Yuko Shimizu is a Japanese illustrator who now resides in New York.
It was nice to go to her OFFF talk without any preconceptions, having not seen her work before. She put her illustration work in context through an honest and very human account of her life.
She grew up in a traditional Japanese family, always held back from pursuing a path in art as it was just ‘not an option’ there.
As a result, much of her work is concerned with a coming to terms with her ‘Japanese-ness’, the American perception of Japan and themes of sex and female empowerment.
She has a comic illustrative style with strong bold colours and lines, but also married with echoes of Japanese traditional painting.
What’s amazing is that she didn’t start a career in illustration until she was 34!
She is a great example of it never being too late to start on a new path and believes artists can’t help but embrace change and move forward.
“You are never too old to do ____”
In showing her process, it was brilliantly refreshing that she also showed work she was embarrassed by, her personal failures. (Not that I can find any of them since the talk!).
Take a look at Yuko Shimizu’s portfolio over here.