YUKO SHIMIZU is a freelance illustrator based in New York City and an illustration instructor at School of Visual Arts. Newsweek Japan has chosen her as one of “100 Japanese People The World Respects” in 2009.
Drawing had been Yuko’s hobby ever since she could remember. However, growing up in a traditional Japanese family, pursuing a path in art was just not an option. After receiving BA in advertising and marketing – the most creative of the practical field – from Waseda University she landed on a position in PR for a big corporation in Tokyo.
It never made her quite happy, and she was in a mid-life crisis at age of 22.
It still took Yuko more than 10 years of office job before she figured out what she really wanted to do and to save just enough so she could go back to school full time for 4 more years.
This is how Yuko came back to New York in 1999, where she briefly spent her childhood, and enrolled in School of Visual Arts (SVA).
Yuko graduated with MFA from Illustration as Visual Essay Program in 2003 and has been illustrating since. She also teaches a BFA Illustration course and occasionally advises MFA students at SVA.
She works in a studio in Manhattan, a space she shares with two artists whom she considers as her ‘New York family’. Yuko has not gotten into mid-life crisis since she became an artist.