Erica Ward - Illustrator in Tokyo

Erica Ward

I'm an illustrator in Tokyo

I speak Japanese and English

Find me at

My activity

About me

Hello! I am an American illustrator from Santa Cruz, California. I have been fascinated with Japan since a young age, and after studying abroad in Nagoya during my university years I decided to move here in 2010. I spent three years living in coastal Iwate, two in southern Osaka Prefecture, and am now new to Tokyo.

I work mostly in pen and watercolor, and my illustrations are largely inspired by my Japanese surroundings.

I have held exhibitions of my pen and watercolor illustrations in Osaka, Wakayama, Iwate, and Kochi, as well as in the United States.

I am looking forward to connecting and co-inspiring with other artists here in Tokyo.

My Creations

  1. Kyo

    25 March 2016

    My first upload to Canvas. I'm excited to be a part of the Tokyo Creatives Community! "Kyo," ink, watercolor on paper. The stimuli of Kyoto.

  2. Transfer

    30 March 2016

    I was living in Iwate up in Tohoku from 2010 to 2013. From that far north and where I was out on the coast, even domestic travel meant a trek of distance and money. However I was never sorry to ride the shinkansen when I had the chance and the... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  3. The Season

    8 April 2016

    Yesterday's rain may have brought it to an end, but this year too we saw those two short weeks where flowers grow from trees and humans grow from the blue tarps spread out in every park. For me, and each of us in our own way, there is more than... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  4. Views of Spring I

    12 April 2016

    First complete in a series of small watercolors depicting Tokyo Spring.

    "Views of Spring I"
    Watercolor, ink, on watercolor paper
    17 x 21 cm

  5. Street Cat

    25 May 2016

    A walk through my shitamachi neighborhood
    In the sun the surrounding buildings start to blend into a patch-work: white, brown, black
    they become the
    random spots
    of a calico cat,
    who I then spot sitting disinterested in an alley.
    Large and small,
    grand and minute,
    I don't know which is... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  6. VW Bus Cafe

    15 August 2016

    Original work in ink and watercolor on watercolor paper (with a digital touch of 60s purple), this image is a personification of the Roppongi cafe and eatery "Cafe Frangipani." I'm very excited to be having an exhibition of my art at the cafe this month (Exhibition info below--check it out!)... continue reading (1, 1 image)

  7. City Face

    24 October 2016

    When I arrived in Tokyo in January 2016 after five years living in the Japanese countryside (and the rest of my life living in the Californian countryside) I wondered when my eyes and brain would adjust to the buzzing detail of the surrounding metropolis. Factories, offices, houses, apartment buildings-- every... continue reading (1, 1 image)

  8. Halloween night has ended with today's dawn, but every year November 1st allows one more day of festivities as the Day of the Dead. For the past six years I have done a Dia de los Muertos themed artwork which I've shared on November 1st. This will be the first... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  9. Original watercolor LINE Creators' Sticker series, "Bikkluri Animals" is now available on the LINE Stamp Shop

    I knew I eventually wanted to make my own series of "Creators' Stickers" for the LINE messaging app ever since they introduced the option a few years ago. The original guidelines required 40... continue reading (1, 1 image)

  10. Setsubun: Not a fun night for Oni
    Original watercolor and pen on watercolor paper, 15 x 25 cm.

  11. This Town
    Erica Ward, 2016
    55 x 78cm ink, charcoal, watercolor, paper

    Before she knew it her mind was full of such scenery:
    the details that extend out into nothing.
    Stepping out into such
    is to be seen,
    is to be unseen.
    It is both freedom and bondage,
    this town.

    ... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  12. Embrace Spring

    26 March

    This piece was done in time for the opening of spring, and also for the Artcomplex Centre of Tokyo's upcoming group exhibition, "Animal World 10," in which I am participating. See below for more details!

    "Embrace Spring"
    March, 2017
    23cm x 31.5cm
    Pen, Watercolor on Watercolor Paper

    Group Exhibition:"Animal World... continue reading (1, 1 image)