Yuko Shimazu Yuko Shimazu Yuko Shimizu

Award winning Japanese illustrator based in New York City and instructor at School of Visual Arts.

Netherlands and Belgium in 12 days: 4 cities, 2 lectures, 3 days of workshops, and many more FUN

Just got back from a 12 day business trip (includes a short weekend getaway) in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The main reason of the trip was to speak at FITC Amsterdam conference and to run one day drawing workshop.
Then the trip got expanded to visiting art school HKU in Utrecht for two days of workshops and one free event after FITC was finished.  Then at the end, I added a few days to travel with a friend down to Antwerp and Ghent in Belgium, mainly to catch acclaimed picture book artist Carll Cneut‘s solo exhibition In My Head where the artist moved his studio in the museum during the duration of the exhibit, and to meet him.
Here is a quick photolog of the trip.


One day drawing workshop during FITC Amsterdam with 18 enthusiastic participants. Some of them came all around Europe, some even from US and Chile! We just drew all day long, non-stop.

lecture at the main room during FITC AmsterdamSome from my slides from the talk

Utrecht is a small canal city near Amsterdam, which has a different, more low key charm. HKU is an art school located here, where I had two full day workshop and an evening of open-to-public free talk event. 

Ghent, Belgium
when I started planning the trip to Amsterdam last fall, I realized illustrator Carll Cneut was having a large show In My Head in Ghent starting December. I had known his work for years, since I bought one of his picture books in France during illustrators’ annual new year trip about 7 years ago, and had been taking the book to show to my SVA students every school-year since. I asked him if I came by to his show he would be willing to meet with me (I made sure to tell him that I am not a stalker), and he said YES!
A good friend in Amsterdam has been telling me for years she wants to come with me to Antwerp (because we both love Antwerp Six), so we decided to take a trip together to both cities over a long weekend.
It turned out to be the best decision I made. Ghent is a picturesque medieval town, but not a tourist trap like some other similar cities. We got to see Carll’s show, and he took us around to a long walk during sunset.  (oh and, of course got my books autographed!).
If you are interested in the exhibit, it is still going on till May 10th.

the photo above was taken during my long morning run. The town was just so beautiful, I ran much longer than I normally would in a morning.

Owning Carll’s book for about 7 years, then planning this trip since September, I finally met him in person. Yay.
He has moved his whole studio to the museum during the duration of the exhibition. Which is great for the visitors, but in reality, he said he can’t really work with constant visitors, so end up working after-hours at home. That is so generous of him to do that, considering I won’t even accept studio visits. I can’t really work with people around.
Many of Carll’s original acrylic paintings and drawings are on display. After I planned this trip, I read on internet: ‘if you have to choose between Ghent and Bruges, go to Ghent’. Now I know why. It’s just a picture perfect gem.and, as we were leaving, I couldn’t help myself taking many pictures of amazing-looking train station ceiling.


Netherlands business trip: studio is closed.

I took off to The Netherlands, and the studio is currently closed till March 4.
Main purpose of the trip is to participate in FITC Amsterdam as a speaker as well as conduct a one day drawing workshop. I will also be teaching at art school HKU Utrecht for two days next week. (and a weekend getaway at the end of the trip to Belgium with a friend.)
I believe FITC tickets are still available in small number. Not sure if the workshop tickets are, but if you are interested, you can check with the organizers.
There is an evening lecture at HKU Utrecht, which is open to public, but need RSVP. Please check the flyer below for details if you are interested.

Society of Illustrators’ ILLUSTRATORS 57 exhibit part2

The second of the two-part annual exhibition just opened at The Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators (New York), and will be up till February 28th. The opening reception and award ceremony is tonight (February 6).
I have seven pieces in this show, in Book and Editorial categories.
List of all the medal winners here. Congratulations to former student Peter Diamond for his first Silver Medal!
Buy your ticket to the opening reception (Friday, January 9th) here. Hope to see you on the opening night.

The Unwritten Apocalypse cover (client: DC Comics AD: Gregory Lockard)

As Good As New (client: Tor Books AD: Irene Gallo)

The Melancholy of MechaGirl (client: VIZ Media AD: Nick Mamatas)

Monstrous Affections (client: Candlewick Press AD: Nathan Pyritz)

Blackberry Hunting in Fijord (client: Asset International AD: SooJin Buzelli)

Igloo and the Big Kid (client: Asset International AD: SooJin Buzelli)

Il Grande Torino (client: 8×8 AD: Priest+Grace)

One day drawing workshop. Tickets available.

Let’s have a whole day of fun drawing, and learn how to draw (or how to draw better if you already know how to draw)!
I will be conducting a ‘drawing boot camp’ as part of FITC Amsterdam conference where I will be participating as a speaker.
I have done a lot of different workshops in past, but I have never taught a drawing workshop. This is something I have been wanting to do, as, um, I think one of my strength is drawing, and most importantly, I love teaching it! (I used to teach a full year drawing class for SVA cartooning students.)
You don’t have to be attending FITC to attend this workshop. And it is open to ALL LEVELS. Beginners welcome.
Workshop date is February 22 (Sunday) Early bird discount tickets are currently available (for the  next few days.) Workshop is limited to 18 participants, so please act fast!
See you in Amsterdam!

