I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: dog loving people are the best. They are the kindest, most generous people out there. When you meet someone at some random moment—like while your car is being serviced—and the subject of dogs comes up (because with me it always does), and a big grin appears…you know you’ve found one. Next they reach for their phone (which used to be wallet) to show you a picture of their dog, and usually you get a little story. Well, the same thing happens in the virtual world also.
The Boston Terrier illustration above is by the incredibly talented Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu (I will quickly point out that she’s NOT the Yuko Shimizu that created Hello Kitty!), and she created it for a poster a few years ago. The dog belongs to Bon Appetit design director Matthew Lenning, and the poster was for a Society of Publication Designers competition. When I came across this illustration I knew I had to see more. It is some of the most beautiful illustration work I have seen ever, and I find myself mesmerized by it. She must be one of the most sought-after illustrators around because there’s a lot of it to see, her website showcases around 400 pieces! What I love even more is that she traded her dull career in advertising and PR to pursue art, left Japan and came to New York to attend the School of Visual Arts. Since graduating she’s obviously kept herself very busy, and she also teaches at the school.
Back to the dogs. When I contacted Yuko, she was happy to be featured on the blog and said she needs to draw more dogs (yay!). We agreed that this illustration, as well as the one below would be good choices. She also made sure to tell me right away that she LOVES dogs, and that her own handsome long haired Chihuahua Bruiser was used as the model for this poster (I didn’t ask if the caped woman is her, but since there are brushes and art supplies in her hair, hmmm). Yuko travels quite a lot for speaking engagements, and this poster was for one in Mexico.
She also said I could include some photos of her beloved Bruiser, and here he is hard at work:
And here are some other examples of Yuko’s work. Honestly it was so difficult to choose. I wish I could put them on my walls…
If you’d like to become mesmerized yourself, visit Yuko’s website here. Her self-titled monograph was published by Gestalten and can be found here. She’s also creating a children’s book that will be released this year, titled Barbed Wire Baseball. Yuko has a preview of the book on her blog here, along with an inside look at her creative process.
All images courtesy and copyright Yuko Shimizu.