Yuko Shimazu Yuko Shimazu Yuko Shimizu

Award winning Japanese illustrator based in New York City and instructor at School of Visual Arts.

Killed Job Of The Year 2011

Kill Job illustration 2011

It’s December. This is the time of the year when I look back and give the light of the day to the sadly killed jobs for one reason or another. Yap.

This year, it happened in January, and I knew immediately that it was going to be my “killed job of the year.”
My first TIME Magazine cover that never was.

When TIME called and asked me to do an illustration, that, by itself, I was really excited. I have worked with TIME in past, but not so often, so phone call from them is always exciting. I think the good thing was that when they initially said ‘half a page or full page” later turned into “maybe possibly cover”, then “maybe possibly a cover and interior illo”, I didn’t take it too seriously.

Oh of course, I did take the job very seriously. But I have worked long enough to know not to keep my hopes too high when I hear something that sounds just too good to be true. (Although, I know Tim and Edel and a few others here on Drawger have done multiple TIME covers in past. For me, it is still a dream. And I am in peace with it. )

When eventually, the magazine has decided to go with a photo for the cover, I wasn’t surprised. The photo felt more like TIME to me anyway.

It was a bit sad when eventually neither of my illustrations got published. But hey, the one with the tiger and piano got accepted into both American Illustration and Society of Illustrators annual, and then published in my first monograph (I will talk about this book some other time). I cannot ask for more. Thank you Andree Kahlmorgan and Emily Crawford for giving me an opportunity to work on an image that I am really proud of.

Kill Job illustration 2011 sketch

It was an article about tiger mothers. Remember, it was all the rage in early 2011? So, initial cover ideas were on top, drawing actual tiger. Then they asked me to draw the big mother and small daughter, which would look great as photos, but not so interesting as illustrations, I thought.


Kill Job illustration 2011 another illustration

I found the image on the right on TIME website. Works so much better in photo than illustration, I think.


Kill Job illustration 2011

This was my pitch for the cover, and although killed, I am still very happy with the image. Most of the illustrations I do have a lot of details, but I am a big fan of simple graphic image.