Mistakes, Lessons, and Being Creative


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Presented at FITC Toronto 2014 on April 27-29, 2014
More info at www.FITC.ca

Mistakes, Lessons, and Being Creative
with Yuko Shimizu

We all make mistakes, Yuko Shimizu has made many. But at least she has learned from it and become a better creative professional.

Yuko sat down and made a list of the 20 most important things she learned as a creative professional, which hopefully you can use in your creative career.

Yuko Shimizu
Illustrator, yukoart.com

Yuko Shimizu is an award winning Japanese illustrator based in New York.

You may have seen her work on Pepsi cans, Gap and NIKE T-shirts, VISA billboard, Microsoft and Target ads, as well as covers of DC Comics and pages of New York Times, TIME, New Yorker, GQ and Esquire. However, illustration is actually her second career; after studying marketing and advertising in a university in Japan, Yuko got a position in corporate PR in Tokyo, a job she kept for 11 years. After having an early midlife crisis, she made up her mind to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an artist, and moved to New York to study at School of Visual Arts in 1999. She received MFA in illustration in 2003 and has been illustrating since.

When she is not in her studio, she is teaching the next generation of artists at her alma mater. In 2009, Newsweek Japan chose Yuko as one of the “100 Japanese People The World Respects”.

Published in: Design, Art & Photos, Technology
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Mistakes, Lessons, and Being Creative

  1. 1. hello, my name is Yuko Shimizu nice meeting you
  2. 2. first thing first.... my long journey to becaming an illustrator.
  3. 3. let me thank those who were mean to me. I am standing here today, because of you.
  4. 4. we never get younger than we are today.
  5. 5. so, let’s stop thinking “I am too old to _____________”
  6. 6. and start today.
  7. 7. so, what exactly do we (illustrators) do????
  8. 8. “what do you do for living?” “ I am an illustrator” “what do you do again??”
  9. 9. a bit of a process. how an illustrator work....
  10. 10. But when a project doesn’t move smoothly....
  11. 11. case study: bad case scenario life of an illustrator is not always easy (But we can at least laugh about it)
  12. 12. 12 years of making tons of mistakes, 15 things I’ve learned that keeps me going
  13. 13. 1. no life experience is ever a waste of time.
  14. 14. 2. take (at least) one small risk every single day.
  15. 15. 2. take (at least) one small risk every single day.
  16. 16. 2. take (at least) one small risk every single day.
  17. 17. ... and when I look back at old work and think I used to suck,
  18. 18. I AM on the right track!
  19. 19. 3. let’s face it. clients love photography WAYmore than illustration.
  20. 20. So, let me, at least, try to make pictures that photos cannot easily create.
  21. 21. So, let me, at least, try to make pictures that photos cannot easily create.
  22. 22. 4. bad ideas eventually leads to good ideas. Keep working on those thumbnails. (no, There IS no light bulb in my head!)
  23. 23. 5. be loyal to those who have helped me along the way, especially in the beginning,
  24. 24. and give back to them the best i can.
  25. 25. 6. don’t take A project if it takes good night sleep away from me.
  26. 26. 6. don’t take A project if it takes good night sleep away from me.
  27. 27. 7. it’s OK to turn down a job,
  28. 28. because there are always others who want to take it.
  29. 29. 8. help others. especially the new-comers.
  30. 30. it’s a good karma.
  31. 31. 9. a project is not a success unless the client thinks so,
  32. 32. no matter what i think.
  33. 33. 10. once I say ‘yes’ put 120% effort into it,
  34. 34. whether it pays $300 or $30,000.
  35. 35. 11. never work for free. don’t undercut others.
  36. 36. it will come back and haunt you.
  37. 37. this is a dark slide of shame.
  38. 38. 12. and don’t make people work for free either.
  39. 39. wisdom of Gary Taxali (the illustration star of Canada)
  40. 40. 13. trying to ‘find my style’ is a waste of time.
  41. 41. Each of our ‘personal voice’ within ourselves.
  42. 42. 14. sometimes, there are things more rewarding than money.
  43. 43. 15. my ultimate masterpiece will be created in THE future. (though that day MAY never come, it’s totally OK.)
  44. 44. thank you for your time. and good bye, for now.
  45. 45. yukoart.com twitter/instagram: @yukoart