Sometimes, a good illustration or artwork can be judged on its sense of atmosphere. For the Tokyo-based illustrator Shiori Fujioka, this talent seems to come naturally, as seen in her dusky cityscapes of the Japanese capital. She tells It’s Nice That, “I take pictures while walking around the city”, then takes the photos back to her studio to channel into beautifully chalky illustrations.
After graduating from Kuwasawa Design Institute in 2019, Shiori realised an interest in creating an ambient feeling through the art of illustration. Focusing on the relationship between urban architecture, its surrounding skies and the people that interact with it, Shiori “builds a sense of our time in history” through her practice. To get her creative juices running, Shiori reads poems and other literature, then translates this expressive mood into her illustrations. Using several washes of colour, she builds layer upon layer of flavour to create wonderfully detailed impressions of her home city.
Through the tranquil still of her works, Shiori captures another side of Tokyo beyond its notorious business. Even the paintings of crowded tower blocks plastered with adverts on all sides seem incredibly peaceful. All seems soothingly quiet under Shiori’s powdery blue skies that really seem to be moving across the paper before our very eyes. For the illustrator, “colour is born in the city where I live”, she asserts. Her illustrations look as though they are taken through a photographic sepia lens. With a hint of nostalgia, they look like a snapshot of someone’s sentimental memories of an important place.
And so it comes as no surprise that Shiori has exhibited in a great many number of places. With two solo exhibitions under her belt, not to mention several group exhibitions, her technical illustrations have also been recognised by numerous awards for her talents in scenic illustration. Currently, Shiori continues to create atmospheric cityscapes of the unseen side to Tokyo, one that’s restful and quiet.
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