Mac on Tokyo: Tatiana Dykes

In this edition of Mac on Tokyo, Mac talks to Tatiana Dykes. Tatiana shares with us her memories of Japan from living here as a child, visiting The World’s Greatest Metropolis, and discusses the launch of her new agency, TD Art.  

Maction Planet: Hi Tatiana. Thanks for joining us here at Maction Planet! First of all, congratulations on the launch of TD Art. We’ll be talking about that later, but you must be very busy with launching the business, and we really appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us.

Tatiana Dykes: Thanks so much for having me

MP: Thank YOU! So, you have a long history with Japan, right?

TD: Generations of it! I’m half Japanese and I also lived in Japan when I was a kid.

MP: That by the way, was definitely a loaded question! Where in Japan did you live?

TD: My Dad was in the Army and was stationed at Misawa.

MP: Wow! North of Hachinohe. What was that like?

TD: It was so beautiful there. The military base was smaller so we were able to immerse more in the local culture and I absolutely loved it. Some special memories for me are Lake Tawada where you could feel clams with your feet and gather them, making ice cream with fresh snow in the winter, having hot and fresh sweet potatoes baked in coals from street vendors, and the never ending fun of the cherry blossom festival. It was a very special time in my life.

MP: We’re in the middle of Cherry Blossom season here in Tokyo right now. Even though it will be my 11th, I never get bored of it! Did you visit Tokyo during that time?

TD: I did! Even in the 80’s it was such a huge city, and so breathtaking the first time you go. I recall we took the train to Ueno station and we had bentos and sushi. Train station food is reallly delicious in Japan! I remember how much I loved the Tokyo zoo, it had the best exhibits. Although I cried when a goat at the petting zoo area tried to eat my dress!

MP: The zoo is still a popular spot and I head there a lot on family tours, although now that the story about the human-eating goats is out I am not sure if it will be as requested anymore! The pandas are a massive hit with children of all ages.  What else struck you about Tokyo?

TD: I think as a kid I noticed just how large the city was and all the bright lights. I wanted to be able to see it all!

Where I lived in Japan was much more rural so seeing a city like Tokyo for the first time is quite the sensory experience. I’ve never seen another place like it.

MP: Where did you move to after you stopped living in Japan?

TD: We moved to Hawaii to be with family for a short time then to Maryland for a short while. I’ve lived in quite a few places, haha.

MP: Wow! That must have been quite a change! Have you been back to Japan since?

TD: I haven’t! I’ve been wanting to for a very long time and I miss it but have not had the chance to go back. I immerse myself in the food and culture available here which is great, but going back is high on my travel wish list.

MP: Hopefully we will be able to get some of the artists you represent over here for a comic-con soon. The scene is heating up with Tokyo Comic-Con, International Manga Festival and artist alley events like Brave and Bold. Let’s talk about TDArt. How did that come about?

TD: Yes, I certainly hope so, I’ve heard the conventions in Japan are fantastic!

TDArt has been a long time coming. I’ve been working in the comic book industry since I was a teenager and have been collecting art almost as long. I started working in comic conventions about ten years ago and have gotten to know a lot of artists and my boyfriend is also professional illustrator. So add all those things together, the experience and the passion, and it finally sprouted into a business.

I currently represent Sanya Anwar, Tony Parker, Conny Valentina, Joe Weems V and Walden Wong (with more to come). I also have consignment art available from a variety of artists. My plan is to represent and sell not only comic book art, but illustration and fine art as well.

MP: Any near-term plans you can tease? I saw Walden Wong just entered TDArt fold!

TD: Thank you! I am excited to have Walden on board. He’s a good friend and a great artist. He’s excited to start taking commissions and see what fun challenges collectors can throw his way.

What can I tease? I have another artist planning to come on board later this spring

MP: Looking forward to seeing that! Are there any unique things about TD Art that you think differentiates you from other agencies? For me, that fact you are a true fan and collector who has engaged the community for a long time is one.

TD: I think I have a unique understanding of artwork, customer service and sales of art given my specific background. I also understand the art collecting industry from the collector and artist point of view, which is unique.

MP: As they would say in the Houses of Parliament, ‘Hear, hear’. Anything final message to the readers out there before we wrap things up?

TD: Well a thank you to you first of all for inviting me on, and thank you to all the readers. Be sure to check out my website at, sign up for my newsletter and follow me on social media for up to date news and new art.

MP: Thanks Tatiana for sharing your memories of Japan and Tokyo and best of luck with TD art, and beyond!

TD: Arigatou gozaimasu

Maction Planet can incorporate ‘Otaku experiences’ as part of your Bespoke Tokyo Tour. Get in touch with us at to arrange yours.

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