All posts by Yuko

About Yuko

Hi! I'm Yuko! I'm the illustrator/artist at Honeyberry Studios. I live and work out of my home studio in Seattle, Washington. I like to create art that is joyful, happy, and accessible. I get my inspiration from everyday small things, nature, animals, and food.

Cat mom, piggies & pet sympathy 🐶🌈

I hope you enjoyed the new collection sneak preview last week!

(If you missed it, you can check it out here.)

I’ve been putting in many hours to make this collection really awesome and am super excited to share a few more designs with you 🤩

This.

We’re cat-less at the moment but I think this is what our cats would send me if they were still around… I’m a sucker for cute cuddly creatures. Even if they require you to scoop their poop every day 😀

(and why do they always have to 💩 right after you clean the litter box???)

(I believe this is the first time I used a☝️poop emoji in my newsletter 😹)

I already have dog dad and cat dad cards in my shop, so I’m excited to add a cat mom card this year!

(dog mom, please be patient… next year.)

Meet the Little Piggies! 🐷

This design was born out of a doodle I made in my iPad on the couch one night.

I was just doodling to relax and unwind – I had no intention of making a product. BUT I kept looking at it and couldn’t stop smiling 😀

You create awesome stuff when you’re relaxed and just playing, no?

Little Piggies will also be available as archival giclee print.

And a wrapping paper.

You can get it in my Spoonflower fabric shop a little later, too. Oink!

Oh man, and this beauty has a special place in my heart 💙

I’ve been meaning to create a pet sympathy card for a couple of years.

If you’ve ever lost a pet, you know it hurts so bad.

Animals you connect with – your relationship can be so healing and nurturing. They just look at you like you’re the coolest thing even if you’re feeling crappy about yourself.

I was going to incorporate a pet sympathy message in the design at first, but I came to love the design without it. This way, you can send the card as a pet sympathy or simply enjoy the art.

I named it All Things are Connected.

It’s a belief that keeps me humble and grateful to be part of the earth. I know my time here is just a tiny microscopic blip in the long history of the planet, and it puts me into perspective.

The apple trees in the art represent the orchard in eastern Washington where the ashes of our departed kitties lie. I smile and cry to imagine them snoozing under an apple tree and being friends with all the other pets that have left us.

It’ll be coming to the shop as a print, too.

My new collection will launch late January/early February 🌈 and I’ll be sharing more previews to get you excited in the coming weeks.

Talk soon,

xo

New in shop & spring collection sneak preview 👀

Hi friend!

I hope the start of 2019 has been treating you well.

{at The Domes, Horticultural Conservancy in Milwaukee, WI}

Dave and I got to go away for Christmas and spent a quiet holiday with his family in West Bend, Wisconsin.

It was unseasonably warm (stayed around balmy 20-45F°!) and there was no snow 😢 But it did snow on Christmas morning, about half and inch, so my White Christmas dream was satisfied after all.

I took off almost 3 weeks over the holidays. It was a much needed break, and I’m feeling rested and energized for the new year.

{and ate lots of mochi for the new year’s 😋}

I also doodled my intention for 2019 – these are the words that came up when I asked myself “how do I want to feel in my business?”

And a wonky kitty, of course 😂

My show schedule for February is filling up quickly, so I’m spending most of January planning and making new work.

Speaking of new work, my 2019 Spring & Summer Collection will debut in early February!

But, I’m TOO EXCITED for a couple of things I’ve got, so I’m releasing them early 😆

For example, this kitty Valentine’s card is already available in the shop 😉

And one of my fan favorite designs is available as a vinyl sticker now!

You can take your favorite reminder wherever you go on a water bottle, phone case, or laptop!

Now, here is a preview of what’s coming…

UGH. ADORABLE.

I had so many cute attacks making this Baby Shower card – “cute attack” is a condition Dave and I have when we see cute things – we scream “CUUUUTE!” and feel out-of-control infatuation for said cute things. All the logical parts of our brains shut down for a couple of minutes, and we no longer have an adult conversation.

More new works are happening in the studio, and I can’t wait to share them with you in the coming weeks.

Have a joyful day ❤️

xo

How I became a full-time artist

If you’d told me 10 years ago that I would become a full-time artist, I wouldn’t have believed you.

I would’ve thought you were out of your mind and averted your gaze while laughing uncomfortably.

I don’t have an art degree. I make cute drawings. That’s not “art.” Being a successful working artist is an option available only to a selected few.

Or so I thought.

My story of making a transition from working at a non-profit org (that’s totally non-art-related) to becoming a full-time artist fascinates many people.

