Yuko Shimazu Yuko Shimazu Yuko Shimizu

Award winning Japanese illustrator based in New York City and instructor at School of Visual Arts.

Haruki Murakami and Patti Smith for NY Times (+more)

1. NY TIMES Book Review
Over the weekend, NY Times Book Review came out with the review of highly anticipated US release of the new book by Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage(released today).  The review was written by Patti Smith (!!)  It was a huge honor for me to be able to illustrate for this special issue of Book Review.

I got hooked to Murakami books since my long time friend and then coworker Yuko Saito (then Chikamoto) got me into reading her collection of Murakami books. It was the early 90s, Norwegian Woods was already a best seller, and I was a bit skeptical of reading books by such a hugely popular writer. Only to realize and reminded why so many people have been enchanted by his writing.

And here is a disclosure; illustrating for this issue of the Book Review was not an accident. As a fan, I had read the book in Japanese when it came out, and I knew when the English version was coming out. About a month prior to the US release, I wrote to Nicholas Blechman, AD of Book Review, whom I had years of working together on multiple projects,  to see if the Book Review was planning on using illustration to review this upcoming book, and if they would consider me as one of the candidates.
I don’t usually do this. I am more of ‘wait for clients to contact you’ person than a go-getter. But this was something so special, I needed to write that e-mail. He got back to me right away and gave me the project.  (read the behind the scenes article written by Pamela Paul, editor of Book Review here)
It was a happy accident that it turned out to be a cover, and that NY Times filming crew decided to came to interview and document the whole creative process.
Thank you Pamela, Nicholas, and thank you Robin Lindsay and the filming crew.

please set your browser to permalink view to watch the video:

2. UK Waterstones edition

Also, a bit of surprise for UK fans of Murakami. Check out the special edition coming out only from Waterstones. I contributed on a special mini-project with them.Thank you Suzanne Dean for the project.  (Sweet, it looks like there is a signing with the author as well! Check it out, Londoners)


3) and in the latest issue of GQ
And, I made a fun set of postage-stamp size illos for the August issue of GQ (US). Reviews the book with funny Murakami novel trivia quizzes. (Look for Kanye cover in newsstand near you)  Thank you Martin Salazar for the project.