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ABOUT KENSUKE OKABAYASHI
Kensuke Okabayashi was born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey. Fascinated with manga (Japanese comics) and anime (Japanese short for animation), he began drawing comics at the early age of six. At the same time, his mother who was a fine artist encouraged him to draw from life and appreciate the modern arts.
While pursuing his BS in psychology and a minor in piano performance from Wheaton College, Kensuke continued to draw comics and seek professional advice while taking art courses. This lead to making overseas acquaintances with Shonen Jump and Kodansha editors in Japan. Among his experiences included meeting Japanese sci-fi manga legend, Matsumoto Leiji (Yamato, Galaxy Express 999, Captain Harlock) in addition to interning at Akazuka Productions.
After completing his degree at Wheaton College, Kensuke attended School of Visual Arts for his BFA in Illustration. There, he studied classical oil painting, water color, and honed his figure drawing skills. Upon graduating and armed with a new portfolio, he began illustrating for clients such as Kensington Books, Wizards of the Coast (Magic the Gathering), Skyzone Entertainment, Marvel Comics, Carl Fischer Music, and Takara Toys. While teaching illustration at Mercer College of New Jersey, Kensuke’s works caught the attention of advertising illustration agencies in New York City. This resulted in clients such as Canon Digital USA, LG Global, Saatchi Healthcare, Diet Coke, Absolut Vodka, and XBox. While illustrating for Draft FCB, Kensuke worked with art director and fashion photographer, Stephanie Seliskar. Together, they combined forces to start a new illustration project called KOSS2 (www.koss2.com).
Recently, Kensuke was approached by Wiley Publishing to write and illustrate for their flagship Dummies titles. The first, Manga for Dummies, became a strong seller which went on to be translated into French and German. He went on to illustrate and write his second book, Figure Drawing for Dummies, which was also selected to be translated into French. This lead to being commissioned by Jossey Bass Publishing to illustrate a lengthy graphic novel, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Manga Edition) - based on the New York Times Bestseller’s author, Patrick Lencioni. This title has recently been translated into Portuguese and Bahasa.
Kensuke has just released his second creator-owned publication series, The Foreigner. Kensuke is currently working on his creator owned series, JAVA! Recaffeinated, based upon his original series, JAVA! (originally published by Committed Comics). He also continues to storyboard for Saatchi Healthcare and other advertising clients. He is a regular guest lecturer at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, book signing events, and lectures at educational institutions.