Yuko Shimizu

Yuko Shimizu

Yuko Shimizu is an award winning Japanese illustrator based in New York City and instructor at the School of Visual Arts.  (She’s one of our favorite creative people in the whole world.  We think she kicks ass.)

You may have seen her work on The Gap T-shirts, Pepsi cans, VISA billboards, Apple, Microsoft, NIKE and Target ads, as well as on the book covers of Penguin, Scholastic, DC Comics, and on the pages of NY Times, Time, Newsweek, New Yorker, WIRED and in many other publications over the last 15 years.

Illustration is actually Yuko’s second career.  Although art has always been her passion, she had initially chosen a more practical path of studying advertising and marketing at Waseda University and took a job in corporate PR in Tokyo. It never quite made her happy.  At age 22, she was in mid-life crisis.

Yuko ended up working the corporate job for 11 years, so she could figure out what she really wanted in life, as well as to save up just enough to play a biggest gamble of her life: She moved to New York City in 1999, where she briefly spent her childhood, to study art for the first time.

Yuko graduated with MFA from SVA’s Illustration as Visual Essay Program in 2003 and has been illustrating since.  She has also been teaching the next generation of talents at her alma mater.

She works at her studio in midtown Manhattan, and fulfills her passion of world travel by giving lectures and workshops around the world.  She has not gotten into mid-life crisis since she has became an artist.

Please do not mix her up with another Yuko Shimizu.  This Yuko did NOT create Hello Kitty.

Buy lots of her prints here.  Learn about Yuko’s classes through Skillshare.

Suggested listening while viewing this post:

“In Heaven” by Japanese Breakfast

Watch our introductory video for Hello Sister.

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