Course Good Ideas make Great Illustration | Yuko Shimizu (Japan)

Course Good Ideas make Great Illustration | Yuko Shimizu (Japan)

Dirección de Internacionalización
Inicio / Programas / Course Good Ideas make Great Illustration | Yuko Shimizu (Japan)

Good Ideas make Great Illustration

Good Ideas make Great Illustration:

What is that thin line that divides into "that's a pretty good illustration" and "wow, that's amazing"? Simple answer: great illustrations are always based on good ideas. You have been wanting to make a leap into the latter side? Welcome to this course. We will work together on your idea skills, using various exercises – some simple, some not so simple, so you can flex your idea-brain, and ultimately make that leap into "wow that's great!" We will aim to finish at least one illustration from start to finish during the workshop.

We'll also cover the business side of illustration and answer any questions students have about working in illustration internationally.

This course is recommended for those who aim to work as an illustrator globally.

Dirigido a

Open to the public. For intermediate to advanced level, who has some experience illustrating / drawing (not necessarily professionally), and can or is comfortable with come up with quick idea sketches on the spot.

Not suitable for beginners. The course will be conducted in English. Students are expected to have proficient English communication level (reading, listening and speaking).

La edad mínima para participar en el curso es de 18 años (estudiantes de grado 11), aunque si contamos con un interesado menor a esta edad, se revisará con el profesor la viabilidad de su inscripción al curso.

El curso se impartirá en inglés, las personas interesadas deben tener una buena compresión del idioma (lectura, escucha y habla).


  • Learn how the illustration creative process works from start to finish.
  • Learn to build a flexible brain for conceptual thinking.
  • Learn composition skills and how to use them.
  • Learn how the business of illustration works.
  • Portfolio reviews for participants who are interested.


The course consists mostly of multiple small exercises that start and end very quickly. The shortest one takes a few minutes. The longer ones an hour to two. At least 5 exercises will be given, and each will tackle illustration from different points of view.

For example, some are about conceptual thinking, some are about composition, some are about how many different ideas one can come up with in a short amount of time, etc.

By going through these different exercises, the goal of the course is that each student learn how to make their illustration stronger.

One large(r) assignment is given towards the end of the course where each student will develop an illustration from scratch to (close to) the final image.


Day 1 Multiple exercises that start and finish quickly, to flex the conceptual thinking from different points of view. Each exercise goes just up to sketch stage. We do group critique on the wall for all of them.

Day 2 We continue with the exercises, which take longer and demand more effort. A larger project is given so each student can start and (hopefully) finish one project using what they have learned.

Day 3 Full work day for students. Also, lectures on business and marketing are given, and Q&A sessions.


Yuko Shimizu

Is a Japanese illustrator based in New York City and instructor at School of Visual Arts. Newsweek Japan has chosen Yuko as one of "100 Japanese People the World Respects(世界が尊敬する日本人100)" in 2009.

Her first self-titled monograph came out in 2011 (Gestalten), second monograph Living with Yuko Shimizu was released from ROADS Publishing of Ireland in 2016. Other books include A Wild Swan (collaboration with author Michael Cunningham, FSG, 2015) and a multi award winning children's book Barbed Wire Baseball (written by Marissa Moss, Abrams, 2013).

You may have seen her work on The Gap T-shirts, Pepsi cans, VISA billboards, Apple, Microsoft, NIKE and Target ads, as well as on the book covers of Penguin, Scholastic, DC Comics, and on the pages of NY Times, Time, Newsweek, New Yorker, WIRED and in many other publications over the last 15 years.

Illustration is actually Yuko's second career. Although art has always been her passion, she had initially chosen a more practical path of studying advertising and marketing at Waseda University and took a job in corporate PR in Tokyo. It never quite made her happy. At age 22, she was in mid-life crisis.

Yuko ended up working the corporate job for 11 years, so she could figure out what she really wanted in life, as well as to save up just enough to play a biggest gamble of her life: She moved to New York City in 1999, where she briefly spent her childhood, to study art for the first time. Yuko graduated with Master of Fine Arts from School of Visual Arts´s Illustration as Visual Essay Program in 2003 and has been illustrating since. She has also been teaching the next generation of talents at the alma mater.

She works at her studio in midtown Manhattan, and fulfills her passion of world travel by giving lectures and workshops around the world and various cities in the US. She has not gotten into mid-life crisis since she has become an artist.


Eventualmente la Universidad puede verse obligada, por causas de fuerza mayor a cambiar sus profesores o cancelar el programa. En este caso el participante podrá optar por la devolución de su dinero o reinvertirlo en otro curso de Educación Continua que se ofrezca en ese momento, asumiendo la diferencia si la hubiere.

La apertura y desarrollo del programa estará sujeto al número de inscritos. El Departamento/Facultad (Unidad académica que ofrece el curso) de la Universidad de los Andes se reserva el derecho de admisión dependiendo del perfil académico de los aspirantes.