Profile: The Long Version

 

The Reasons Why I Am Who I Am Today

old-photo-collage-masuda-family.jpg
 

1. I was encouraged by my entrepreneurial father to become international in an environment where we often met foreigners.

​2. I had a super-smart older brother who read encyclopedias like novels. My mother told me, "You have to study hard because your brother took the most of your brain." I believed her and became a hard worker.

3. When I was two years old, one of my drawings got selected for an exhibition curated by the local town hall. My mother was delighted - "She is a genius artist!" - and encouraged me to pursue art. 

4. At the age of three, I suffered third-degree burns on my left arm and neck due to an accident. My parents taught me to hide them. When I was older, my father told me, "I don't think any man will marry you so that you can live with us forever." I didn't want to do that, so I thought, "I have to be financially independent."

5. I excelled in sports, but since I had to hide the burn scars, I couldn't wear short sleeve sportswear. I declined to participate in any tournaments and eventually gave up on a dream of becoming an athlete.

6. After failing to be accepted by the elite Tokyo University of the Arts, my father sent me to an English Intensive school in Vermont, USA, without asking what I wanted. I later moved to New York City of my own will and felt at home for the first time. 

7. I enjoyed a successful career as an illustrator in my 20s to 40s and worked with many leading corporations and organizations.

8. Contrary to my father's prophecy, I had a colorful love life and got married twice. Even though both ended in divorce, I learned a lot from my ex-husbands.

9. I always wanted to have children, but I was unable to conceive. But, I was lucky to adopt a half Asian, half white baby girl who grew up to be a strong feminist. 

10. I worked at an art gallery in the Chelsea section of Manhattan owned by a successful Japanese woman. I learned the joy of working with Japanese clientele.

11. After my father's sudden passing in 2013, I took over one of the two small companies he left behind. I managed the company by commuting between New York and Tokyo for two and a half years. My father's best friend, a former president of Marubeni Philippines, was instrumental in teaching me to run the business. 

12. Two years later, my brother, who was only two years older than me, died suddenly. This event made me examine my life. So I sold the company and started a new chapter back in New York City.

13. Then the pandemic arrived! In the summer of 2021, I bought a small old house in Upstate New York and started a new chapter. 

 

Conventinal Profile

 

 

Coco Masuda was born and raised in Tokyo. In 1979, she was sent to the United States to study and graduated from Parsons School of Design. After working as a graphic designer/illustrator based in New York City, she started working as a fine art painter in 2009. She executed a series of cityscapes and portraits of her adopted homeland, New York City. In 2012, she led a program called Onishi Project at a Chelsea art gallery to introduce Japanese artists to the United States. She continued to work as a director for a year and a half. After her father's sudden passing in 2013, she took on the president's role and managed his shipping/remittance company in Tokyo. Two and a half years later, she succeeded in selling the company at a profit. She decided to use her language skills and connections to run a business that would serve as a bridge between Japan and the West, and established CoCollaborations, LLC, in 2017. In 2020, she started to revive her illustration and painting business as well. 

2019

Vision Marketing, Tokyo, Japan, Collaborator

2017-Present

CoCollaborations LLC, NY, Founder/Managing Director

2016

Solo Show, "Coco Masuda | New York Cityscapes", Isetan Shinjuku, Tokyo

2016

"Equal Rights for Women" was featured in "Resist!" distributed during The Women's March

2014-15

Two series of portrait paintings, a total of 13,  used for an advertising campaign for Itochu Corporation of Japan, which won the grand prize for the prestigious Nikkei Advertising award. 

2013-16

Forex Japan, Tokyo, President

2012-13

Onishi Project, NY, Managing Director

2011

Jury for Society of Illustrators' student scholarship show

2008

Jury for Society of Illustrators' student scholarship show​

2007

FIT, NY, Illustration Dept. Adjunct Professor

2005

Poster design and illustration for United Nations' "Beijing at Ten" held in New York City

2001−10, 17

Poster illustration for The US Courts, Office of Public Affairs

2000

Jury for Society of Illustrators' annual show

1995

Poster design and illustration for United Nations's "The Women’s Conference in Beijing", for The International Women’ Day

1994

Chosen to create the first illustration cover since 1970s for Fortune magazine

1992−2003

Freelance Illustrator

1992

Cover illustration commissioned by Time, Newsweek, U.S.News&World Report, within two weeks 

1988-89

Cygnus Production, NY, Design Director

1986−91

Quatorze Design, NY, Principal

1984−86

David Curry Design, NY, Graphic Designer

1983−84

Unit (Clothing Company), NY, Partner

1983

Parsons School of Design, NY, BFA

 

Hobbies and Interests

⭕️ Nihon Shuji (Japan Calligraphy) Previsionary 4th degree, Certified Instructor

I wish to teach children someday soon. 

⭕️ Cooking

Cooking is my relaxation. I often procrasti-bake, too. 

​○ International Karate Organization, Kyokushinkaikan, 1st Dan Black Belt

The best years of my life were spent at the dojo with my daughter. I obtained my black belt at age 54. 

#ニューヨーク在住日本人ブログ、#クリエイターブログ、#女性経営者ブログ