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I've added an about section to my site because my persistent friends have told me there isn't a way people can find out about who I am. So I'll evolve this section to hopefully field most of the common questions I get.

Wednesday
Apr172013

About Enfu

Enfu Profile:

Ken "Enfu" Taya enjoys his day job in the video game industry as an artist for titles ranging in style from Halo 3, (XBO 360) to Scribblenauts Unmasked (WiiU, PC, 3DS) to name a few. His commissioned illustrations and murals can be seen in stores and restaurants across the Pacific Northwest, and his popular bilingual comic, I Fart Rainbow, enjoys success in print and digital media outlets. 

Enfu in a nutshell:

I was born in 1977 in Chicago, Illinois. Since then, I've lived in Delaware, Seattle, and Sendai, Japan. Most of my life has been spent in the Seattle area, and it's still the place I call home. 

Enfu started in 2005 as a creative outlet outside of my time spent making video games. I've been developing games for over a decade, and though I love it, I like having this personal project because it allows me to express creativity on my own terms.

Content-wise, I'd say that my early works explored the cultural paradigm shifts I encounter as a person who straddles Japanese, Japanese-American, and American identities. Since I became a father, my daughter became my muse, and my approach changed as I attempted to catch the butterflies that are her imagination (In fact, my comic, I Fart Rainbow--which ran in print for three years--was loosely based off of my daughter's caricature). Today, the whimsical & colorful content of my work tries to capture the child-like innocence we've somehow lost as adults: cuteness tempered with grit. 

Enfu FAQ:

What does Enfu mean?

Enfu is the Onyomi (Chinese reading) of the Japanese Kanji 猿風 (sarukaze), which literally translates to Monkey Wind. Since sarukaze is hard to pronounce for Americans, I go by Enfu.

How do you draw your work?

I draw on a Cintiq monitor using Photoshop. 

Where can I buy your work?

You can find a majority of it at Kobo in Seattle's International District and Chin Music Press in the 3rd floor of the Pike Place Market, but you can use the Enfu Finder bar on the upper-right side of this page to locate stores carrying my work. Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I can usually be found at Seattle conventions, such as Emerald City Comicon, Sakuracon, and Akimatsuri. I'm also selling works at Giant Robot in L.A. and exhibit at San Diego Comic-Con. If you're curious about upcoming appearances and signings, check out my Events page for more info.

Do you take commissions?

In the past, I've been commissioned to design everything from illustrations for businesses to tattoos, but recently I've slowed down on these as I have a lot of personal projects on my plate right now. That being said, everything is negotiable. If you can make a good case for a particular project, I may be able to squeeze you in. If you're interested in seeing me create a particular character or icon, leave me a comment in the Friday Request area of the Enfu Facebook Page. I can't promise I'll get to it, especially since the number of requests is growing with each passing week, but the odds are good. Ask away!

Do you do T-shirts? Your stuff would look great on a shirt.

I DO! Find my PAOM ENFU shirts here!

Would you come and give a talk to my school/organization?

I've done many talks in the past on the topics of video game production art, and am happy to work with event organizers to make things happen.  Of course, there are a lot of factors to consider (such as my event schedule, the location of the venue, the intended audience, etc.), but if you're interested in hosting me, please feel free to send me a message and pitch your idea. 

Why isn't your work sold at "such-and-such" store?

If you'd like to see a particular store carry my work, or if you are a business owner who would like to carry my art, please send me a message and we can discuss the details.

Why are you always with the same people at Emerald City Comicon?

 I've been very lucky to be around super talented people from the video game companies I've worked at (Bungie & 5th Cell, to name a few). We've all recognized we offer much more than just what we can produce at work professionally, so we've teamed together to encourage each other to continue to make our own awesome stuff.  Come say hi to us at Emerald City Comicon!

Do you, in fact, fart rainbows?

No. My farts wake me up at night and are--if I were to put a color to it--brown, as are your farts (probably). Thanks for asking...?

ENFU STATS:

Name: Ken Taya (田谷健太郎)
Favorite Visual Artists: Toriyama Akira, Kozyndan, 326, and Taiyo Matsumoto.
Favorite Comics: Dr. Slump, Doraemon, and Dragon Ball. (Hey! They all start with D's... kewl.)
Favorie Musicians: Spitz, Ulfuls, Cibo Matto, Funky Monkey Babys, Bob Marley, Judy & Mary, The Blue Hearts, and Goosehouse.
Favorite Movies: The Godfather, Good Fellas, and Outrage, among others.
Favorite Games: Dragon Quest 3 and Jet Grind Radio.
Favorite Game: There's too many to name, but Clash of Clans is my current favorite.
Favorite Foods: Okonomiyaki, ramen, and curry rice.
 
If you want to know more, you can always Fan me on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter or Tumblr.