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Artist's Statement

My name is Kei Tanaka (she/they). I am an artist from Treaty Six Territory (Saskatoon). In 2021, I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts with Theatre Design at the University of Saskatchewan.  

In December of 2019, I published my first book, The Nutcracker. This is my first step in my journey of children's story books and illustration. It was the perfect combination of my two passions: ballet and art. Originally I illustrated it for my ballet teacher and through her encouragement I self published my first book. I can not give her enough thanks for her support and encouragement. The Nutcracker is available to buy at McNally Robinson and through my website. 

My main portfolio that I've been working on (especially through the quarantine) is Animal Friends. This is my watercolour pieces of animals wearing clothing doing quirky things. Many of the suggestion of these pieces come from my friends suggesting an animal and an era and from there I create little scenes and stories of the animals. 

In 2022, I had the privilege of being the Artist in Residence for Saskatoon's Bunkhouse Project: Artist in Place at the Forestry Farm and Zoo, where I was able to work on my Animal Friends portfolio and Finding Fairies calendar. 

Since the reopening of theatres after the Covid lockdown, I have started working as a Props Master in various companies in Saskatoon, for Les Gar (Le Troupe Du Jour, 2023), Dead Hand Signal (Gordon Tootoosis Nikaniwin Theatre, 2023), puppet master for Zero Gravity (SUM Theatre, 2023), and Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, 2023),. 

Thank you for your continued support of my art. I hope my art has brought a smile to your face and some happiness to your heart. 

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