It’s always a treat to be able to peek into the brain of those that I truly admire. Yuko Shimizu, a one of a kind Japanese illustrator that is based in New York. Yuko has quite an epic style, that’s the only way I can really describe it. I came across her work 4 years ago and have been following her progress ever since. Not only is she extremely inspiring, but she is constantly pumping out new work, while maintaining impeccable standards in quality. Her evolution as an illustrator is quite an interesting one, as she been drawing ever since she was young, however it took her roughly 10 years in an office job to realize that she needed pursue her passion. Newsweek Japan chose her as one of “100 Japanese People The World Respects” in 2009.


I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

Y: This is actually not a memory, but something I was told later. It is the record of my first creative activity. When I was around 2 years old, I took a crayon and drew a circle and a line sticking out of the circle. And apparently told my mother that I drew a balloon.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

Y: I got a marketing/advertising degree from a university in Japan and worked in corporate PR in Tokyo for eleven years and three months before quitting the position to move to NY to attend art school. I have been working as an illustrator for 9 years and six months now. It is hard to believe I still have worked longer in corporate than in art. So, the long story short, it is pretty obvious what I would have been doing if I didn’t choose art.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

Y: Inspiration is everywhere. Any every day experience, conversation with friends or strangers, trips I take and streets I walk around. I have had so much visual influences accumulated over long enough years of living and in touch with art since 2 years old (according to my mom. See answer 1) , I am less and less influenced and inspired by visual art. And more and more inspired by life.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

Y: I just finished this piece last week. I have been working as a cover artist for this DC Comics Vertigo series for more than three years. This is the latest cover.
I love that I get to do a lot of different ideas, compositions and colors for them. Not your typical main-stream comic book cover. I had a lot of fun drawing storm clouds and waves in the ocean.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

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Hi, I'm Ibraheem Youssef
I'm a Creative,
currently based in Toronto.

Welcome to my blog.

Art Direction / Alignment / Colours
Cooking / Design / Folding
Illustration / Paper / Printing
Ping Pong / Type / Walking

are some of the things I tend
to obsess over constantly.
Find out more about me here,
or check out some shots from my
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