Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Japanese for “Let’s eat.”

(I’m currently combating a migraine and a narrowly avoided artist double-post, so this should be fun.)

Shingo Shimizu is based in Toronto. After graduating from Ontario College of Art and Design’s Communication and Design program, he moonlighted as a DJ in clubs and lounges before being commissioned by club promoters to create flyer and poster designs. His work earned the attention of art directors, and eventually he progressed to full-time illustration, as well as character and graphic design. He still DJs nights at local clubs and has said that music is a major driving force in his art. Some of his clientele have included Scion Canada Lifestyle Magazine, Coca-Cola, Virgin Mobile, Puma, and Toyota.

Shimizu’s work has a very appealing comic book feel that is inspired by pop art and manga. His figures are dynamic, and he does a good job of using color to influence direction. There is also a decent balance of saturated and unsaturated areas to prevent viewers from being overwhelmed.

In the above example, the line weights are varied and delicate, giving the overall image a carefree feel that seems appropriate considering the girl eating in just a bikini. Her expression is inviting, which fits with the text and gives the illustration a pin-up sort of sex appeal. His choice of cool, muted tones throughout the majority of the composition is calming, but then the splashes of melon on the blush, lips, and chopsticks add a hint of excitement as well as movement. I always appreciate pragmatic design, so seeing illustrations on stationary and dishes is a multifaceted treat. In this case, the "cheeky" invitation to eat also serves as a rather effective advertisement for whatever might be on the plate, a sort of double entendre as it were. Either way, to me this design is very successful in appealing to multiple senses. I might even be more inclined to eat on this than compartmentalized zoo animal plates. (Oh, the heresy!)

Shimizu’s blog has snippets of his latest projects, new music, and other cool inspirational things. (My favorite part was the Scion Canada Lifestyle Magazine back cover originally having a Mountie on it… that had to be changed to a lumberjack because it wasn’t approved. Plan B ftw!) Check it out!

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