What is that special something that separates the unique fashion illustrator from the crowd? Often it is not an obvious method or style but simply an element that gives every image a quirkiness or strength, as recognizable as the signature found at the bottom of the page.

Hiroshi Tanabe, for example, loves to draw hair, and in almost every single one of his images the hair has this extraordinary life of its own – though there are also other elements that characterize the superbly graphic work of this illustrator.

Tanabe uses colour in a very special way – not limited, but characterized by the juxtaposition of colour to background, and of flat-colour proportion to pure line. His bold use of line also makes him one of the outstanding ...

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