A Studio Ghibli animator is selling art to help Ukraine

From the man behind ‘Princess Mononoke’ and ‘Grave of the Fireflies’.

by Douglas Greenwood
04 March 2022, 1:04pm

Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli animator Nizo Yamamoto was born in Nagasaki, eight years after a nuclear bomb was dropped on his city by the United States army in 1945. With the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces opening up the possibility of a nuclear attack, Nizo has revealed his plans to sell an original artwork to help support those affected in the region.

Nizo has been part of Studio Ghibli for decades, having worked as an art director on some of their most prestigious projects. He was the art director of Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, and even Grave of the Fireflies, the 1986 Ghibli film that followed two siblings trying to survive in the aftermath of a WWII bombing in Japan. He’s also worked on non-Studio Ghibli anime projects too, like the classic Perfect Blue

“I oppose Russia's invasion of Ukraine,” Nizo wrote in a tweet earlier this week. “I [have considered] what I could do for the Ukrainian people. I would like to make a personal donation through UNICEF, or draw a picture and sell it to make a full donation.”

In the accompanying photo, Nizo is pictured painting a blue sky with billowing clouds, an iconic image that to this day remains synonymous with Studio Ghibli. Perhaps that’s an allusion to the kind of artwork he’ll be auctioning off in an effort to raise money for UNICEF. You can follow his Twitter here to stay up to date with new information. 

Nizo is not the only artist using their craft to help support the victims of the war in Ukraine. A number of photographers have banded together to sell prints of their work for £50 + postage, with money raised going to the British Red Cross and the Ukraine Crisis Appeal. It gives you the chance to help those in need while also providing you with the rare opportunity to own work by photographers like Jamie Hawkesworth, Alec Soth, Jack Davison, or a Jake Chessum-shot portrait of young Kate Moss. The sale runs until 11 March, and all of the 8 x 10 prints will be made and delivered after the sale. You can check out the full selection here

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Studio Ghibli