Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Totoro Forest Project

[Art by Scott Campbell for the Totoro Forest Project]

Just outside of Tokyo is an urban forest called Sayama Forest. It is believed to be the inspiration for legendary animator Miyazaki's film My Neighbor Totoro. Due to urban sprawl over the last 30 years, the forest has diminished in size. In an effort to protect the remaining woods, Miyazaki set up the Totoro no Furusato National Fund, a trust help to preserve the park and promote awareness of environmental issues.

In an effort to spread awareness of the project and raise funds, The Totoro Forest Project hosted a charity auction of paintings, drawings and sculptures created by almost 200 artists, cartoonists and animators all inspired by the iconic film, My Neighbor Totoro. The project is currently on exhibition and the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. The artwork will be exhibited through February 8, 2009.

A book featuring the work in the exhibition has recently been published but according to the Totoro Forest Project blog, it sold out in a matter of minutes. Hopefully, it will be reprinted soon.

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