Some pictures from past workshops, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina, top two) and Venice (Italy, bottom)

and…, here is a little note of me planning the upcoming workshop right now. It’s gonna be FUN!!!

this iPhone case helps fund someone get clean and safe water for a year

Now it is easier than ever for smaller companies and individuals to make products, we artists get contacted about product collaborations more and more.  I get those e-mails almost every day. As a person who lives in the time when the world is filled with ‘stuff’, and sometimes a lot of stuff that just end up piling up in landfill,  I tend to stop and think. I try my best to pick and choose projects that works for me, and works for collaborators and have some kind of meanings to the projects.
It may be that the product is so well designed or well constructed I just want to be a part of it, or it’s my friend’s small company I am supporting… Or, something like this one, a company that is started by two well-minded young women who’s goal is to sell products that fund clean and safe water for someone in need somewhere in the world. This is why I decided to collaborate with RedDirt.

I just spoke with one of the co-founders of RedDirt as my iPhone cases just got released. She told me she just spent her holiday break volunteering in Uganda. Well, that may not be something everyone can do, but if you are nice enough to buy one of my (or many other designs to choose from) iPhone cases, you can contribute to their charity effort by funding one person gets clean and safe water for a year.

PS: for those who just got iPhone 6 for Christmas, the case is now in production, and will be released on their site not too far in the future.
Purchase the iPhone case here

Society of Illustrators’ ILLUSTRATORS 57 show opens

The first of the two-part annual exhibition will open at The Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators (New York) on January 7th, and will be up till January 30th. The first segment is Advertising, institutional and uncommissioned categories.
I have one piece in this show, in Advertising category. This was a poster image created for Tokyo Night Show, a music festival in Tokyo, Japan.
List of all the medal winners here.
Buy your ticket to the opening reception (Friday, January 9th) here. Hope to see you on the opening night.

print shop holiday sale is on!

updated: December 16, 2014
Holiday sale has ended. Thank you so much for all the orders. The last orders received is scheduled to ship within this week. Thank you again. 

Last few weeks, my assistant and I have been working non-stop to pack and ship prints from my shop. We’ve decided to have our very first print shop sale for the holiday season. The sale goes on throughout the weekend, so please take advantage, and get (a) print(s) of your choice for 20% off each with promo code: HOLIDAY2014 at checkout.
For on-demand print, please e-mail us at shop@yukoart.com to check the availability of the image(s) you are interested in. Or, any other questions, please get in touch with us by e-mailing. Thank you and happy holidays!
shop print here

Criterion Designs event at Society of Illustrators

Known for their beautifully designed special edition DVDs and blu-rays, Criterion Collection just came out with a coffee table book of their original package illustrations.
To celebrate the release of Criterion Designs, Society of Illustrators in New York will be hosting an event on December 3, 2014. With Eric Skillman, art director of  Criterion Collection, as the host, there will be a panel of 6 contributing artists (Greg Manchess, David PlunkertLeanne Shapton, Adrian Tomine, Ron Winberly and myself) discussing our experiences.

There will be a book signing, followed by reception at Society of Illustrator’s famous bar upstairs.
Admission is $15 for non members, $10 for members, and $7 for seniors and students with valid ID. Please read more and reserve your tickets here

Looking forward to seeing you on December 2.

Some of the projects I worked with Criterion Collection below.

my contribution to Zatoichi box set
Zatoishi big box set package was designed by Ron Wimberly

Little Nemo Dream Another Dream is ready for pre-order

After a successful Kickstarter campain earlier in summer, Locust Moon Press’s Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, a tribute book to Little Nemo in Slumberland is ready for pre-order.
Over 100 comic artists and illustrators contributed to the book, and the final result is massive 144 page, 16″ x 21″ monumental book! I have contributed a full page illustration for this book as well.
Pre-order your book here

My contribution to the book (above), and seen in the spread, next to Peter Diamond‘s masterpiece. I am so happy my former student and now a good friend is on the same spread. (Thank you friend and also a contributor to the book James Yang for taking this photo)

you can see how big the book is!!!

Original drawings were shown at recent Locus Moon Comic Festival. 

pre-order starts! limited edition silk scarf is in making

I am excited I can finally reveal the secret project I have been working with MAE Gallery Editions. Limited number of just 100, made in Japan high quality  silk scarf project is almost complete. MAE Editions is UK based, but they have moved their studio to Japan to work on the last part of the project. They just started taking pre-orders, and shipping starts in January, if not earlier.

The scarf is 93cm square (about 37inch square), comes in collectors numbered box, and price is $185USD. You can also choose pition with signed large print  for $285.

Read more and pre-order from MAE Gallery Editions online store.