Dennis Sun

Dennis Sun

Maki Nibayashi

Artist, freelance graphic designer and illustrator

Time in Japan:

12 years

Where are you from?
The Philippines.

What brought you to Japan?
I come from a big family with brothers and sisters around the globe. After graduating from university, a job was already waiting for me in Los Angeles but my protective and loving mother persuaded me to live and work in Tokyo so I could look after my Japanese sister.

What do you do now?
Basically, I' an art creator and I do anything fun and creative. I have done all sorts of design and illustration jobs ranging from simple business cards, brochures and print ads to department store and shop art murals and window displays. Now, I am busy developing and designing cute characters for a children's fashion company. I'm also trying to finish a children's book, which I hope to publish within this year. Aside from exhibiting my works around, I also help other artists with potential to promote their works. I am currently working as the art curator of my friend's shop in Ebisu, and we are always looking for artists wanting to exhibit their works.

Who was your biggest influence?
I'd like to say Picasso or Dali, but I would have to admit it was Walt Disney. I grew up watching Mickey Mouse and all the cute characters he created.

What do you try to express through your art?
The inner child! For me, the wonder of life itself should be seen best through the eyes of the inner child that exists, and hopefully never dies, inside of all of us. It is my mission to make this world a better place through making positive art filled with love, light and laughter. People who have gone to my art exhibits told me they were affected by the fun and positive energy in my work and felt as if they were being transported to a whimsical world filled with vibrant colors and vivid imagination.

What was the weirdest thing you've seen or experienced here?
It's Halloween in Shibuya every day! These young Japanese girls wearing heavy, weird make-up look more like drag queens to me. Someone please tell them: Natural beauty is best.

What's the one Japanese thing you'd like to take back to your home country?
Sento (Japanese public baths). I have never felt so clean and refreshed in all my life! I make it a point to go at least once a week. Somehow, I always feel that taking a bath in one's own private bathroom isn't enough. Never leave Japan without the sento experience. You will learn so much about Japanese culture.

What's your recipe for a happy and successful life in Japan?
First and foremost, learn the language. Basic Japanese will be a great help. Then, focus on your goals. Live and love. Shine with light. Fill your life with laughter. And last but not least, always get in touch with the child and the divine within.

Contact Dennis on 03-5749-5574 or email or check out his website:

Dennis Sun spoke to Maki Nibayashi.

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Issues 250-299

Issues 150-199