Instagram: @umao_f

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

My illustrator name is umao. I work as an illustrator in Japan. I’m living in Tokyo now.

  1. あなたのストーリーは何ですか? 出身はどちらですか?


2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I always keep in mind to draw illustrations with simple compositions and colors. I’m always thinking about what I want to draw, and how to create an attractive color combination.

2. あなたの美学について教えてください。


3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I draw pictures with acrylic gouache, blue ink ballpoint pens, and the iPad. It is fun to paint with analog drawing, and I use the iPad because it allows me to color, erase, and instantly shape my ideas. A blue ink ballpoint pen is an indispensable item for coming up with ideas.

3. あなたの好きな媒体は何ですか、そしてそれはなぜですか?


4. What is your artistic process like?

First, I draw a small sketch or rough on an A5 size notebook with a ballpoint pen.  Afterwards, I use my iPad to color my favorite roughs. While looking at the colored roughs, I draw a picture on paper with acrylic gouache and a brush.

4. あなたの作品の制作過程はどの様に構築されますか?


5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

I think I’m influenced by many people. Especially, my favorite artists are Bruno Munari, Dick Bruna, Philippe Weisbecker and Paul Cox. I really like their pictures and artworks. I also like to appreciate photographs, and I’m influenced by many photographers.

5. あなたの仕事に影響を与えたのは誰、または何ですか?


6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

I’ve loved drawing since childhood.  I grew up with my mother taking me to museums and exhibitions, and seeing many art books and photo books.  I’ve wanted to be an illustrator since I was a kid, and I’m very happy to be able to work with painting now. I also met my favorite people through art, so I feel that art is an integral part of my life.

6. 芸術はあなたの人生にとってどのような役割を果たしていますか? アートはあなたの世界観をどのように変えましたか?


7. Where did you study?

I studied illustration and painting at the Faculty of Design at Kyoto Seika University in Japan. Even after graduating, I still study it every day.

7. どこで学びましたか?


8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I want to do more work as an illustrator. Also, as an artist, I think that I will be making many works without being bounded by existing mediums. Someday, I would like to live and work in another country.

8. 5年後の自分はどうなっていると思いますか?


9. What about in ten?

It’s won’t be much different from 5 years. But I always want to surpass my previous self. Also, I’d be happy if I can publish 3 different art books that will be sold at bookstores.

9. それでは10年後はどうですか?


10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I’m hoping to draw something that makes people feel at ease, have fun, and feel a little positive to those who appreciate my artwork and illustration.

10. アートで何を達成したいですか?


11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

I grew up in Japan, so I like Japanese food such as sashimi.  I also like Asian food. And I also love chocolate because I have a weakness for sweets. When I was a student, when I travelled to Paris, I visited chocolate shops all day long.

11. では、あなたの人物像のことをもう少し詳しく教えてください。好きな食べ物は何ですか?


12. Favourite book?

Der kleine König Dezember (written by Axel Hacke, illustration by Michael Sowa) has cute illustrations and I have read it over and over since I was a kid.

12. 好きな本は?

ちいさなちいさな王様(著書:アクセル·ハッケ 挿絵:ミヒャエル·ゾーヴァ)は挿絵が可愛くて子供の頃から繰り返し読み返しています。

13. Favourite genre of music? 

I like any music! The music I listen to depends on my mood, the weather, and what I’m doing. When I draw, I often listen to Nujabes, The xx, and FKJ when I want to concentrate. I often concentrate on drawing at midnight, so I often listen to music that has a “Midnight-vibe”.

13. 好きな音楽のジャンルは?

どんな音楽でも好きです!聴く音楽はその日の気分や天気、何をしている時かで異なります。絵を描くとき、特に集中したいときに聴いていることが多いのは、NujabesやThe xx、FKJです。深夜に集中して絵を描くことが多いので深夜に聴きたくなるような音楽をよく聴きます。

14. What are your hobbies? 

Watching movies and dramas, going to exhibitions and seeing works.

14. あなたの趣味は?


15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

I like to craft with my hands, so I think I would be a creator or a craftswoman, or someone who makes videos or designs.

15. あなたはアーティストではなかった場合、どうなっていたと思いますか?