I periodically find works of this illustrator in depths of the internet, so I decided to look closer and share them with you. With Yuko Shimizu I instantly felt the atmosphere, symbols and even color schemes which are typical to contemporary Japan illustrators. I was mistaken only about one thing.
Yuko found most of her creative freedom and inspiration in USA. When she came back to Japan in 80’s she couldn’t adapt to “their” culture. Now she lives in USA, keeps receiving awards again and again, and, as she says, is not missing her homeland at all.
After searching for the answer to the question why her work is so much “Japanese-like”, even though she doesn’t feel very good there, I found a straight and simple answer. Yuko was drawing since she could hold a crayon in her hand. This is when the exclusive manner and region-specific ways of expression of the Eastern world have shaped her style. The artist has been trying to deny this influence in her artistic explorations many times, she has tried other styles, but finally she has settled with it and says that since then creative process itself became more pleasant.
Yuko makes a living from never ending commissions and sometimes she gives lectures for future artists. While growing up in traditional Japanese family, she did not dare to join the studies of art, so she chose the compromise and started studying marketing and advertising in the University of Waseda. After that she got into a regular and boring job in one of the Tokyo companies, which she found very unpleasant. It took her another ten years to drop everything and come to USA to study illustration.
I think such person is a perfect inspiration and example for young people, just like you, who have just recently started their life quests.