If you’d ever wondered how it all unfolded and what I’ve learned in the beginning, you’re in luck!

I recently got interviewed by a fellow artist, Eileen McKenna, for her blog, and shared my origin story.

(Including my celebrity encounter, my #1 advice for creatives wanting to go full-time, and lessons I’ve learned.)

Here is how the interview starts:

What inspired you to do your “Happiness is” project?
At the time (spring of 2014), I was toying with the idea of becoming a working artist. And then I thought, if I wanted to be a working artist, I should be making art every day and enjoy the process. So that’s why I decided to start my 365 day daily art project. I’d also learned about Lisa Congdon (one of my heroes) and her daily art projects and was deeply inspired by it. I wanted to get over my fear of putting myself out there, too. It was sort of a shock therapy where I’d post my drawing (and not always perfect) every day, and eventually I cringed less about sharing my work on the internet.

As far as the topic goes, I wanted it to be something that’s relatively easy. I first thought about making art about food I eat every day, like a food journal, but knew I’d eat the same thing over and over 😀 So then I thought of happiness and what makes me happy every day. I’m not naturally a glass-half-full kind of a person…

Continue reading on Eileen’s blog.

Hope you enjoy!

xo

Not so humble brag 😎

You know when people “humble brag”?

Queue the eye roll, please.

Humble-bragging is an act where one makes a statement that’s self-deprecating or modest but actually trying to draw attention to something they’re proud of.

I can understand why people do this – you don’t wanna appear full of yourself or arrogant.

And what if people don’t think what you’ve done is that awesome?? With humble bragging, you can keep pretending it wasn’t that big of a deal while crying tears of disappointment inside.

But am I the only one who thinks humble bragging makes you sound even more of a jerk?? I just wanna yell “we know what you’re doing!”

That was a rhetorical question, BTW – I know it’s kind of silly to humble brag – that’s why there are so many memes about it!

So here I am – I’m proud of something and just gonna tell you about it 😀

(It’s very un-Japanese of me to brag about myself, but that’s probably why I’ve stayed in the US for the last 22 years.)

Anyway look, my 2019 Llama Dream Calendar was featured in the latest issue of Seattle Magazine 😍

The editor contacted me a couple of months back asking if they could see my calendar and potentially feature it in their holiday gift guide. Apparently, one of her co-workers has taken my block printing workshops and knew I made calendars. You never know who’s watching!

It was very exciting to see the calendar in a print publication – they always do such a good job creating beautiful and inspiring spreads.

When you work for yourself and don’t have a boss to tell you what a good job you’re doing, you rely heavily on your internal compass to know you’re going in the right direction. 

I know I shouldn’t need constant external validation, but it sure is nice to be recognized like this.

Definitely one of my highlights this year!

Thanks for celebrating with me and not judging me for bragging 😚

xo

ps. I still have limited number of the llama calendar posters here. Order by the end of today, Sunday, December 16th for shipping before Christmas (remember, no shipping between 12/18-27.) Or you can pick it up at Renegade Craft Fair (my last show of the season) today 11-5!

🎁 Place your holiday order by this date 🎁

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

I had a wonderful time at Port Townsend Holiday Craft Fair last weekend.

Definitely a show I wanna come back to!

Don’t I fit right in with these otters? 😉​

If you’re shopping for adorable holiday gifts online, I want you to know I’ll be out of town later this month and need you to place your orders soon!

Please place your online orders by Sunday, December 16th.

Last day for shipping before Christmas is Monday, December 17th.

My shop will be open while we’re gone, but any order that comes in after December 16th will ship on or after Friday, December 28th.

We’ll be in Wisconsin visiting Dave’s family for Christmas. I hope there will be snow!!! ❄️🥶☃️

Let me know if you have any questions! I’m here to help.

xo

ps. Are you a Seattle local? I’ll be at a few more holiday craft fairs if you wanna shop directly in person!

This is what makes me do a happy dance ⭐️

Do you know what your “Love Language” is?

We all experience love and connection differently. Gary Chapman has a book called The 5 Love Languages and talks about what they are and how it can help deepen your relationships with your loved ones.

There are 5 categories of Love Languages – Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.

Do you know what yours is?

(You can take a quiz here if you wanna know!)

Mine is Words of Affirmation. So any verbal or written appreciation or encouragement is all I need to keep going.

BTW – it’s really low on Dave’s Love Language totem pole (his is Quality Time), so in the beginning of our relationship, I had to constantly remind him that I needed him to say “thank you” when I did something nice. In return, I need to remember to spend more time with him rather than just saying I love him 😀

It’s no wonder I get a major love fix from your customer reviews!

