As one of the most talented and successful illustrators alive, Yuko Shimizu (清水裕子) commands respect and admiration, both through her illustration work and her unassailable personality. Despite spending countless hours teaching illustration to new generations of artists and travelling far and wide to give lectures and workshops around the world Yuko Shimizu is able to produce a constant stream of impeccable work for clients ranging from DC Comics to The New Yorker and The Criterion Collection, earning her awards left right and center in the process; and yet, judging by the pictures on her social media sites, somehow managing to produce the most delicious looking dishes known to man on a daily basis. Rumour has it that her pet dog Bruiser does most of the work but this is unsubstantiated.
Yuko took an atypical path into illustration. Born into a society which puts undue emphasis on following the more orthodox career choices, she studied advertising and marketing at Waseda University before taking a job in corporate PR in Tokyo. Unfulfilled and unhappy after spending over a decade within The Matrix, Ms Shimizu left everything behind and moved to New York in 1999 to study art at the School of Visual Arts for the first time at age 34 where she graduated with excellence and would later join the teaching staff.
Yuko Shimizu usually begins an image on paper on gel pen to define the composition before going to work on the linework using traditional Japanese brush techniques. A scan of the illustration is then moved into photoshop where she applies her sublime colour palettes. You can see an example of her process at the end of this post, taken from our first release with her.
Yuko Shimizu’s Pierrot Le Fou goes on sale this Tuesday July 28th at 3pm BST from our shop. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to own a lushly produced limited edition hand-pulled screenprint from one of the most revered illustrative artists working anywhere in the world.