ballpoint pen drawings by shohei otomo
ballpoint pen drawings by shohei otomo ballpoint pen drawings by shohei otomo
aug 11, 2013

ballpoint pen drawings by shohei otomo


video still from the namiki fountain pen by pilot ad campaign



graphic artist shohei otomo is the protagonist of an advertising clip for the japanese stationary manufacturer pilot. in the movie, the namiki ‘justus’ fountain pen dances to the music and the various curves drawn by otomo nicely show the elasticity of the pen tip. like most of his work, the drawing is a highly detailed depiction of a mix of japanese and western cultural iconography.



video stills from the pilot ad campaign




video stills from the pilot ad campaign



pilot ad campaign: shohei otomo is creating a portrait with a namiki fountain pen




you can watch an intimate view of otomo’s practice and craft, below:


shohei otomo at backwoods gallery
video courtesy of alexander mitchell





more of his most recent ballpoint pen drawings:
(all images courtesy of shohei otomo)


shohei often depicts ‘furyo’ ( japanese delinquents), using an unlikely medium: a ballpoint pen.

working slowly, line-by-line otomo’s fine pen markings are translated into incredible illustrative artworks. he first began to work with pens because of they were cost-effective, now they are the definitively characterize his style. otomo’s artworks are often are a jarring blend of traditional japanese motifs and character manga, fused with twisted thematic elements of violence and vulgarity. the imagery’s subject matter is diverse — highlighting stereotypical youth, punk, anime, samurai, and geishas. his work is dramatic and bold, often illustrating fighting scenes, exposing commercial culture, or deep underground urbanites in an realistic way.





portrait of a traditional geisha wearing the makeup of a mexican ‘day of the dead’ skull



the results are sometimes shocking, yet there’s a deep-rooted humor in his work — one drawing depicts a geisha playing an aggressive game of ping-pong, in another, she sports sunglasses and a leopard printed robe. in his ballpoint pen drawings, otomo only features the colors red, black, and white — his main influence for this palate was found in ancient japanese culture: tradition called for women to paint their faces with white power, color their teeth with black ink, and coat their lips in red lipstick.




















shohei otomo (aka hakuchi) is an illustrator based in tokyo.
after graduation from tama art university, he quickly developed a personal style, gaining international recognition with his signature ballpoint pen illustration. shohei is the son of katsuhiro otomo, one of the japanese great manga artists who created world-famous manga/movie ‘akira’.







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