Hi, I'm
Toniko Kanashiro

Contemporary Figurative Artist

Toniko Kanashiro is a Japanese-Filipino self-taught artist based in Saitama, Japan. She was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to Japan in 1998. She learned how to draw at the early age of five before she could even learn how to write. Living with her aunt who was busy running a kiosk, she was left to entertain herself by drawing faces on cigarette lining paper. This was how her love for drawing began. Kanashiro did not start using colors until she was in her 30s. Watching youtube artists like Leilani Joy and Suzi Blu encouraged her to try mediums like acrylic paint and colored pencils and she has loved using them ever since. Kanashiro's contemporary figurative style is greatly influenced by the great masters Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, Sandro Botticelli, and other art nouveau artists.

As a single mother, she had to work full-time in a company for more than 20 years. But that did not stop her from making art. She continued to paint on weekends and joined group exhibitions whenever she could in Tokyo, Chiba, Gunma, and Saitama. She had her first Solo Exhibition in Chiba in 2006, and another solo show in Saitama in 2015. She launched her first indie T-shirt brand LEXSHA REPUBLIKA in 2014 and did a relaunching in 2022. Kanashiro was a featured fabric designer of Musa Fabric during their Runway show in Tokyo last Dec 2022. Her bead jewelry line will be launched at the end of this year.

Kanashiro started her hand-painted bag business at the end of 2020. It has been three years since she was finally able to pursue her dream job and work as a full-time artist.