Hawaii born artist Chanel Tanaka first encountered painting and drawing at a very young age. A hobby quickly turned into a passion, which transformed into a life changing career. Her main focus is on acrylic paintings with expanding interests into mixed media, including metallic paints.

The artwork features a contemporary Asian silohuette style. Inspired by traditional Japanese Geisha and Samurai, her paintings embody Japanese, lifestyle, culture and architecture.

Silhouette - A silhouette is the image of a person, an object or scene consisting of the outline and a featureless interior, with the silhouetted object usually being black. Silhouette images may be created in any artistic media

My Story

Geisha – just the word evokes mystery. Historically Geisha began their training at a young age and master their art over many years of rigorous training and study. The literal translation of Geisha is ‘woman of art’ and that is the essence of Chanel Tanaka. She began her training in art since a young child and spent many years training with various media at various schools and the Honolulu Academy of Art.


One day as she looked at a blank canvas an image of a geisha emerged and Chanel painted her. This began her journey exploring the mystery of her roots and the mystery of women. Her artwork expanded to other scenes inspired by traditional Japanese lifestyle, culture, and architecture. The silhouettes of Geisha and Samurai evoke the honor of her ancient roots.

Chanel developed the idea of using women as her canvasses similar to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of sand mandalas to symbolize of the ephemerality of life and the world. She wanted to showcase how women can have strength through femininity. The women who are painted feel empowered and they carry this with them long after the paint is washed away.