Yuko Shimizu


Celebrated illustrator who has won countless awards and her works have appeared in Playboy, Time, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and on several covers of Neil Gaimen’s Sandman.

Shimizu did this drawing for PlanSponsor. The article is about choosing between two difficult choices. Of the scores of fantastic illustrations on Shimizu’s site (and I looked at a lot of them), this one jumped out at me the most.

I have always been attracted to fine lines in illustration art and Shimizu’s brass diving helmets have an unmatched realism that seems to reside in the perfection of her lines. While at the same time, the underwater scene has a dreaminess to it.

Two children hold each other’s helmets and water ripples from the whirlpool they stand in. Tiny pink mushrooms fall from under their masks. The two colors which vibrantly play off each other are the pink of the mushrooms and the brass of the diving helmets.

I love the bubbles emitted from the mask and the long tubes stretching through the water and out of the illustration. The children are connected by their hands holding each other’s masks and though we cannot see their faces, we sense the human element underneath the masks, the eyes gazing at each other.

The black and white stripes of the old-fashioned bathing suits also has a startling charm. This illustration achieves its poignancy by combining the antiquarian and the surreal.


Yoku Shimizu’s works at her website.

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