By Nina J P Evans

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Yuko Yamamoto's paper craft illustrations

Yuko Yamamoto’s illustrations are stylish and sophisticated; her choices of colour and layout appear to look effortless. She works in collage, paper cutting, drawing, and watercolour. There is a very feminine quality to her portfolio online, due to the subjects she chooses to illustrate and her beautifully balanced; and thought out colour combinations.

I first got directed to her site with a link to her paper cuts, on the first page of images she adorns herself in the soft white foliage of her designs, a promising start I thought, on the next linked page more portfolio were pieces exhibited, I discovered that the paper cuts were not getting more intricately complex by either method or composition. Throughout her series of pieces, was the organic nature of her designs and the use of the camera to better showcase them. Her photographs compositions were as vital as the work itself, using shadows and lighting techniques and placement, using curved objects such as a studio chair, it’s interesting seeing how the piece of delicate 2D design falls softy into the 3D object.

Her pencil drawings have the same flair and style as the subjects she illustrates, again there is a simplicity and elegance of line. Her drawings of the shop fronts Chanel and Mui Mui added a touch of class.

The illustrative collages I think I liked best because of her combined skills of paper crafting with a playful sense of colour. There was an appealing vintage theme throughout her designs, best seen with the illustration of objects such as an SLR camera, a screw-top pepper pot and a key which might fit an old French chateaux, I’d very much like to imagine.

Though she is a Japanese illustrator with an innate compositional sense, her illustrations are inspired by a French vintage style from the 1920s onwards. Everything is artfully composed, the way she photographed her paper cut designs was an interesting two step process. As appealing as her work is I am yearning to see a more conceptual approach to her designs. However, what is absolutely apparent is the high-end presentation of all her creative pieces.

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