Ken "Enfu" Taya enjoys his day job in the video game industry as an art director, and has worked on 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 Enfu Sticker Line has been adorning any surface it finds its way onto.
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.
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?
Pitch me an interesting project, I may take it on.
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.
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.