“LunaHMitani” by Studio Hot Lips – self-made. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikipedia
Claim to Fame
Luna H. Mitani is the Japanese-American neo-surrealist artist, and poster boy for originality and successful commercial art production. He’s not just a master of modern surrealism graphic and fine art painting – he’s also a blues lover who’s created CD cover art for dozens of musicians and bands, including The Platters, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, and Chet Baker.
Luna was born in Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, where he also attended Dohto University, obtaining a degree in Fine Art. He travelled extensively as a young man, through Europe, notably to study in the Netherlands, and then on to the US, where he continued his studies of art at Oregon University and the Hollywood Art Center.
Luna has enjoyed commercial success since the 1980s, bridging the digital divide without missing a beat. His first exhibition was in 1985 at the Rebel Gallery in Hollywood, California, and this was followed by many more in the Los Angeles area.
Soon after these exhibitions, he began what was to be a long tradition of creating cover art for albums for various blues musicians. Luna also began creating cover art for magazines as well as for multimedia storybooks. He quickly became the go-to artist for the entertainment and music publishing industry.
Staying close to his roots despite living abroad, Luna was appointed Head Advisor for the Yoyogi Animation School in Japan, and has been featured in many magazines and newspapers over the years, both in Japan and in the US. His art even found its way onto more than one Japanese TV drama and documentary television.
Luna got involved with the first English/Japanese bilingual real estate magazine in the US, creating cover art for all 36 editions over 3 years. He’s also the recipient of the “The Best Artist” award by the Japan America Artist Society. Music-lovers may know him from the artwork he created for blues albums since the 1980s.
Why we Love Him
Luna’s art reveals a wealth of creativity and originality, imagery that speaks of dreams and the subconscious mind. He bridges East and West perfectly, and is effortlessly cool simply by being authentic!