Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lunch with Ai Tatebayashi


I'm remiss in not writing about the wonderful lunch we had recently with Ai Tatebayashi. The parallels with her life and Yuko Shimizu's are quite interesting. Naturally they're both Japanese, educated in Japan—hers was a French Literature major—they both entered the advertising, marketing and public relations industry, stayed awhile and both ended up in New York going to SVA to start a second career. Both cruised through the undergrad program in two years, both went on to the MFA program and graduated. Both have enjoyed success as an illustrator.

Asked about artistic influences at home, while she says she always enjoyed drawing she had no immediate plans to become an illustrator. While Yuko's mother was a seamstress, Ai's was into arts and crafts in a big way, you can see the mothers' influence in both their work.

There's a wonderful whimsy to Ai's work, high-key imagery sparkles on the page whether it's a fashion or business subject, her unique style entices the reader into the story. Bravo!

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