Kinuko Craft is a Renaissance woman. By this I mean not that she paints like the Renaissance painters, but that she is an artist for all seasons, for all kinds of subjects, and in all kinds of styles. If you will survey her works, you will find little duplication in form, color or texture. She fits herself to her subject with charming ease and yet leaves herself free to remain herself. There is an air about all of her illustrations of one who is a true connoisseur of art, wide-ranging through all the countries of the world. One cannot help but think how delightful it would be to walk into gallery of her kaleidoscopic talents.”
Craft came to the United States in 1964 where she continues to live and work today. Her art has included paintings for the book covers of many well known fantasy authors such as Patricia A. McKillip, Juliet Marillier, Tanith Lee and many others. She has also designed opera posters, fairy tale books and covers for many national magazines such as Time, Newsweek and The National Geographic.
Craft illustrated the cover art for the older editions of Shakespeare's work for the Folger Library. She has a passionate love of fine art and draws on a deep knowledge of art history in creating her work. She is most inspired by the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, the Pre-Raphaelites and Symbolist painters. Her paintings are done with a combination of artist oils and watercolor on clayboard gesso panels.
Craft is a graduate (BFA 1964) of the Kanazawa College of Art (Kanazawa Bijutsu Kōgei Daigaku). She later studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she continued her studies in design and illustration. A majority of her earlier work was for the editorials and advertising market. Since the mid-1990s, she has been illustrator for children’s picture books, fantasy book jackets, and posters.
Her fairy tale books are currently distributed in the USA, other English language countries, Europe, Greece, China and Korea. Her art has also been licensed on calendars, posters, greeting cards and other consumer goods. She has received numerous awards for her work, including several gold and silver medals from The Society of Illustrators, New York City, NY. Ms. Craft’s work could be found in the collections of National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian, The Museum of American Illustration in New York City, The National Geographic Society, and other corporate collections.
Her work has been recently added to the collection of National Portrait Gallery (United States). Craft was also gave lectures and workshops in numerous schools and organizations, including the Society of Illustrator, San Jose State University, Rhode Island School of Design, etc