The films of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli have long inspired fans to create works of art, but rarely is Miyazaki fan art gathered into such a stunning single collection as it is in the new book “My Neighbor Hayao” (now available to purchase via Abrams Books). Compiled by Spoke Art Gallery, “My Neighbor Hayao” features over 250 artists across 272 pages of artwork inspired by “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Ponyo,” and more.
The official “My Neighbor Hayao” synopsis adds: “Showcasing a diverse array of original painting, embroidery, sculpture, and limited edition prints that were first exhibited at Spoke during three highly popular group exhibitions attracting more than 10,000 attendees, this beautiful book grants fans of Miyazaki another creative avenue to explore his inspired worlds through interpretations of characters and themes found in his iconic films.”
The publication of “My Neighbor Hayao” comes at an exciting time for Miyazaki fans. The director is currently at work on his new feature film, “How Do You Live?,” his first directorial effort since going into retirement after the release of 2013’s “The Wind Rises.” The project has been in development for several years, but a release date is still at least three years away.
“We are still hand-drawing everything,” Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki said in May. “Back when we were making ‘My Neighbor Totoro,’ we only had eight animators. ‘Totoro’ we made in eight months. [For] the current film that Miyazaki is working on, we have 60 animators, but we are only able to come up with one minute of animation in a month. That means 12 months a year, you get 12 minutes worth of movie. We’ve been working on this film for three years, so that means we have 36 minutes completed so far. We’re hoping it will finish in the next three years.”
Miyazaki is also getting the museum treatment in 2021 thanks to the Academy Museum’s first exhibit. The Miyazaki exhibition is being curated in collaboration with Studio Ghibli and will feature over 300 objects from the director’s career, from hand-drawn storyboards and character designs to posters and film clips. Many of the objects featured in the exhibit have never been seen outside of Japan. The exhibit will launch when the Academy Museum opens on April 30, 2021.
“My Neighbor Hayao” features an introduction by Jorge R. Gutiérrez and a preface by Ken Harman. Miyazaki fans can head to the Abrams Books’ website to purchase the art collection now (U.S. $29.95/Canada $37.99). Preview the collection below with an exclusive look at 10 Miyazaki-inspired images.