Norico Chua, otherwise known as Norico Watanabe, is an inspiring Japanese artist especially when it comes to children’s book illustrations. As The One Academy Multimedia Design graduate , Norico stands out as a creator, mother and wife with strong imagination and creative curiosity ever since she was a child.
“Always use your imagination to the fullest,” said Norico, at the sharing held in conjunction with her latest books “A Cake Reaching to the Sky” and “Werewolf and his Moon”. The thought-provoking book ‘A Cake Reaching to the Sky’ is designed to be read upwards from the bottom. This unique book is about a boy who embarks on a journey to meet his grandmother in the sky by baking fantastical array of cakes and tarts he used to have with her. While it turned out to be the boy’s own journey in life, the book also talks about how we should always build our lives as colourful as possible especially after our loved ones depart this world.
According to Norico, her books such as “A Cake Reaching to the Sky” were inspired by her son, while the illustrations in “Werewolf and his Moon” were inspired by her husband, another alumnus from The One Academy. Norico is also in collaboration with an online book vendor, 1for1books.com for a charitable cause where proceeds made from her book will be donated to charity.
With more than 10 years of education and working experience, Norico was certainly wise in making a decision to pursue the creative field as her career. It was a big change for Norico, as she shared how she took a big leap in her career; Norico was a General Studies graduate, graduated from USA, and became a Japanese Language teacher in Malaysia which led her to pursue Multimedia Design course at The One Academy is 2001. After that, Norico went on to serve as a web designer at several advertising agencies in Japan, Leo Burnett and finally pursued the self-employed path as a freelance designer.
With her freedom to build her career as a notable designer, Norico started her children’s book project in 2012, with an objective to educate children, the future of our world, through her nurturing simple stories about understanding life and life inspirations.
As a children’s book artist and writer, Norico shared the best advice to the The One Academy students, she said “Always remember, when writing a book, never overdo it by thinking too much, keep it simple.” She also added, “Always stay focus in your story and art so that it doesn’t get messy, and of course, always have an open mind for opinions and improvement,” quip Norico. Like her journey with her son, writing books for children became an inspiration to her various stages in life too.