We love the distinctive watercolour images that we use on our website and have been working with artist Yoco Nagamiya for over 4 years. Based from her studio in Japan, Yoco shuns the limelight despite having a client list that includes some of the most famous brands in the world.
Yoco studied fashion Illustration at the renowned Masa Mode Academy of Art in Japan.
At the heart of her work, Yoco adheres to the ancient Japanese painting principles of Sumi-e: the beauty of simplicity. With ink and watercolour she executes as few strokes as possible to describe the subject. Her light and expressive brushwork glides across the page, recreating the human or building form with an inherent elegance.
Scenes are similarly set and with just a few skilful touches, a cityscape, landscape or room is created, leaving precious space for the possibilities of the mind to wander in. Yoco’s fluid presence of hand and acute perception capture the essence of femininity with a true grace.
When Banda was considering how to present our latest residential projects on our website we decided to move away from the wizardry and precision of computer-generated images and work with Yoco to create something more wistful and elegant. The collaboration has proved to be enormously successful.
Passionate about drawing since the age of three, Nagamiya was originally interested in illustrating children’s books, but her elegant, graceful drawings quickly found their niche in fashion. Working primarily in pen, ink and watercolours, she employs simple, curved line work and subtle blushes to give her art an ethereal, effortless quality. She says “I have an interest not only in women’s fashion, but also in women’s emotional responses to it. Women are fascinating creatures, both complex & delicate. I want to express these qualities in my illustrations.”
We were concerned that the rigid structure of architecture would test Yoco’s approach, but actually she said “I love architecture and interiors and I am very interested in the form and personality of a building, so my approach was exactly the same: to create an accurate impression without being a slave to minutiae”.
Banda has always sought to go against the grain and has a history of collaborating with emerging talent from a variety of creative backgrounds. With Nagamiya, Banda has found a natural partnership. Projects such as Richmond Brewery Stores and 13-19 Leinster Square are the result of carefully considered design, balancing unique historical detail with modern innovation. By using a traditional medium like illustration, these ideals are perfectly expressed.