Fashion, desserts, and other delights, what more do girls need to have fun?
Through trendy hairdos and afternoon treats, the chic, geometric girls of Maiko Sugiyama create their own adventures with all of their favourite things.
We enter the sweet, sweet world of Maiko, whose covers Cream Soda and Parlour invoke a sense of whimsy that is both dreamy and bold.
Read on to learn more about how her vibrant, geometric style is developed, her sources of inspiration, and more—
Hi Maiko! Thank you for taking your time out to do this interview. For starters, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Maiko Sugiyama. Nice to meet you!
After graduating from an art university in Tokyo, I worked as a designer at a company that makes miscellaneous goods, or Zakka. I mostly created fancy and girly Japanese-style designs there.
Since then, I’ve become a freelance illustrator who works with snack packaging and book covers.
Girls are the main subjects of many of your illustrations, including these new covers. How do you bring out the individuality in the girls you draw and what types of personality or character were you trying to convey in these covers?
The characters I draw are geometric, so their faces aren’t given strong personalities. With those characters’ favourite things in mind, I showcase their personalities through their clothing style and mannerisms.
For these covers, I thought I should draw a girl who really understands what makes her happy, and would use that knowledge to enjoy herself in her own way.
We really loved how these two covers turned out! What do you hope users will feel when they get these covers?
The girls in the covers are people who are surrounded by things they love and are living life at their own pace, happily. I hope that whoever receives these covers will also be able to absorb the same sentiment and find joy in that.
Your unique art style uses a lot of bright bold colours and shapes. What drew you into developing this vibrant style that exudes motion?
I have taken inspiration from vintage Japanese and European advertisements, vintage American toys, Russian and English picture books, etc., which are also things that I adore.
As I used to work as a designer, I try to utilise simple, easily conveyed shapes in my art, and this focus has developed my current style.
Also, I love graphics created from the clashing of colours, I grew to consciously use high contrast colours for my works.
What’s the biggest influence when it comes to developing your art style?
Besides the graphics in the world that I’ve mentioned in my previous answer, I guess I’m also influenced by the Japanese manga I read every day.
How would you describe the change in your style over time and what other art styles are you interested in trying in the future?
While the type of stroke feel one uses to draw can be important, I also think it’s crucial to take into account how interesting an artwork’s theme is and the level of synthesis it portrays. Thus, my art style has been changing with that in mind.
That being said, I think in the future I’d like to try the kind of style where the art seems like it blends into the environment. Still, no matter what I draw, I want to keep drawing without ever forgetting to imbue the artwork with a little uniqueness.
If you are open to sharing, do you mind telling us one of the challenges you faced as an artist?
Not sure if this is considered a challenge but I think it’ll be great if I could continue drawing as much as possible.
Could you share with us your sources of inspiration that might surprise us?
I often get inspiration from the streets, cafes, the subway, or even from casual daily conversations and scenes of other people.
When I encounter something that fascinates me, even if it’s a small thing, I’ll write down what I found in a notebook. (It’s especially nice to jot them down in a Mossery Notebook ;))
For aspiring artists with a story to tell but unsure of where to begin, what do you think would be helpful for the starting of their journey in art?
I think it’s beneficial to look at a lot of great works. For artworks made with traditional mediums, it’s best if you can go see the original painting.
Trivia question! If you could jump into a world created by another artist, whose world would you live in and why?
I’d like to pet the dog in Giacomo Balla’s “Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash”.
Maiko Sugiyama is a Japanese artist and illustrator based in Tokyo, Japan. You can find her on Instagram @sugiyamamaiko and Tumblr here.
Our new covers, Cream Soda and Parlour, are now available for the new 2022 Planners, Notebooks, and Sketchbooks! Check out the entire collection here.
From handmade dreams to fond memories, celebrate all your delightful creations.
We hope you adore these covers as much as we do! Remember to tag us @mosseryco on Instagram so we can share your joy with the Mossery community!