Every time I get a notification that someone’s left a review, I do a happy dance!

Not only does it make me ridiculously happy, it also lets other shoppers know that my shop and products are legit.

So here I am asking you for a favor 😉

If you’ve purchased my goods (including from a retail shop) and LOVED it, would you mind taking a couple of minutes to leave a positive review?

You can do so by going to my online shop, find the item(s) you bought, scroll down, click on the “Write a review” button, and write something nice. It’s super easy!

What should you say? Well, I have some ideas 💡

You can say a little bit about why you bought the product, how you felt when you received the item, what’s your favorite thing about the product (e.g. colors, texture, a message etc.), how you’ve used the product, how the customer service was etc.

If you’ve gifted it to someone, you can say what the reaction of your recipient was or why you bought it for that particular person – seriously, anything is helpful!

And, If you’ve ever had a negative experience with my shop or products, please do contact me privately first. I care about your experience deeply and will do my best to fix it, ok?

Thanks for being awesome 😘

xo

ps. Last day to place your order before Christmas is Sunday, December 16th!

pps. Seattle local? Come shop with me at more craft fairs!

🍁🍂Happy Thanksgiving!🍂🍁

Happy Thanksgiving, friend!

I hope you’re having a relaxing day and you’re surrounding yourself with people who make you happy.

I’ll be spending some time with our friends this morning and then off to Port Townsend for Port Townsend Holiday Craft Sale Nov. 23-24.

I’ll be sad to miss our annual Thanksgiving dinner with my American family 😢 but looking forward to our mini work/fun getaway.

Holiday time is by far the busiest time of the year for me and many other creative business owners.

I’m so grateful for you and feel very lucky every day that I get to make art that brings you joy!

Thank you for being awesome ❤️

If you’re traveling for the holiday, be safe

xo

DIY Llama calendar tea towel & winter kitty projects!

Hi friend,

Do you LOVE pretty things?

(I assume you are if you’re reading my blog😉)

I love having beautiful things around because they make me happy!

Vibrant colors and joyful designs always lift up my mood.

That’s why I’m so excited to tell you that you can now enjoy more fun designs in my Spoonflower fabric shop.

How about this adorable 2019 Llama Dream calendar tea towel??

It’d make a perfect holiday gift for a llama lover (or an alpaca lover, you know they’re almost the same thing).

Purchase this design in linen cotton canvas ultra (which is sturdy and absorbent) fat quarter, 18″x27″. All you have to do is trim the ends and sew around the hem.

Easy peasy, right??

Also, my winter kitty design is available as fabric!

How about a tote bag to carry your books or groceries?

Or a pillow to cozy up with this winter!

Don’t even get me started on how ADORABLE this dress is 😍😍😍 Will you please make this for a tiny person in your life and send me a photo??

I might cry.

I got a yard of fleece to make this no-sew blanket. I intend to gift it to my friend’s baby – unless I decide it’s too cute I can’t part with it 😂

Too much cuteness?

I hope you can handle this because I’ve got 27 other designs (yes, twenty-seven) you can play with in my shop.

How about these adorable pillows from my last holiday collection?

Who would’ve thought to make your own lamp shade? With fabric? If you love succulents, this could be your jam😍

Go ahead and explore the most adorable fabric collections here!

Enjoy 😘

xo

ps. Be sure to read their holiday shipping timeline and mark your calendar. It could take 2+ weeks to get your fabrics.

🐱🍄 Cats and mushrooms 🍄🐱

Hey,

I was on my 7th week sabbatical this past week.

What the heck is that? A fine question. I take every 7th week off to rest and recharge. A practice I started in October, 2015 inspired by seanwes.

(This is pretty much how I stay sane and don’t get burnt out in my biz.)

But I wanted to pop in and say hello!

I’m actually not feeling 100% this week, so this time off came at a perfect timing.

My week’s itinerary included: sleeping more, organizing my inventory for the upcoming holiday fair season, and just kind of hanging out on the couch a lot.

I also thought it’d be fun to show you what I’ve been working on in my pottery class at South Seattle College this quarter.

Tuxedo cat ornaments are coming back! 

Once they’re glazed, these cuties will be going to King Street Maker’s Market 11/29-12/2. If I have leftovers, I’ll post them in the shop later!

I’ve also been working on some personal projects.

I plant to mount these mushrooms and the hedgie on a wall in our kitchen to create a fun woodland scene 🦔🍄 I wanna make different seasonal themes so we can switch them around throughout the year!

Oh the possibilities are endless 😍

xo