Japanese manga illustrator set to wow Cumbrian artists of the future

Japanese manga artist Junko Mizuno - much admired for her unique gothic-cute artworks as well as a collaboration with Ikea - is visiting students at the University of Cumbria to share secrets of success, ahead of her appearance at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Junko is stopping off at the University’s Brampton Road campus in Carlisle on Thursday 11th October to give a lecture and workshop for first year illustration students, before opening a free exhibition of her works that includes paintings, drawings and sculptures in the university’s Vallum Gallery.

She will then appear at LICAF in Kendal as part of the organisation's ongoing Comics Cultural Exchange work, a fast-developing international network of co-operation between comic creators and comics organisations.

Junko Mizuno, who created the art for this year's LICAF poster grew up in Tokyo, Japan but now lives in San Francisco. She has achieved international success with many exhibitions, festivals and books featuring her work over her career to date. She has even had artworks produced and retailed by Ikea.

Her stunning work is instantly recognisable for her unique visual iconography of powerful women portrayed in a manga style, often termed as ‘gothic ka-waii’ or ‘kawaii noir,’ although she refuses to be pigeon-holed instead claiming her work is ever-changing and influenced by many genres.

Her sources of inspiration include fetish art, folk art, religious art, psychedelic art, pin-up art, advertising, vintage toys, fashion, comics, food, nature, film, television, computer games almost everything that features in every-day life.

“We're all really excited to be hosting Junko’s forthcoming exhibition at the university," commented Nick Dodds, Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture at the University of Cumbria.

"Having an artist of such acclaim and international influence visit our campus and share industry insights with students is a rare experience and one they will capitalise on.

“Junko’s style is a unique combination of cutesy horror, the epitome of manga, but what marks her out from the rest is that she can translate it into many different mediums from drawings to sculpture, the sign of a truly great artist.”

• The Junko Mizuno exhibition opens on Monday 7th October and runs until Friday 25th October 2019 (10.00am – 4.00pm) at the Vallum Gallery, University of Cumbria, Brampton Road. Junko will officially open the exhibition on 10th October (12.15pm – 1.30pm) | Vallum Gallery Web Site | Facebook

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is back in Kendal in the Lake District 11th – 13th October 2019: www.comicartfestival.com Podcast | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |Youtube

For more information on Junko’s work visit www.mizuno-junko.com