Paper Rabbits - Animation and Illustration by Makoto Koji | Blog
Paper Rabbits Animation, Illustration and products by Makoto Koji
Paper Rabbits, Animation, Illustration, Animator, Illustrator, Makoto Koji, Paper, Rabbits, Rabbit,
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QANTAS Spirit of Youth Art (SOYA) Awards: Finalist


This year I entered the QANTAS Spirit of Youth Art (SOYA) Awards in two categories: Animation and Visual Design & Communications category.

I was selected as a Finalist in the Animation category and Highly Commended in the Visual Design & Communications category! :O Was super excited to be a finalist along with friends, people who studied the same University course & those who I really look up to in the industry.


Congrats to this year’s winner: Pete Lowey who took out the award! He’s such a talented, humble and lovely human being; win well deserved.
Check out his work on his website, my favourite is his original “Alfred Skimmy” series, makes me giggle every time.

Also big congrats to Runners up: Darcy Prentagast and Luke Saunders, and all the other finalist! So much talent, super excited about the future of the Australian Animation Industry 🙂


Semi-Permanent x Whirlwind Print, Take me Home Poster Exhibition


May this year, I designed a poster for Sydney’s Semi-Permanent X Whirlwind Print, Take me Home Poster Exhibition.

The theme was Take me Home. I heart dear little Adelaide. It’s been my hospitable, lovely surrogate home for the last 5 years and one that’s nurtured my professional growth. It was an opportunity to express that in a little way. Roses, frog cakes, quaintness and touch of Wizard of OZ too.

Here’s the poster:

Take me Home Adelaide




Ko-Oni (Little Troll)

I’d like to present Ko-Oni (Little Troll) very first Paper Rabbits short. Like the name, it’s a “little” short less than 2 minutes, something I created in my own time a while back. I really enjoyed bringing these Oni to life and I would love to do more with them in the future. Ko-Oni was missing sound design and score for a while, so I was super excited when Lachlan Coles kindly provided the Sound Design & Christopher Larkin composed a lovely Score. Both were perfect & I can’t thank them enough. Thank you both so much!

Here it is! Enjoy 🙂

Ko-Oni (Little Troll) from Paper Rabbits on Vimeo.

TVC Pitch Concepts

Recently I had the opportunity to work with an advertising agency to provide treatment and early concepts for a series of TVC’s. While the pitch was unsuccessful, I though it would be nice to share how I approached it and some of the work I provided for it.

Here are some images I mocked up for the pitch. The turn around on the pitch was quite short.  I started with an illustrative, picture book style.


After the first stage, the agency requested  a grungier direction. The reference provided pointed towards line drawings and water-colour. I played around with ink drawings and treated them digitally in Photoshop. This approach would be Aftereffects heavy, though still retain the warmth from my initial concept.





Hope you like them!


Scandi Sweets and Dogs

Back-tracking a little, 2012 was the Year of the Dog, not in relation to the Chinese zodiac (2012, year of the dragon) but it was the year when so many people around me became responsible dog owners. It was as if a “buy a dog” switch flicked inside everyone’s head. While I wasn’t overcome with the desire, I loved seeing it happen around me. There were so many new puppies to meet and go on play dates with, minus the hard part of looking after them. Lucky me 🙂 Here are some puppy pals ->


While reaping the benefits of this new dog craze … I was dreaming of Scandinavian Sweets.

The combination of these two very different things, Dogs and Scandinavian sweets, resulted in a three piece illustration set: Scandi Sweets.

The set is now available at my print shop:

Pudding Pretzel – (origin Germany) accompanied by maiden and German Dachshund.


Prinsesstårta – (origin Sweden) accompanied by maiden and Swedish Jämthund


Runeberg’s tart – (Runebergintorttu, origin Finland) accompanied by maiden and Finnish Lapphund


xx Makoto

Stockholm Blend

It has been a crazy March and it’s going by so quickly!

A bit of news:

Paper Rabbits now has illustration prints available online! Yay! Here is the link: . I’ll be releasing fresh new prints over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. You can also  get free shipping until the 17th of March if you use this link:

and I also have a Facebook page for regular updates. Search: Paper Rabbits – Animation & Illustration by Makoto Koji.

To celebrate, here is a new illustration: Stockholm Blend.

I’ve never been to Stockholm but have been fascinated with Scandinavian countries. The illustration was inspired by a delicious tea called Stockholm Blend. It’s a  black tea which was originally blended in Stockholm (hence the name), with orange peel, safflowers, calendula blossoms, rose petals, vanilla and apricot (all really warm orange tones). Romanticizing/imagining how it would feel in a cozy cafe in Stockholm, crowed by Scandinavian animals.  To think it all started with a cup of tea 🙂


Love Makoto