Aya Kusube (Japanese: 楠部文), born 1966, Saitama Prefecture, is a freelance illustrator. She primarily illustrates books and magazines, as well as advertising material aimed at children, using her own drawing style which mirrors that of children’s drawings. She was also involved as a conceptual designer for the famous Doraemon franchise. Kusube has been involved with the Pokémon franchise since 1998, writing and illustrating a number of Pokémon Tales books, and moving on to produce many illustrations for the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
|Little Ghost (no English release) (Pokémon Tales #33)||1998||Shogakukan||Author and illustrator|
|Gengar's Shadow (Pokémon Tales #45)||1999||Shogakukan||Author and illustrator|
|Mewtwo's Watching You! (Pokémon Tales #48)||2000||Shogakukan||Illustrator|
|The Mysterious Rainbow of Colors (Pokémon Daisuki Tales #2)||2005||Shogakukan||Illustrator|
Work for the TCG
Kusube's style, especially outside the TCG is purposefully aimed at younger audiences, where characters are drawn simply and have a limited color palette. Her personal work however demonstrates her eye for detail, using a myriad of various charcoal pencil strokes and marks to define outlines and areas of shadow. The majority of this work remains black and white. This particular method is applied to her TCG artwork, many of which incorporate a solid drawing with only a few key colors accompanied with many penciled hatches or dots to define shadow. For a list of cards she has illustrated, go here.
Her late father, Daikichirou Kusube, was the president and founder of the Shin-Ei Animation Company, which produces many popular anime series in Japan. Her brother Takumi, who also works for Shin-Ei, is a CG animator and lyricist, and was similarly involved with developing the re-envisioned Doraemon franchise.