and awards: Ms. Craft's illustrations have won well over a hundred awards during her career. To name a few:
     
  • Hall of Fame: Society of Illustrators June 26, 2008
    Award ceremony photos
  • Silver Medal: Society of Illustrators 33rd annual exhibition
  • Gold Medal: Society of Illustrators 35th annual exhibition
  • Gold Medal: Society of Illustrators 38th annual exhibition
  • Silver Medal: Society of Illustrators 39th annual exhibition
  • Silver Medal: Society of Illustrators 41st annual exhibition
  • Gold Medal: Society of Illustrators 42nd annual exhibition
  • Hamilton King Award: Society of Illustrators, NY in 1987
  • Conflux3 fantasy 2006 in the International Art Show at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra: Best International Art
  • Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators, NY in 1987
  • Spectrum 10 Silver Award: Books 2003
  • Spectrum 9 Grand Master Award 2002
  • Spectrum 8 Gold Award 2001
  • Spectrum 7 Gold Award 2000
  • Renaissance 2001 show, The Franklin Mint Museum. Best in show.
  • The ASFA Chesley Awards (American Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists) http://www.asfa-art.org/ :
          Best Product Illustration 2002.
          Best Interior Illustration; 2001.
          Best Product Illustration 2000.
          Best Hardback Cover Award; 1998.
  • Five paintings, including a Silver Medal, in the Society of Illustrators, NY 1991 annual exhibit.
  • Four paintings, including a Silver Medal, in the Society of Illustrators, NY 1999 annual exhibit.
  • Silver Medal in the 1995 Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles show.
     
    Exhibitions:  
       
  • Enchantment. The Distinguished Artists Symposium and Exhibition. Joseloff Gallery at the Hartford School of Art, Hartford, CT Sept 9, 2009 - Jan 7, 2010
  • DAYDREAMS. Solo exhibit. The 4th Wall Dallas, TX Sept 4, November 4, 2009
    "Turning The Page", Rockville, MD, at The Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts December 2, 2008- February 21, 2009
  • "Over Rainbows and Down Rabbit Holes: The Art of Children's Books" Nov 11, 2008 - Mar 8, 2009. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
  • "Dreamscape Exhibitions 2008", an exhibit of Imaginary Realist Art, 29 November to 7 December 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • "Fairy Tale Art" A travelling exhibition by Smith Kramer, November 2008 through June 2011.
  • "The Power of Place" The Cornish Colony Museum, Windsor, VT May 24, through October 26, 2008, featuring major landscape paintings by such notable artists as Maxfield Parrish, Albert Bierstadt, William Bradford and others.
  • "Heroines In Literature" A one woman exhibition at The Cornish Colony Museum, Windsor, VT December 1st 2006 to March 31st 2007.
  • "A Spring Night's Dream" One woman exhibition at The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, Spring 2006.
  • The Art of Der Spiegel, 2005 a traveling exhibit.
  • “The Spectrum Show.” The Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, NY, NY Sept 7 to Oct 1st, 2005.
  • “Defining Realities,” a group show at the Chalk Farm Gallery, Santa Fe, NM , opening August 26, 2005.
  • The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists “Science Fiction, Fantasy Exhibition” at  Echo Gallery, Chicago, Il, July 2nd - September 30, 2005.
  • The Art of the New York Times, The Society of Illustrators, New York City, December 2004
  • The Greenwich Workshop Gallery, Fairfield, CT "The American Illustrators Show" Sept., October 2004.
  • "Women in Illustration: Contemporary Visions and Voices" The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA, four paintings, March 6, 2004 through May 31, 2004
  • "Illustrating the Sea." Group show at The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic CT, several paintings on a nautical theme. March 13-April 25, 2004.
  • The Society of Illustrators, 46th Annual Exhibition, New York City, NY one painting, Editorial and Book show February 28 ~ March 27, 2004
  • “Storytellers,” a group show at the Reynolds Gallery, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA. Nov. 03, 2003 ~ January 17, 2004.
  • “The Fantasies of Kinuko Y. Craft,” Norfolk Library, Norfolk, CT Dec. 2002~Jan 2003.
  • “The Realm of Enchantment" The Franklin Mint Museum, US Rt. 1, Franklin Center, PA. January 16 through March 4, 2000. Over fifty paintings.
  • “Illustrating Women” Ringling School of Art & Design, Sarasota, Florida 2000.
  • “Masters of the Art of Children's Books” University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire 2000.
  • “Other Realms” exhibit at The Discovery Museum, Bridgeport CT.
  • “The Fine Art of Illustration” 1995, Hunderdon Art Center, Hunterdon, NJ.
  • “Women Illustrators in New England”, Radcliffe College, Cambridge MA.
  • “Brave Little Girls” The National Museum of Women in the Arts - an exhibition that traveled widely in the United States for several years
  • “The Art of Enchantment,” The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA also a traveling exhibition.
  • Other group exhibitions include: Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco - “Visions of the Floating World,” 1992
  • The Art Directors Club of New York - “New York 5” (Also a traveling exhibit in Japan) – 1988
  • Musee de la Civilisation, Quebec, Canada.
  • A one-woman show at the Society of Illustrators, NY in 1983.
     
