Today, we're shining our spotlight on Yuki Yamagata, a Japanese illustrator living in San Francisco. Since she's a local Jimdo user, we invited her to our USA launch party (be sure to check out the blog post for more photos) earlier this year. We're glad to have had a chance to catch up her -- read on for more about her work, future plans, and experiences using Jimdo in two languages!
Yuki has also created some great header images you can use on your JimdoPage - you'll find them on the site of her illustration and design studio, S.F Walkingbeans.
Tell us about your experience at the Jimdo launch party?
The party was not only interesting, but also fun! It was very good to meet with the Jimdo’s staff in person. Also thanks for the opportunity to meet with other Jimdo users. I was surprised there are many interesting businesses that exist in San Francisco.
What sort of response did your artwork receive at the party?
I was happy to see some attendees gazed at my Animal Alphabet Poster and tried to figure out the name of animals. My alphabet letters on the poster are posed by the animals who have the same initial letter with the alphabet. For example, I create a letter P by using Pigs. People tried to figure out what the letters stand for but when it comes to U, people cannot figure it out easily. U is for an Unau which is another name for the two-toed sloth. It was really good that attendees had fun talking and discussing about my illustrations, and they also learned new animal names.
How long have you been illustrating? What is your inspiration?
I’ve been illustrating for two and half years. Same as other kids, I love drawing and I’ve been doodling since I was very young. My inspiration is from many great artists in the world, especially the artists in Japan, but the biggest inspiration is from small things in my routine life. I love to see my pet, plants, ducks in Golden Gate Park, sky in San Francisco, coffee cups, fruits and so on. They are stimulating my imagination.
How has Jimdo helped you showcase your work online?
I think Jimdo opened my path. I don’t have any knowledge about how to create a website, but I needed to have an online presence. I like Jimdo’s CMS doesn’t required to read descriptions. It’s very easy. After I created my website, I started to have contact from the people. That’s really great. Now I try to use both Japanese and English in my website because I started to have not only Japanese visitors but also English visitors.
How has using Jimdo in two different languages been for you? Is it hard or easy?
Using two languages in the same web page is not easy, I think. Because of too many words, probably two times bigger than using only one language, losing readability happens a lot. Plus, the fact that my English is still developing increases the number of words. I have to manage myself not to put many words, since I’m the person who wants to communicate with people not by words but by illustrations.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years? Ten years?
I’d like to see myself as an active illustrator in five years, in ten years and also in thirty years! I want to create fun illustrations to help people learn/know/understand anything that is difficult. My Animal Alphabet Poster is intended to help children to learn alphabet while having fun. Besides that, I have some other projects that include children’s books about umbrellas and ABC card games. Hopefully I can make those projects within a year and show them in my website.
Would you like to be in our next Jimdo User Spotlight? Leave us a note in the comments!