Yuko Shimizu
art doesn't save people's lives (but it can do other things instead)

This is a portrait of a young man I created back in 2006 for a Christian magazine. This young man, who loved mountains and nature, unfortunately lost his life too early to drugs.
When I initially created this image, the father of this man contacted me because he liked the image, and I sent him an enlarged color print to put up on his home wall.

While my assistant and I were organizing flat files a few months ago, among big piles of old work, I found the original b/w drawing. I thought of the father, but I couldn't find his contact. Then last week, he e-mailed me out of the blue, because he wanted to show me a photo of the print up on the wall of his new house. He said he made sure to hang the print so it is the first thing people see when entering the house. Thus I got his home address to FedEx him the drawing where it should belong.
This morning I got the most touching thank you message in my inbox. It really made my day.

I believe in power of art, and importance of it. At the same time, I always think of art as, "yeah, but it doesn't save anyone's lives" .
It doesn't, but art does certainly make our lives richer. At least, it's good to know that it does.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.
Many of you may be off from school or work, and heading home to see your family.
Every year, I pick an image I created over the course of the year that is the most Christmas-y to post here as my online holiday card. This year, this odd Candy land image I made for DC Comics’ Unwritten (issu #53) is it.
So, those of you who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas to you, and those who don’t, well, still Happy Holidays!
26 illustrators for Zatoichi box set
Known for their beautiful collector DVD/Blu-Ray packagings, Criterion Collection has done it again. And this is epic. Whopping 27 disk 25 movie full box set of Zatoichi: the Blind Swordsman starring legendary Shintaro Katsu. The set came out after Thanksgiving, just in time for Holiday season.
What is the most exciting s that the set comes with a fully illustrated booklet with 25 images done by 25 different illustrators and comic artists. Beautiful box packaging was done by Ronald Winberly (below) (package art directed and designed by Eric Skillman of Criterion Collection.)
and, below is my contribution to film No.9 Adventures of Zatoichi.

I have also picked some of my favorite images from this booklet, so you can see how cool this box set really is. from top to bottom: Greg RuthPatrick LegerJosh CochranPaul Pope,Sam Hiti and Benjamin Marra. (and can I show off that Josh, Paul, Sam and Ben are some of my very talented friends!?)

The set is currently sold discounted from Criterion store.  If you are in the US, you can still meet the holiday shipping deadlines. All the details, pricing and shipping,  please check Criterion website. 

life after art school, now what? conversation on JUXTAPOZ

The latest issue of JUXTAPOZ Magazine(September 2013) has a big feature called Art School 101, where recent graduates from four different US art schools ask questions to their professors about life after art school.

I had an honor to represent School of Visual Arts where I have been teaching illustration classes since 2003. One of my former students and very talented young artist Jensine Eckwall and I had a conversation which is featured in this article.

The whole conversation took place in my studio earlier this summer.  We probably talked and talked for more than an hour. JUXTAPOZ editors did a great job condensing the essence of conversation into just three pages. Since there are a lot of you out there, some outside of the US where you can get this magazine, who have the same questions Jensine has, I wanted to post the whole conversation here. 

*correction: my friend is an 'art director' at Victoria's Secret, not a 'director' as in the article.

Thank you Thomas Woodruff, chair of BFA Illustration and Cartooning Department of SVA for recommending me for this interview, Lisa Batchelder, Publicist at SVA for organizing and overseeing the process, Bryan Derballa for great photos (+ recording our conversations), and good luck to very talented Jensine Eckwall, and hope you visit her site before you leave this page.

The latest issue of JUXTAPOZ can be found at bookstores near you.

(I had originally posted this to my website's news section. Since a lot of art students and  young artists are reading Drawger, I have decided to repost it here. )

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Shimizu is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!
Yuko Shimizu website