• Kazuko Lillie

Meet the Artist- Shirley Susilo

When the JapanFest team finalized the theme of Wasshoi! One World, we immediately asked “How do we show that theme in a poster?”. We asked Shirley Susilo, who was an intern at Japan-America Society of Georgia at the time, to draw up designs, one regular version and one kid version. With just a few suggestions and our theme in mind, she came back with the two posters you’ve seen on our website and social media accounts.

As soon as we saw the cute face of the little Shiba Inu holding a JapanFest fan on our kids poster, we all couldn’t help but smile. Unsurprisingly, the little Shiba was an instant hit with the JapanFest community! We started referring to him as Shiba-san when discussing the poster and putting him on merchandise. Later, after a pun-filled exchange between a couple of our team members, his name was officially changed to Shiba-wan!

Since then Shirley has drawn various versions of Shiba-wan, from both of her live-streams to the different areas in our Finale Map. She’s also created flyers for Japan-America Society of Georgia events and the VIP flyers for our Virtual Finale. Needless to say, we at JapanFest are grateful for all of the hard work Shirley has done! We’re glad to finally introduce her to all of our readers here on the blog today, and hope you will show her the support she deserves!

Shirley Susilo--previously known under her pen name "S Y S", graduated with B. F. A. degree in Communication Design from Parsons School of Design in New York City and has more than ten years experience in illustration and sequential art.

Recently winning the Honorable Mention Award of the 3x3 Magazine Show 17 and the Runner Up Award of the Creative Quarterly 61 in 2020, she also won the Bronze Prize of the International Manga Award in 2007 for SANG SAYUR (sŭng sŭ-yoor), a series on the colorful daily lives of fruit and vegetable characters--which then went on to be published by KOLONI, the comic division of the major bookstore chain and publishing group in Indonesia, Kompas Gramedia.

Other than making and appreciating art, her favorite pastimes include singing in a choir and listening to original music scores. She counts Sam Bosma, Goni Montes and Vernon Grant (among many others) as some of her favorite illustrators.

For more of Shirley’s work, check out her website: https://www.mini-sys.com/

Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shirley.susilo/

Purchase Shiba-wan goods here: https://www.cafepress.com/japanfestshop