Manabu Endo creates dignified portraits of his subjects using a watercolor background and detailed ballpoint pen illustrations. The dreamy animals, plants and occasionally humans are reminiscent of picture scrolls and evoke a strong narrative.

The 38-year old Endo is entirely self-taught, and began his career as an artist just a few years ago, which is surprising given how developed his style is. “Mountains from a distance look like moss. Moss from up close can look like a mountain,” says Endo, describing his his philosophy “and in some sense, everything can be thought of as a forest.” In that context, one can begin to see the circular nature of Endo’s works as an inter-connected forest with blades of grass becoming wood, which becomes fur, which then gives life to flowers.

Endo is currently showing his work at s+arts gallery in Tokyo as part of his 2nd solo exhibition titled “Spirits Planter II.” The work will be on display through September 29, 2019. You can also follow Manabu Endo on Instagram.