Shiu Yoshijima is an independent manga artist, painter, and yuri enthusiast whose specialty is creating “poisonous, dangerous women”. You can find her otherworldly illustrations on her Pixiv account, on Twitter, in her published art books, and even on flyers for fetish and underground communities. She mentions that her art takes a lot of inspiration from Tim Burton, as well as from a Japanese musician named Chihiro Onitsuka.
We got the chance to speak with her briefly at Anime Boston 2023, where she made her US debut with a full art booth and a live drawing event. Let’s see what she has to say about her unique style and perspective!
During the live drawing, you often switched around which areas you were working on, decided to give the girl cat ears partway through, and turned a black paint splotch into a bow. Do you often figure things out in the moment like this?
You’ve said that your favorite type of woman is the “poisonous, dangerous woman”. Why are you drawn to that type, and also to non-human characters in general?
In terms of non-human characters and why I’m attracted to them, there’s a sense of melancholy when it comes to seeing girls who are non-human. Because, you know, obviously they have human traits, but they also have a more animalistic side. Animal girls have their primal instincts. So seeing that, and having those traits mixed in with the more human side of things, makes the character have a bit of a melancholic or somber feeling surrounding them.
A lot of the characters that I draw pertain to the cycle of life. For example, one character goes through the metamorphic cycle of a chrysalis becoming a butterfly. I get drawn into trying to put myself into that cycle of life, and so that’s why I’m drawn to that sort of primal instinct of a non-human girl, while mixed in with the irony that they’re also human. So that aspect is what draws me to them.
What draws you to yuri relationships?
And finally, what do you find to be the most rewarding part of being an artist?
Shiu Yoshijima was clearly a bit nervous to be out of her comfort zone all the way across the world, but she impressed us with the psychedelic worlds that she creates and the commitment she puts towards her craft. We’ll be looking forward to seeing what she does in the future!
What did you think of our interview? Will you be checking out the weird and wonderful works of Shiu Yoshijima? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!