Friday, 17 March 2017

Wedding custom orders

December last year, a good friend of mine in Japan had her wedding. I was asked to do a welcome board with the illustration of the couple, which is quite common to have at weddings in Japan.  
I was also asked to give it a Christmas feel since the wedding was in December. She also asked for little forest creatures to be included.


I haven't been to too many weddings but it was one of the most emotional wedding. I was mentioned in her little speech as one of the girls who changed her life in school. ( I had no idea! until I heard the speech.) She was extremely shy at school and I apparently made her to open up. She is now one of the most bubbly and a friendly atmosphere-setter of my friends. I remember talking to her in the first few days of school because she was busy drawing in her sketchbook at her desk. She is really good at drawing.


And here is another wedding commission I had recently of a couple. They are a lovely couple of English man and Lithuanian lady. They wanted to reflect each other's background so I illustrated the girl in folk Lithuanian costume and English gentleman. This was a cover illustration for their wedding invites. 
Head over to my website for detailed look on both wedding commissions.


Monday, 6 March 2017

Tea packaging design

After coming back from India in January I had a meeting with my agency. I have visited India for 3 times now and it has been my desire for years to illustrate India. Tea packaging was one of the theme I wanted to illustrated for a long time. This coincided with my discussion with agency of "putting my illustration in context." So I decided to do packaging illustrations.
I've visited Mumbai many times and had chai from street stalls, at stations and at home. And I like the buzz of the Mumbai city. Rickshaw for example, I found the drivers' skill to take you through the hectic traffic amazing. They are often chilled out and barefoot and driving in casual style. So I included him in the design for Mumbai cutting chai.


For the second packaging I picked Darjeeling tea. In contrast with colourful and cheerful Mumbai chai, this packaging is serene and green. The tea plantation is located in the mountain and the tea plantation is lush green. During my research I have also come across many articles about the tea pickers were under paid and living condition that the tea farm should provide them weren't at a minimum standard. So please buy fair trade next time you go and shop for tea. So what do you think of these packaging?


Thursday, 26 January 2017

New Year, new resolution

Little bit late to say it but.....Happy new year! 2017 is a year of the Rooster in Japan.

My resolution last year was to stay on top of things. ( I think I have achieved it quite well. Or perhaps it slipped with this post being put up late?) 
This year I would like to continue creating more illustrations, make use of social media more for exposure and if I'm torn between whether to do it or not, just DO IT. This last resolution was one of my slogan when I was in school. I tried so many things following this little rule of mine and I almost never regretted for not trying things. So I thought it will be good to bring it back for me:)



Friday, 20 January 2017

Looking back at 2016

Now I have come back from holiday and started a fresh year of 2017, I would like to write about how 2016 has been for me.

2016 was definitely a year of "change." I had signed up to do a year of editorial work with a Japanese magazine and I had few series of jobs that came via my illustration agency. I was also finding that the balance of doing day job and doing illustration was getting off balance. So I decided to put myself in the full-time illustration life. (Regardless of whether it was going to pay me or not, I had some savings and just wanted to try.)

It was really hard for me to be a full-time illustrator. I realised that being an illustrator is a very lonely work. Until February 2016, I spent more than half of the week working in a busy cafe. Serving coffee and food, meeting people and working with a team of colleagues. Suddenly this interaction with people had stopped and I felt very uneasy. I felt like I was being depressed from stuck at home.




New illustration created for Illustrated 2016 from sketches at Kew Garden earlier in the year.

So I decided to keep myself busy. -busy with creating illustrations. I applied to participate in exhibitions and fairs.
I was invited to take part in Illustrated 2016. It was my first major group exhibition to take part in central London. Then an interview with a Japanese web magazine came along. The t-shirt I designed was in a group exhibition in Tokyo during the summer. I was also invited and decided to take part in a group exhibition in Japan in the winter. I also spent a good time creating illustration for TFL competition - which I later found out I was shortlisted.

そこで、目標を立てて、それに向かって作品を描いていくことにしました。何かしら目標があれば、それに向かって続けていけるかなと。ロンドンでのいくつかのイラストの展示に参加を申し込みました。そこで、『Illustrated 2016』に招待されました。これは私にとって初めてのロンドン市内での大きなイラストのグループ展参加でした。そして、その直後、どこで私のことを聞きつけてくださったのか、ウェブマガジン『灯台もと暮らし』さんからも取材をしていただきました。夏にはTシャツデザインをしているDesign@rt Museumでの東京でのグループ展があったり、また12月にはLaundry Graphics Galleryにて、グループ展にも招待され、参加いたしました。夏に、コンペに向けて描いた絵も入選し、2017年春からロンドンの交通博物館で展示予定です。

Laundry Graphics Gallery, Record jacket illustration  
Laundry Graphics Gallery, Record jacket illustration

Now I have written and looking back at what I have done in 2016, I was able to do a lot more illustration than previous years. Not enough to be full-time though but I re-discovered my love for being an illustrator. I have also found out that I want to be around people. Being around people is also an inspiration for my illustration. So for 2017, I am still keeping my illustration as my main priority but I am going back to my day job to maintain myself illustrating with a happy mind.


