ian tadashi moore [¡™]

Designer, Illustrator, Photographer, Musician.




Find Beauty In Your World

Zōsan is an illustrated book about a little elephant who discovers that his world is far more than he ever imagined. Along the way he finds new friends, pushes past his fears, and brings joy to others.

Song to Story

Zōsan began as a small project to create illustrations to go along with a Japanese children's song. My first son was born in 2011, and I heard the song on a CD we bought. I also was reading daily to him, and my interest in illustration started to bubble. I sketched out the entire idea… and then forgot about it. Being a new parent is hard…

The idea grew in into an short story with an audiobook component. I hadn't written in a long time, but it felt no less natural. I forgot how much I loved it.

I loved stories on tape as a kid — the kind with multiple voice actors and music, and would often do book reports on tape because it was an option for me. The audio book gives me a chance to do some composition, audio editing and sfx design, other side hobbies of mine.

The book is printed as a softcover and a handbound hardcover case bound all-letterpress version. The latter features Japanese book cloth, hand sewn perfect binding in the three signatures, and hand-painted watercolor end sheets on Arches hot press paper.


My project was fully funded on Kickstarter and I'm working to get the project realized. It's well on its way, but I've gotten some new ideas and I'm figuring out all the artistic details for the letterpress hardcover version — everything from pick silk headbands to the kind of paper that will be on the inside cover of the book. The campaign ran from 5/29/2015 to 6/28/2015. You can follow the along via Facebook, the official site, or on twitter.


Here's a short sample of the audiobook, which is available for purchase either with or without the book.


Man of La Mancha

at St. Dunstan's @ Cranbrook academy

I love photographing theater. This was a production of Man of La Mancha. If you're looking to purchase photos you can find them at my companion site iantm.com/photo.


I set up wordpress site so I can push myself to do…stuff.

Writing, sketching, anything. Just as close to daily as possible.

Bon Voyage

Monster Engine

My Monster Engine

This is one of many of my Nephew's drawing I "enhanced". I used this project as an excuse to push myself to use Procreate on the iPad with a Pogo Connect Stylus. I was inspired by the work of Dave DeVries. I had originally modified Donutman too much, and it was okay, but there was something inherently wonderful about his original composition that I did it again, this time not altering the fundamental structure. The result was much better, so I continued on with six other drawings that way.
Get Ready to Fly

Get Ready To Fly

Unlike many of my illustrations, this was done mostly Sketchbook Ink on Android. I sketched out the initial idea on my iPad then forced myself to use Sketchbook to see what I could do with it.

Sketchbook Ink has some advantages over Illustrator for line work—cleaner curves better control over line widths.


Best Wishes

This illustration was created for a friend going through surgery. I thought about all the things people make wishes with, then put them into these categories.
Four Blocks

Four Block Empire

This illustration + logo of my band Four Block Empire shows our four piece ensemble: guitar, drums, bass and keys.

Long Live the Buddha Belly

My friend turned 40. He loves bacon. He has a big belly. We love him.
Exiled to Motown

Exiled to Motown

A forthcoming book created by the Detroit Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). It features interviews with members of the JACL following their stories from the Internment Camps to their struggles afterward in Detroit. My grandfather, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 93, is one of them.

Unfortunately, very few of those in the book are still alive, but this book — over 300 pages of transcribed interviews by Scott Kurashige and others — is for all future generations to experience.

The book is now available! contact me on twitter if you're interested.



Emma is a rather self-confident canine, who wonders what's so special about retirement.

"So you get to run around all day and do whatever you want?"


"What's the big deal?"



A commissioned work for a baby's nursery. Watercolor on cold press paper.
Get Down to Business

Get to Business

Because sometimes, you need a rocket jetpack and grit to get to where you want to go.


NYC Natural History Museum

I spent several hours in the NYC natural history museum sketching on an Android tablet using Sketchbook Pro. I used to bring a large 11x17 pad of paper (see Canis Latrans). I found the tablet was a great alternative to a pad of paper, though it has one disadvantage: the room is dark, and looking at a bright screen to a dimly lit subject proved to be challenging. Otherwise, I loved using the device because it was portable and every bit as good as using a sharp pencil.

New Adventures

It's always sad to see someone go, but I tried to put a positive spin on it… new frontiers ahead!

Birds of a Feather


Valentine created in absentia for my colleagues. I drew them all as birds on our little island. Next year: some other animal, similar idea.
Canis Latrans

Pencil & Paper

I love drawing in natural history museums. These were all done with pencil and 11x17 paper, something in spite of all the digital means of creation I still enjoy using.

Eat it to Save it

…is something my dad says and my grandfather used to say. I probably will too. Yes, I realize there is a typo in the text. Bummer.

Watercolor an gouache on cold press paper using one of my favorite brushes, a Black Velvet sabel.


Girls Only - Activity for Life!

I created these characters—Bridgette, Celeste, Kim and Monique—for a program promoting physical activity for middle school girls. The participants were able to pick one of the avatars to follow them throughout the study. I found that girls tended to quickly resonate towards one of them, though the differences are slight.
Crossfit Cougars

Crossfit Cougars

A group of ladies were starting a Crossfit business and wanted to market themselves as Superheroines. I got a little bit of insight into who they are, the names they wanted—Kitty Bitten, Madame Blondage, Belle of the Balls, and Dragon Slayer—and some reference photos, and created these characters.