Hello!  My name is Yuko Torii.

Q: What kind of name is that?

It is a Japanese name, since I am originally from Akashi, Japan.  Phonetically, my name would be spelled Yuuko Torii.  But that has too many vowels, so I made it shorter.

Q: Where do you live?

I live in Hoboken, New Jersey, and I commute to New York City daily.  I work as a Master Embosser (yes, it is a real title) for Anya Hindmarch at Bergdorf Goodman.  That’s my day job.

Q: Where did the name “Midnight Atelier” come from?

My first kitty’s name was Mitternacht, which means “midnight” in German.  Atelier means “an artist’s workshop or studio” in French, which is the language I studied and love.

Q: Why do you draw cats?

When I was little, I was extremely shy.  I used to hide from others, as I preferred reading and drawing alone.  Yet I always had an imaginary cat friend, who dressed and talked like us humans.  Together, my kitty and I went on many wild adventures in the make-believe stories I created.  I guess I never grew up!  Now, I want to make people smile.

Q: Did you study art?

Yes.  I graduated from Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  While I was there, I drew, painted, sculpted and even welded!

Q: What can you tell us about your family?

My husband, Doug, is a baritone singer.  Our kitty, Parsifal, is a very fluffy calico cat — with a very loud baritone purr.

Q: What inspires you?

My first kitty, Mitternacht (“Mitter”), and my second kitty, Mondschein (“Mon”), are my greatest muses.  You can see them often in my drawings.  I love going to classical music concerts, operas, plays, Broadway musicals, and museums.  I also love simply walking around the city.  I get inspiration everywhere!

Contact me : info@midnightatelier.com

Please check my daily drawing at Instagram : @midnight_atelier

I am represented by Rachel Orr at The Prospect Agency.

Dummies are available upon request.