Meet French Author and Illustrator Kimiko. We discovered her work when visiting the Marie Puce boutique in Paris. In the shop windows were adorable felt characters that were made from her book: The Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood. We were intrigued… We discovered that Kimiko has collaborated with Marie Puce for almost 10 years. She illustrates adorable characters on their cotton shirts which several clients now collect! We also discovered that Kimiko is the illustrator and author of over a hundred children’s books which Little G adores!
Are you a Mom? I am a mother of a young woman now who is almost 17 years old!
The ups and downs of being a Mom? I don’t have the impression that there are downs, there are difficulties, sometimes conflicts, especially between a teenager and her mom, but overall I feel only happiness with my child. My only regret is to not have had other children.
Describe your typical day.
My typical day is very banal and routine:
I wake up at 7AM, once a week I do Aquabiking near my home, otherwise, I prepare myself as if I am going to go out, even though my atelier is at home. I do this because I don’t like going to work in pajamas and without makeup. In the morning I work, I eat lunch at home or outside with a friend, and from time to time I have meetings during lunchtime. In the afternoon, I continue working in my atelier, I eat dinner, then I go to bed.
How did you begin drawing? I have always been drawing ever since I was a small child.
What inspires or motivates you?
Inspiration comes from all around me. But I must say that the more I work, the more ideas I get, this is a chain, an idea inspires another idea! I am also inspired by childhood memories of my vacations in Japan, as well as life with my daughter. She was a big source of inspiration especially when she was younger. Children in general inspire me. Several things can motivate me including an art show, traveling, friends that are in the same career as myself… Last year, I went to see David Hockney in London, it was very motivating, he really gave me the will to work!
Explain your working relationship with Marie Puce.
Before making children’s books, I was a fashion stylist, then a haute couture textile designer for Emanuel Ungaro. So when Marie Puce proposed to design a collection of t-shirts, I was more than happy to accept.
Before each season, The Marie Puce designers come to my atelier, we discuss the future collection, they give me the color palettes for the season. I show them my books, my drawings, and the characters that I create. This gives them ideas and then we are able to decide together different motifs that I can use in developing their collection.
After a bit of work I send them my drawings via mail and they give me their feedback. Sometimes my drawings are a perfect match and sometimes I need to work a bit more because my drawings are sometimes too “baby”. But we always seem to agree on the final illustrations.
I must admit that creating prints for the Marie Puce t-shirts is very enjoyable for me. It is easier than making a book!
How do you see yourself in 10 years? Like today, but perhaps I will leave Paris to live in a big house and be able to garden in between drawing!
Some recommendations in Paris for Moms?
The Japanese face massage by Cécile Cotten, in Paris 75003. When I leave I feel 10 years younger!
Guy Martin‘s cooking classes, for adults and kids. You can bring home what you have cooked. This is how I learned how to make delicious macarons!
Some recommendations in Paris for babies and kids?
The African dance classes with Cora at the centre du Marais. Kids ages 3 and up can participate!
The Palais de Tokyo with their children’s workshops. While your children are doing the workshop, you can spend an enjoyable time in the bookshop.
Your essentiels ? A drawing book that I found at the Tate Modern in London. When I went I brought back 10! But it’s just a fetish object because I think that I can find the same book in Paris!
My Japanese electric eraser. It’s indispensable.
Different types of tea that I drink by the liter: green tea, green tea with puffed rice, soba tea, grilled tea and Earl Grey tea…
Your favorite books? There are so many! I read a lot of crime books : Mankell, Indridasson, Pelecanos, La Plante, Westlake, Sandford … I love letters and newspapers, I have read the following books several times: the journal of Samuel Peppys, Lettres de la princesse Palatine, les mémoires de Saint Simon, La Correspondance de Mozart…
Thank you Kimiko!
This post is also available in: French