Yuki Uebo, heavily influenced by the culture of the city

We were very drawn to Tokyo based Yuki Uebo’s work at a recent illustration fair, so we are thrilled she’s joined the Illo roster!

Yuki’s work is heavily influenced by the culture of the city, such as the busy streets, the colour, and general messiness. She graduated from The Royal College of Art in London with a Design Production MA and worked for a digital art production company in Tokyo before starting her illustration career. 

Through her work, she aims to imagine and depict people’s conversations, characters, and stories. She won the AOI Members Award at the World Illustration Awards in 2022, for her work ”Travel to Japan” a stereotypical view of Japanese culture.

Find out more here….

When did you start illustrating?

I have always loved illustrating since I was a child and used to draw my favourite cartoon characters in the corner of textbooks and notebooks in elementary school. I still have a habit of doodling whenever I find a corner of a memo or a post-it note, remembering the fun I had as a child.

Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?

My mother used to work as an illustrator for children's books so she is my perfect mentor!!  I often ask my mother for advice on illustrations and she makes me realise things that I didn't realise when I was drawing alone.

Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?

Yes! I was born and raised in Tokyo, but went to London for university. At first there was a language barrier, but through art and design, I was able to learn how to express myself beyond language and culture, which expanded my world.

What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?

I think my illustrations are very influenced by the scenery of Tokyo, where I was born and raised. I like to draw subjects that are typical of Tokyo, such as crowds , colourful sights and streets with a mix of classic and modern culture.

How would you describe your style?

I love to draw illustrations that appear with a lot of people and characters. I have a passion for drawing the smallest details, such as the expression on each person's face, the textile details of their clothing, the plants and wall patterns in the background, and so on.

What is your favourite collaboration to date?

I don't have many collaborative pieces yet.

What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?

At Illo Agency, there are illustrators with various styles working in a wide range of projects, so I would like to challenge myself to work in new areas.

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?

I have watched many animated films such as Disney and Ghibli since I was a child. I believe that my illustrations are inspired by them, and I try to draw illustrations with stories that make the characters look expressive and start talking vividly, just like in the animations.

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

I am doing my personal project drawing pictures of people in Japan in the 1950s and 1960s based on photographs left by my grandmother's brother. I try to depict people's expressions that are vivid and timeless. Example

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?

Recently, I often listen to podcasts about KPOP to cheer me up when I work for my illustration!!

If you have any questions or a specific project in mind, please do get in touch: [email protected]

At illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.