Mika Hirasa, also known as MICAO, 'draws' pictures using fabric and free motion machine embroidering techniques*, along with appliqué, fabric paint and other techniques as inspired. She regularly uses antique fabrics, lace, different types of thread and kimono fabrics and her use of space and color makes for some striking scenes. Cutting out bold shapes and stitching them as she goes, there's a certain inspired spontaneity and whimsy in her work, something free, unlike much embroidery which feels controlled and stiff. Her techniques mark her as a master, and one who is clearly so confident in her techniques that she can create as she goes. As a result her appliquéd illustrations for Aesop's fables bring a whole new way of thinking about the tales.
Take a look. Can you tell which fables have been depicted?
You can see many more of her fabric illustrations HERE. It's also worth looking at her Red Riding Hood set HERE. So unique, yet recognizably LRRH. (Red Riding Hood is a featured character in much of her work.) And there was a limited line of clothing for kinder and preschool teachers, with a fairy tale theme you an see HERE.
*Free motion machine embroidery is becoming a more and more popular tool for fabric artists, each resulting in an individual style that is unique and not dissimilar to freehand line drawing. You can see an example of free machine embroidery HERE, by performance textile artist Harriet Riddell. (Start at the 3 minute mark to get right to it.)