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Yuko Shimizu

Yuko Shimizu, a renowned Japanese illustrator living in New York City, gained recognition as one of the "100 Japanese People The World Respects" by Newsweek Japan in 2009.

She is celebrated among comic enthusiasts for her recurring monthly covers for The Unwritten and her cover art for P. Craig Russell's adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The Dream Hunters, released by Vertigo. Her self-titled collection was published by Gestalten in 2011, and she had a children’s book called Barbed Wire Baseball, authored by Marissa Moss, set to be published by Abrams Books in 2013. Since 2003, she has also been an esteemed faculty member at the School of Visual Arts. Yuko Shimizu is not only an acclaimed illustrator but also a trailblazer in her field (NYC, S, S, Y., 2014).

Shimizu did not originate Hello Kitty and the two are unrelated. She provided cover artwork and interior illustrations for two English editions of the Moribito series. Shimizu was born in Tokyo, Japan, and spent most of her early years in Kanagawa Prefecture but also lived in Westchester County, New York during her teenage years. After graduating as a top student from Waseda University’s School of Commerce in 1988, she worked at a major sogo shosha's corporate PR department in Tokyo for eleven years before pursuing art by moving to New York City. There, she studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts and completed the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program in May 2003.

Following her master’s degree, Shimizu began receiving editorial illustration work from various publications including Village Voice, New York Times, The New Yorker, and Financial Times magazine among others. Her clients now include prominent publications like Time Magazine Los Angeles Times Microsoft Visa Inc., MTV T-Mobile Abrams Books Penguin Books Scholastic Corporation Simon & Schuster PepsiCo Nieman Marcus Der Spiegel Rolling Stone Businessweek Fortune (magazine), among others.

In 2008, Shimizu illustrated P. Craig Russell's adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman: The Dream Hunters” for Vertigo. She also created the cover art for the ongoing comic book series “The Unwritten” by Mike Carey and received Eisner Awards nominations for Best Cover Artist in both 2011 and 2012. In 2009, she collaborated with The Gap's AIDS charity line Product RED to produce limited-edition T-shirts that quickly sold out online and in stores. Furthermore, she contributed to charitable initiatives such as working on a mural for P.S.96 in the Bronx through the Robin Hood Foundation and Pentagram's library Initiative alongside graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister; the project was featured in the Times New York Times’ commemorative book Library.

Shimizu's other works include her children’s book "Barbed Wire Baseball" (written by Marissa Moss, Abrams Books) published in Spring 2013, and her billboards for Tiger Beer in London from 2008. Yuko Shimizu is an award-winning Japanese illustrator based in New York City (NYC, S, S, Y., 2014). Yuko Shimizu is an award-winning Japanese illustrator based in New York City (NYC, S, S, Y., 2014).(Yuko Shimizu — Inspiring global connections, 2006)


Yuko Shimizu (illustrator) - Wikipedia (2012). Available at:

YUKO SHIMIZU (清水裕子) - Yuko Shimizu (2014). Available at:

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