Yuko Shimizu
December 2009
Happy Holidays
…to everyone who’s writing and reading at Drawger. 

I met a lot of nice people this year through blogging here. 
I wanted to make a holiday image just for Drawger, but between last minutes deadlines (just sent off the last job before Christmas) and personal matters, I ended up having to pick the one that’s most appropriate.

It is for The Word, a British music magazine I have been working with every month on their supplement compilation CD cover for about two and half years. So, thank you and Merry Christmas to Jonathan, Mark, Mike, Jerry and all the nice people at The Word.

New York City will be quiet for the next few days. A nice time of the year.
Have a wonderful holiday season.

Life Imitating Illustration, or…
left: the latest New York Magazine, photo by Mitchell Funk. right: Hemispheres cover illustrated by Shout
… or just a total coincidence? Two funny encounters this week.

I pick up The latest issue of New York Magazine on Monday and “Wow, it is another beautiful illustration by Shout”. I look closer… Oh wait, these buildings in the background look too realistic to be an illustration….? 
Then I realized it was NOT an illustration at all, but a photo.  Photographer is Mitchell Funk, he is a veteran working since the 70s (left).

I e-mailed the cover to Shout, telling him the story. He wrote right back and said he got a kick out of it, it is something he would totally do. In fact, he attached an illustration he has done in past that has a lot of similarities (right).

Was the photo inspired by the illustration or is it the total coincidence? We couldn’t tell, but it didn’t matter anyway.
The fun of all this is that two completely different mediums (especially that Shout’s work is not realistic at all) can create atmosphere so similar, graphic and beautiful. 

I love then both and I want to frame and hang them on my wall. It is not a bad idea to just see the beautiful side of winter and forget about all the cold and muddy slush that await us in the next few months. 

left: illustration by Heads of State right: mugs designed by J.C. Karich
I fell in love with these funny yet beautiful mug designed by J.C. Karich (right). I bought a whole stack to give to friends for Christmas (and keep one for myself).
I showed it off to fellow Drawgers, then Matt reminded me that Heads of State (left) that was done an illustration with the same idea a while ago. This, probably also is just a pure coincidence playing with the idea of anger in the office environment.

Now I am putting these two images next to eachother, I love the different takes on the same idea. In the actual mug the knuckles were placed opposite from the illustration and that affects the nice curvy form of the cup.

By the way, the mug, I heard is completely sold out for the holiday season, but if you want to be wait-listed, contact the nice people at UMA.

Oh, and last but not least….

Happy holidays everyone!

My 'Killed Job of the Year'
You realize you are a 'pro' when a killed job does not hurt your feelings anymore.
Of course, nobody likes rejection and it does need a bit of get used to in the beginning. But in this world jobs get killed all the time; editorial change happens regularly, articles do get canned, ad campaigns that never happened is also quite a common practice…
It’s not you, so hey, let’s not get upset. The only time you should be upset (with yourself) is when a job is get killed because you did a bad job. Let's hope that won't happen..

But then again, there are jobs that get killed that you were pretty happy with, and looking forward for them to be seen by others.  Oh craap, it happens.

Since it is the end of a year, I decided to go through all my killed illustrations and find ‘the one’. And here it is: Christian Louboutin fall-winter shoe collection! What a fun subject to illustrate? I had a great time indeed. (Call me a fashion victim, but all my close friends know about my more than 30 pairs of designer boots collection. 

So, I decided to make sure my killed-Louboutins see the light of the day at Drawger. Thank you for looking, friends.

Those were two sketches I submitted. I liked the left one a lot, but it was a bit too 'out there' for the client, which I totally understood. Maybe I should finish this one for myself?
All the shoes were based on actual Louboutin Fall-Winter collection. I had fun illustrating the different materials, and yes, the signature red leather sole!
inspirations, or my 'mood board'. These images are not exactly my references, but important part of a creative process to focus on the ideas and mood of a piece.
SPECTRUM silver medal!
with SPECTRUM silver trophy!
I have to be just honest; 2009 was definitely not the best year I had, and work was definitely slower than usual. 

But when the most of the world is in recession for over a year and more than 10% unemployment rate, you gotta look at the brighter side of it.

Price of milk is not going up every time I visit my local supermarket. And oh yeah, both my studio and home rent got frozen for now.   
I was able to squeeze in more travels and meet peers and aspiring illustrators everywhere. Invited to a museum show in Berlin, Germany, then a show and lecture in Xalapa, Mexico, guest instructor for three days in Utrecht, Holland, taught a workshop in Venice, Italy, and just got back from judging a Chinese illustration competition in Hong Kong, China, among multiple schools in the US who were kind enough to invite me over.  Thank you thank you thank you to all the kind people in my life. 

This week when I schlepped my heavy suitcase back from Hong Kong with my head spinning from jetlag, there was a big package waiting for me at my door. 

SPECTRUM silver medal!!!  And look how sci-fi fantasy it looks!
Below are the images that got accepted to SPECTRUM this year starting from the  silver medal winning piece in advertising category created for Microsoft as client.

Ok, so this year was not so bad. There were lots of great things to celebrate. What goes down must come up.  Economy will soon come floating back up, my dear friends who have lost their jobs will eventually find jobs that are probably even better than the ones they lost. 

For now, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season. And let’s make 2010 even better year than this one!

PS: this won’t be my last post of the year.

SPECTRUM 16 annual just came out. My silver award piece on the right. Gold was also by a Japanese artist, Mr. Ryohei Hase
one of five images created for online ad for Microsoft won this year's silver
another piece from Microsoft advertising series
Sandman issue No.4 cover for DC Vertigo was accepted into comic category
PLANADVISOR piece for CD: SooJin Buzelli, in editorial category
Recent Articles
Shimizu is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!
Yuko Shimizu website