Lulu Kouno

Lulu Kouno
UNKNOWN ASIA GrandPrix / The Ashitanoshikaku Prize / The Takeshi Ishikawa Prize / The Tatsuji Yoshida Prize / The Junko Sasanuki Prize / The Atsushi Ikeda Prize / The Taketoku Fuji Prize
I am an illustrator based in Nagoya. I quitted a company to go a long trip in 2015. While travelling in Mexico, my budget was limited, so I asked to the inn owner if I can draw a mural instead of paying the accommodation, and the owner had no problem. I repeated this style of travelling in Mexico moving from inn to inn. I drew many murals and people surround me were so kind and happy. It was so fun and I wanted to be a painter. I returned to Japan about a year later and named myself as a painter. It was spring in 2016. Since then, I became a painter. My goal is to draw paintings in facilities for orphanages and disabled children who need support and help around the world.
Please introduce yourself, the year you joined Unknown Asia and the award title you got.
I am Lulu Kouno. I’m an illustrator in Nagoya, Japan. I participated UNKNOWN ASIA in 2017 and won the Grand Prix Award, 2 judge awards and 5 reviewer awards.
What made you apply to UNKNOWN ASIA?
A friend of mine who is a picture book write told me about the portfolio review and I just went to there without really thinking. But soon I heard about UNKNOWN ASIA at the briefing session, I thought there might be an opportunity for me so I applied it in the next day.
Tell us about yourself before & after UNKNOWN ASIA.
Before joining UNKNOWN ASIA, I am not confident in my work and skill comparing to other illustrators because of having no professional study of painting. But at UNKNOWN ASIA, many judges and reviewers came to my booth, they found any of positive points on my works and gave comments. That really gave me confidence. I can keep painting – this was the biggest benefit that I obtained.
Please introduce commission projects that you got after UNKNOWN ASIA.
Just after UNKNOWN ASIA, the judge, Mr. Gaku Ogaki gave me a big project to draw a main visual for the Osaka International Women’s Marathon! My painting was used for posters, flyers, banners in many different locations to promote the international marathon event, and I was so touched when I saw my work on a giant banner in the track field. Another project is from FM802, the radio station in Osaka, my illustration is to be used for their spring campaign and I also will have my first solo exhibition at DMOARTS in spring. I also was given an opportunity of drawing mural and having my exhibition in Taiwan. All the things happened on me after the UNKNOWN ASIA is more than amazing.