Akie Nakata, a Japanese Artist, turns naturally found stones into animals that you can hold in your palms. Akie picks a stone of a unique shape and paints it into an animal that she thinks is destined to fit the stone shape. She told us that ever since she was a child, the interest in collecting stone was in her. Her stone painting journey began in 2011, while she was walking by a long river bank. A pebble, looking like the shape of a rabbit caught her sight. She wrote in the email that sent us, “Stones have their own intentions, and I consider my encounters with them as cues to go ahead and paint what I see on them.”

After selecting a stone, Akie asks herself, “Am I positioning the backbone in the right place? Does it feel right? Am I forcing something that disagrees with the natural shape of the stone?”

She also added, “To me, completing a piece of work is not about how much detail I draw, but whether I feel the life in the stone.”

While some might contest that a stone is not a living organism, when Akie holds one in her hand, she feels everything it has “silently witnessed over the millennia.” Believing each rock has a story to tell, the artist decides to breathe life into each one with her paintings. She reveals, “Sometimes I paint while I talk to the stone as I hold it in my hand.” Akie hopes that people holding her created stones treasure them, as they treasure their own lives “because we all stand on the same earth, and we come from the same earth.”

Japanese artist Akie Nakata turns found stones and rocks into adorable animal paintings you can hold in the palm of your hand.

Inspired by the natural shapes of each stone, Akie uses acrylic paint to bring their creature characters to life.

Each stone animal looks remarkably lifelike.