Aya Kaked’s Art is Overwhelmingly Cute

It’s hard not to be totally entranced by Aya Kaked’s illustrations and ceramic art. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and now based in Brooklyn, NY, she has produced art for books, products, magazines, posters, and store installations from clients all over the world. Her artwork oftentimes includes playful characters placed in surreal landscapes.

“I’d always loved drawing and story-telling, ever since I was a kid in fact,” she shared in a candid interview with Inky Goodness. “I’ve now grown into an artist/illustrator, with quite a broad and experimental approach spanning illustration, fine art, comic book design, toy design, ceramics, and pattern design. I’m also really passionate about teaching.”

Sharing her expertise with others, Kaked has taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology (NY), for the MFA Illustration Program and School of Visual Arts (NY), and for the BFA Illustration Program. She is currently teaching full time at MICA BFA Illustration Program. She also performs workshops and lectures at universities and museums. 

But when it comes to the creative process itself, she admits to being quite a traditionalist. “My studio really is a mess,” she says, “but then all of my work comes out of the chaos. If I had to summarise, I mainly stick to sketchbooks, pens, inks, brushes, acrylic gouache, resin, air-dry clay, glazes, tools for sculpting and masking tapes.”

“I don’t really think that [there’s] a distinction between my work and my hobbies,” she adds. “I generally really like to be creative. I’d happily just sit in a studio in my spare time and make 100 tiny ceramic mice… that would make me super happy.”

With clients that include NIKE, The New York Times, The New Yorker Magazine, and Washington Post, you’d want to watch out for her work!