Kinuko Y. Craft

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File:061706 kyc drawing.jpg
Moon goddess pencil drawing by the artist

Kinuko Y. Craft (born 1940) is a Japanese-born American contemporary painter, illustrator and fantasy artist.


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 painted cover art for many national magazines such as Time, Newsweek, and National Geographic.

Craft illustrated the cover art of the older editions of Shakespeare's work for the Folger Library. She has a passionate love of European fine art and draws on a deep knowledge of European art history in creating her work. She is most inspired by the works of Leonardo da Vinci, the Pre-Raphaelites, and Symbolist painters. Her work is 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 editorial and advertising market. Since the mid-1990s, she has concentrated her efforts on art for fantasy book jackets, opera posters, and has illustrated eight picture books (fairy tale and classic mythology) designed for children and young readers. She has collaborated with many authors and worked with her husband Mahlon F. Craft and her daughter Marie Charlotte Craft. Her original paintings, drawings, and limited-edition prints are represented by Borsini-Burr Gallery in Montara, CA, and others.

Her art has been licensed on calendars, posters, greeting cards, and other consumer goods. Her fairy tale books are currently distributed in the USA, other English-speaking countries, Europe, Greece, China, and Korea. She has received numerous awards for her work, including several gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY. Ms. Craft’s work can be found in the collections of National Portrait Gallery (United States), the Museum of American Illustration in New York City, the National Geographic Society, and other corporate collections.

She has been nominated five times since 2001 as a Best Artist for the World Fantasy Awards[1] and won the World Fantasy Award for Best Artist in 2011.[2]

Craft has also lectured and given workshops at numerous art schools, universities, and organizations, including Art Center College of Art and Design, San Jose State University, Rhode Island School of Design, Philadelphia College of the Arts (2012), and more.[3]

Craft is now represented by Richard Solomon Artists Representative in New York City.[4]



  • Kinuko Craft Drawings and Paintings: V. 1 (Imaginosis, 2007)

Children's picture book illustration

  • Rumpelstiltskin, translated by Lucy Crane (Scott Foresman Reading Systems, 1970)
  • Gingerbread Children (Poems), by Ilo Orleans (Follett, 1973)
  • Bear, Wolf and Mouse, by Jan Wahl (Follett, 1975)
  • Come Play With Me, by Margaret Hillert (Modern Curriculum Press, 1975)
  • Mother Goose ABC (Platt & Munk, 1977)
  • The Tower of Geburah by John White (IVP, 1978 edition only)
  • The Black Swan, by Paula Z. Hogan (Heinemann Library, 1979; Steck-Vaughn, 1987)
  • The Elephant, by Paula Z. Hogan (Heinemann Library, 1980)
  • What Is It?, by Margaret Hillert (Modern Curriculum Press, 1977; Perfection Learnin, 1989)
  • Classics: a Child's Introduction to Treasure Island, Black Beauty, the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Robinhood (Platt & Munk, 1977)
  • The Cookie House, by Margaret Hillert (Modern Curriculum Press, 1978)
  • Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson (Steck-Vaughn, 1980)
  • Tales of the Ugly Ogres, by Corinne Denan (Troll Communications, 1980)
  • The Twelve Dancing Princesses, by Marianna Mayer (Mulberry books, HarperCollins, 1989)
  • Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave, by Marianna Mayer (HarperCollins, 1994)
  • Cupid and Psyche by M. Charlotte Craft (HarperCollins, 1996)
  • Pegasus, by Marianna Mayer (HarperCollins, 1998)
  • King Midas and the Golden Touch, by M. Charlotte Craft (HarperCollins, 1999)
  • Cinderella (Chronicle Books, 2000; leather bound edition by Easton Press, 2006)
  • The Adventures of Tom Thumb by Marianna Mayer (Chronicle Books, 2001)
  • Sleeping Beauty, by Mahlon F. Craft (2002; leather bound edition by Easton Press, 2006)

Museum Exhibitions


  1. World Fantasy Convention (2010). "Award Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 4 Feb 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Announcing the 2011 World Fantasy Award Winners".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Kinuko Y Craft Biography".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Richard Solomon Artists Representative".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links