Majestic Ukiyo-e inspired illustrations from the gifted Yuko Shimizu

11 July 2012

Quite why we’ve never featured the work of Yuko Shimizu on the site before is beyond me. The Japanese-born, New York-based illustrator has been freelancing for almost ten years now, following a drastic career change from PR to illustration in her thirties, and has worked with a dream list of clients, from big name editorial institutions like the New York Times and Playboy, to huge global brands like Tiger Beer and VISA.

Yuko’s style is deeply evocative of Ukiyo-e masters Hokusai and Hiroshige, taking cues from these traditional Japanese woodblocks to inform her character design, but making it contemporary with distinctly modern themes. Working in brush and ink, Yuko creates dynamic illustrations of often-surreal environments that imbue her subject with a true sense of the epic. She’s also got an extensive body of personal work that includes some incredible erotic art (no, really) in the form of Letters of Desire an alphabet book quite unlike anything you’ve seen before.

We’d encourage you to set aside some real time to explore Yuko’s site and really appreciate the full extent of her talents.


Yuko Shimizu: Personal Work


Yuko Shimizu: Bells, Whistles


Yuko Shimizu: Iwojima


Yuko Shimizu: Plan Advisor


Yuko Shimizu: Tiger Beer


Yuko Shimizu: Letters of Desire


Yuko Shimizu: Tea Party


Yuko Shimizu: TIME, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

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About the Author

James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and came back in summer of 2012 to work online and latterly as Print Editor, before leaving in May 2015.

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