Web Japan > NIPPONIA No.30 > Cover Interview
NIPPONIA No.30 September 15, 2004

cover interview
Expressive Power and Sensitive Touch Draw Attention to Young Artist
Written by Tsuchiya Komei, Photo by Saimon Fujio

Yoshiyasu is now working on an illustrated story to be released this autumn with the soundtrack of her Nyancos animation DVD.

Soft, delicate lines, vivid, sensitive colors… no wonder so many people worldwide are showing an interest in Yoshiyasu's creations. Her Nyancos dolls—or are they cats?—began as illustrations and have now also become figurines and animation characters on DVD. Soon they will be in a picture storybook.
"The Nyancos are original characters I began drawing four years ago. After they were published in magazines and appeared in mobile phone websites, more and more people got to know them. That led to a breakthrough into the figurine and animé market."
The Nyancos characters first popped up on Nokia Japan's mobile network in 2001, and this exposure by the cell phone maker made them known worldwide. The Face, a British magazine with an insider's take on culture, chose Yoshiyasu as one of the world's 29 artists to watch. Her talked-about exhibitions in Tokyo and London have raised her profile even higher.
"My London exhibition lasted a month, and I'm really happy about the positive feedback I received from all kinds of people, whether students who hope to become artists, or people in the design industry. Some told me they felt the colors and lines have an Oriental touch. I'm pleased and grateful that my work is getting attention and appreciation overseas."
Yoshiyasu was born and brought up in Kyoto. Her family is in the Nishijin-ori silk weaving industry, making obi waistbands for kimono. She graduated from Kyoto Seika University's Faculty of Art.
"Even some people in Japan say they see the influence of Nishijin-ori weaving in the lines and color schemes of my work. I'm not sure they're right, though," she smiles.
"I use computer graphic software to draw my illustrations. I'm such a stickler that, to get the most beautiful, sensitive linework, I might look at different possibilities down to a single pixel, although you'd never notice the difference in itself. I'm also very much concerned about color coordination.
"For my next project, I'd like to make an animé with an enchanting storyline, something that doesn't involve the Nyancos. When I was in university I did some work in video, so if I have the chance someday, I'd like to try my hand at film."

      Special Feature*    In Japan Today
      Japanese Animals and Culture    Bon Appetit!    Cover Interview