Taro Uryu is a Tokyo-based illustrator with a penchant for simple graphic expressions. Mainly capturing well-dressed, female characters, Taro has created images for book covers, department stores, clothing brands and magazines. “I want to depict expressions that embody both happiness and melancholy, like Buddhist statues or Noh masks,” says the illustrator. “The big eyes are not ‘general blue eyes’ but images of the sky and the sea.”
The almost spiritual meaning behind Taro’s illustrations creates an interesting contrast between the immaculate, stark aesthetic he’s created. Using poppy shades of primary and secondary colours, Taro creates a geometric and orderly environment for his characters to navigate, all of whom have wide eyes, tiny mouths and long limbs.
Aiming for originality and “super coolness” in his work, Taro’s unusual perspective and mannequin-like figures feel fresh. The illustrator’s work becomes even more intriguing when placed in the context of a book cover or poster, as composition and the typography surrounding the image work together to make a cohesive whole.
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