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Artist Spotlight: Yuko Shimizu, Illustrator

Posted by Kathy Smyser on Sep 28, 2015 3:40:00 PM

Brittany_Tucker_Yuko_Shimizu
Yuko Shimizu by Brittany Tucker

Yuko Shimizu, selected as one of “100 Japanese People The World Respects”  by Newsweek Japan in 2009, is a Japanese illustrator living in New York. She was born in Tokyo and graduated as valedictorian from Waseda University, one of Japan’s most prestigious universities.  After college, she worked in advertising for one of Japan’s largest trading companies.

Illustration a second career

After 11 years, she resigned from her position and went to New York City to pursue her childhood passion of Art, receiving a MFA from the school of Visual Arts in 2003. Her early jobs included work for Village Voice, the New York TimesThe New Yorker and Financial Times. Currently many well-known publications, publishing houses, and brands are her regular clients.


Shimizu has done work for notable charitable concerns, including collaborating to design T-Shirts for The Gap‘s AIDS charity line Product RED. and a 11-panel mural for The Robin Hood Foundations and Pentagram’s charitable Library Initiative.  In 2013, she illustrated Barbed Wire Baseball written by Marissa Moss, the story of professional ballplayer Kenichi Zenimura, who brought the pastime of baseball to the WWII Japanese Internment Camps in the United States.
Brittany_Tucker_Yuko_Shimizu2She is known by comic book fans as the illustrator for cover art for the ongoing series The Unwritten. Shumizu has received numerous Gold and Silver awards from the Society of Illustrators and multiple other awards.

Yuko Shimizu by Brittany Tucker

Each week on the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design blog, a different profile of an artist is posted. These are taken from a classroom project where the illustration and fine art students create “Artist Trading Cards,” first researching the facts about and the style of a selected artist, then making a trading card that captures the spirit of the artist.

Topics: Artist Spotlight