Konnichiwa こんにちは

My name is Xenia and I am a graphic designer from Switzerland.

I have always been interested in folklore and the mystical beings and gods from different religions and countries. Through the movies “Spirited Away” and “Pom Poko” by Hayao Miazaki I came into contact with Japanese folklore for the first time (Japan as such has also fascinated me from a young age, mainly in the form of the many mangas I collected at that time). I started reading up on the subject and discovered many gods but – what I found even more interesting – also many, if not more Yōkai. Yōkai include demons, witches, evil spirits, shape-shifters, objects that come to life after a long time, and more. They are not all evil, but they all have a mischievous nature. And so I began to illustrate what I had read in my own style and shared the finished images with the world. Since the images were well received, I tried my luck with a Kickstarter campaign to have a few shirts produced with the prints and so one thing led to another.

The yokai parade 百鬼夜行

Makaii Collection wouldn’t look so professional if I didn’t have a lot of friends helping me out.
That’s why this section serves as a wall of fame or in this case the yokai parade. Thank you all for your support!

Eriko

Japanese Translations

Keff

Photography

Dani

Website support

Oli

Film

Gianci

Salesman & Model

Helena

Model

Iwan

Model

Nicole

Model

Claudio

Model

Tulu

Model

Andi

Model

Ivi

Model

Dani

Model

Dominik

Model

Q&A 質疑応答

What kind of pens do you use?

When I started this project, I just took the pens I had on hand. At that time, these were “Copic” liners in various thicknesses. After a while I switched to “Staedtler” pigment liners because they (I think) create a richer black. Meanwhile, I also like to use “Uni Pin” liner because they have even finer tips like the previously mentioned.

Do you do commissioned work?

I am selfish when it comes to drawing. Since I have little time to draw, I want to be able to use it for myself. For this reason I do not do commissioned work.

How long does it take you to finish a drawing?

Of course, this varies somewhat depending on the drawing. But usually I work 1-2 months on a drawing, because I only do that in addition to my actual job and thus only have time to draw in the evening.

What books can you recommend on the subject of yokais?

There are very many good books on this subject. If you are looking for something with more traditional drawings, I would recommend “Japandemonium” by Toriyama Sekien. If you prefer a more modern comic style, I would recommend “ふしぎな世界を見てみよう!” by Tatsuya Morino, but this book is only available in Japanese. And if you want a mixture of everything, you should consider the books by Matthew Meyer. There you get a good mixture of modern illustrations, facts about the different creatures and the corresponding legends.

Which is your favorite Yokai?

Of course, there are many yokais that I like. But if I have to choose, I would take the Tanuki. The Tanuki was the first yokai I encountered in Japan in the form of the classic figures in front of restaurants. I like his nature and that he is on the one hand a symbol of luck and on the other hand can also be devious.

What does Makaii mean?

When I was looking for a suitable name, my friend from Japan suggested “Makai”. “Makai” in Japanese belief is the world of demons and the supernatural, so it fits very well. Now the question arises, “where does the second i come from?” but that’s a story for another time.

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