Thursday, 22 December 2016

MORE Magazine from Shueisha inc. Japan

Last week, I received a thank you email from the editor of a monthly fashion magazine, "MORE" from Shueisha Inc. in Japan. I have now completed a year of editorial illustration job for the magazine. It has been an honour to produce illustrations for them this year. MORE is a magazine I have known for a long time when I lived in Japan so when I got the contact to illustrate a page monthly it felt somehow surreal but at the same time very excited. It was also my first recurring job. Until then I had never took upon a job that happened regularly. So It was amazing as being an illustrator it is always hard not knowing when the next job will come in.

The illustration style I was asked to produce was also different from my usual painted style. It was more of a line-drawn style with limited use of colours. Every month I was briefed to illustrate characters in a city around the world with an animal. Theme depended on the seasonal features of that month. I enjoyed the briefs every month. I had many opportunities to illustrate places or scenes I have never illustrated before. So it challenged me in a good way too. I am very grateful for the opportunity that MORE gave me and really really happy to have met the editor and the designer, the magazine and the magazine readers too. Thank you very much!!!

There are still two more issues to be published with my illustrations in it. I'll be updating those on my facebook page.

May issue was published in spring featuring colourful Bento recipes for ohanami (Japanese cherry-blossom watching/picnic)so the brief was a picnic. - I was specifically asked for western style picnic rather than the Japanese Ohanami style.   5月号は、お弁当特集を雑誌で取り上げていたので、テーマは「ピクニックでした。お花見ではない、欧州でやるようなピクニックということで、サンドイッチやチーズなどを食べてるカップルにしてみました。




September issue with the theme of stargazing.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Approaching December

It has been a while since my last post! I need to write more frequently!

Since around September, along with my monthly editorial commissions I have been busy making a piece for an illustration competition, creating some wedding stationery for friends and creating new work for a group exhibition in Japan. (This coming December! I will write the detail in this post.)

I will be heading to Japan for a week from the end of the month - Very exciting!!
I can't wait to soak in onsen - public bath, especially in this weather! It's going to be good.

"My Favourite Things" group exhibition in Tokyo
From Monday 5th to Saturday 10th December I will be exhibiting my newly created work for LP record cover exhibition at Laundry Graphics Gallery in Tokyo.
The theme for the cover was "My favourite things." So I could create anything I like or something related to a musician, Mayumi Kojima who will be performing at the event. So I combined the illustrations inspired by my trip to India few years ago and some of Mayumi's songs which feature sea and whales. I will post the images when I come back from the trip.
You can see the exhibition detail here at Laundry Graphic Gallery's website.

Also during December, I will be having a stall out at St.Agatha's school Xmas fair in Kingston. Because of my trip to Japan I have laid off applying for bigger London Xmas fairs but thankfully, my husband, very kindly agreed to stand at the stall for me on 4th December while I am away...Thank you!! So anyone local, please come and visit Nozomi Inoue illustration stall for some prints, posters and cards on Sunday 4th December between 2-5pm.

(Work in progress. Illustration for the exhibition in Tokyo. レコードジャケット展へ出品した作品の制作途中写真)



【My Favorite Things レコードジャケット展】 at Laundry Graphics Gallery in Tokyo.

12月5日(月)〜10日(土)まで渋谷にあるLaundry Graphics Galleryにて、レコードジャケット展に参加いたします。今回のグループ展に参加するにあたり、新しい作品を制作しました。写真は制作途中のイラストです。「私のお気に入り」をテーマに、数年前にいったインドへの旅行と、イベントにてパフォーマンスされるミュージシャン、小島麻由美さんからインスピレーションを受けたイラストを描いてみました。是非、仕上がった作品もギャラリーにてご覧ください。お近くにお寄りの方は、是非ランドリーグラフィックスギャラリーに足をお運びくださいませ。

また、12月4日(日)はロンドン郊外のキングストンにある学校、St.Agatha's schoolにてクリスマス・フェアに出店して参加する予定です。当日私はフェアには参加できないのですが、お近くにお住まいの方は是非お立ち寄りください。私のオリジナルの作品、プリント、クリスマスカードなどを販売しております。

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Barnes & Noble book store

Over the last 3 months I was working on direct mailers and book fair poster for Barnes & Noble. (Images may change slightly subject to the final design of the text-placement.)
It came as a nice surprise as I had never worked on series of illustration like this seasonal direct mailers.
It was little challenging to get the right feel of the store at the beginning as I never visited the store. But with the references I got and feedbacks I had from the client I was able to pull it off. The client liked my "whimsical style" - as they called it, and wanted to turn the book store into an opening box - you might recognise the pink building from my past work.

クリスマスから3月にかけて、アメリカの書店、Barnes & Nobleとのお仕事をさせていただきました。ダイレクトメイラーを2枚と、ポスターのお仕事の依頼を頂きました。シリーズものとしてお仕事させていただけたのはとても嬉しかったです。

There were lots of elements in the January edition direct mailer and in the book fair poster. I don't think I have painted so may books and people in one piece before!


The poster design showing sketch and the final artwork. I enjoyed making my own
paper-collaged bookshelves. 
Direct mailers were sent out to members of Barnes & Noble. The poster will be put up in the stores where there will be book fairs held in various B&N store in USA.
As I won't be able to see the printed poster, it would be nice if anyone in the US could message me with the photo or something:)