    Children's books
  • "Le Bateau Volant" (The Flying Ship) 1982 Flammarion, Paris, France
  • "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," Morrow Junior Books, 1989
  • "Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave," 1994 Morrow Junior Books
  • "Cupid & Psyche," 1996 Morrow Junior Books
  • "Pegasus," 1998 Morrow Junior Books
  • "King Midas and the Golden Touch," 1999 Morrow Junior Books
  • "Cinderella," 2000 Sea Star Books
  • "Tom Thumb," Sea Star Books 2000
  • “Sleeping Beauty” SeaStar Books 2002.
    Other children's books include:  
  • "Mother Goose ABC," 1977 Platt & Munk
  • "Bear, Wolf and Mouse," 1975 Follett Publishing
  • "What Is It," Follett Publishing
  • "Gingerbread Children," 1973 Follett Publishing
  • "Come Play With Me," 1975 Follett Publishing
  • "Cookie House," Follett Publishing 1978
  • "Treasure Island," 1980 Rain Tree Publishers
  • "Classics," 1977 Platt & Munk
  • "Rumplestiltskin," Scott Foresman & Co.
     
    Guest lectures, workshops:
     Ms. Craft has guest lectured at:
    ·     The Washington DC Society of Illustrators  
    ·     Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA  
    ·     The Ringling School of Art & Design, Sarasota Florida  
    ·     The Stamford Design Conference, Palo Alto, CA
    ·     Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
    ·     San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
    ·     Academy of Art College San Francisco
    ·     San Francisco Society of Illustrators
    ·     Community College of Arts and Crafts San Francisco, CA
    ·     School of Visual Arts in New York City
    ·     The Art Institute of Boston-1998 duPont Visiting Artist Series
    ·     Rhode Island School of Design
    ·     Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, where she has taught two summer workshop classes
    ·     Travel/Lecture with “New York 5” in Japan during 1989, including a traveling exhibit.
     
    Ms. Craft has been called upon regularly as a judge at professional shows and competitions. Some of these include:            
    ·      The Washington DC Society if Illustrators
    ·      The Cleveland Art Directors Club
    ·      The Dallas Society of Illustrators
    ·      The Society of Illustrators of New York, various exhibitions
    ·      The Hamilton King Awards (Society of Illustrators, NY)
    ·      The Los Angeles Society of Illustrators
    ·      The San Francisco Society of Illustrators.
    ·      1998 Communication Arts Magazine Illustration Annual.
    ·      Organizations:
    ·      The Society of Illustrators, New York City, NY, member since mid 1970’s
    ·      The Illustrators Partnership of America, founding member
    ·       
    Clients: Her work has included paintings for:
  • Time and Newsweek Magazines
  • National Geographic
  • Forbes Magazine
  • Sports Illustrated
  • The New York Times
  • AT&T
  • Atlantic Monthly
  • US News and World Repor
  • Playboy Magazine
  • Cover art for many major book publishers and advertising art for major ad agencies.
  • Her work has also graced posters for the Washington and Dallas Operas.
  • Ms. Craft now devotes most of her time to paintings for Fantasy Book and Private Commissions
  • She completed her eight picture book, “Sleeping Beauty," published by SeaStar Books of New York City, 2001.
     
    Comments on the work of Ms. Craft by major organizations and the press:
  • “A...major figure in contemporary American illustration.” Syracuse University.
  • “K.Y. Craft’s illustrations are wonderful fun.” Gahan Wilson, for the N.Y. Times Book Review.
  • "...one of today's most profound Renaissance painters.” CMYK Magazine
  • “Her attention to detail is unflagging.” Publishers weekly.
  • “Craft’s oil on watercolor paintings are splendid,"… "exquisitely rendered.” Kirkus reviews.
  • “...lush illustrations...are sure to enthrall...” New Yorker Magazine.
  • "A consummate artist" School Library Journal.
  • “Craft's illustrations are almost unbearably sumptuous" INFONDA.COM
     
    Kinuko Y. Craft resides in Connecticut with her husband Mahlon.  
     
    LITERARY AND MASS MARKET AUTHORS whose book jackets have been illustrated by Ms. Craft:
     
    -William Shakespeare
    -Sigrid Undset
    -James Redfield
    -Diana Galbadon
    -Gay Courter
    -Alison Weir
    -Isabel Allende
    -Dorothy Dunnet
    -Carl Sagan
    -Eileen Goudge
    -Gita Mehta
    -Antonia Fraser
    -Barbara Wood
    -Barry Lopez
     
     
     
    SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY AUTHORS whose book jackets have been illustrated by Ms. Craft
     
    -Isaac Asimov
    -Stephen King
    -Orson Scott Card
    -C. S. Lewis
    -Glenn Cook
    -Sherri S. Tepper
    -Ursula LeGuin
    -Guy Gavriel Kay
    -Robin McKinley
    -Brian Aldiss
    -Katherine Kurtz
    -Sile Rice
    -Tanith Lee
    -Andre Norton
    -Patricia McKillip
    -Raymond E. Feist
    -Pat O'Shea
    -Marion Zimmer Bradley
    -Patricia A. McKillip
    -Juliet Marillier

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