I am lucky enough to share a personal and creative partnership with my fellow ArtCenter grad, Mike Abelson (BS 97 Product Design).
Together we are the minds behind Postalco, a brand influenced by the elevated practice of Japanese craftsmanship, seen through a decidedly modern lens. Our aim is to design and manufacture products that transcend demographic boundaries across age, culture and race.
Being in a relationship with a fellow creative always felt natural. It has also been a one-of-a-kind learning experience. Mike handles the functional side of the products, while I work more intimately with the color, visuals and storytelling. Together, we complement each other’s styles and skill sets. We have a passion for everyday objects and a relationship with them.
Being ArtCenter grads means both Mike and I hold ourselves to a freakishly high standard. The end result may never be perfect, but it will be a little less imperfect every time, and that’s what keeps us going.
The first time I heard about ArtCenter College of Design was through an exhibition that the school was orchestrating in Tokyo. After a childhood spent in Japan, I went to study at the Swiss campus. The American school of design thinking was just starting to catch on. I met many amazing and radical-minded people – including students, teachers and residents of the local town.
I was enrolled at the ArtCenter Swiss campus for two years before the school shut down for good. I ended up transferring to ArtCenter in Pasadena, which felt many worlds removed from the European campus – and also, in several fundamental respects, not so different at all. The students at both campuses shared an unyielding desire to transcend their limitations. They were restless in their devotion to their craft. This is also where I met my future husband and business partner, Mike.
At the Pasadena campus, I spent a great deal of time in the school’s computer lab and at the print shops. Along the way, I acquired skills in computer fluency, fine art, printmaking and many of the other elements that simply did not exist at the Swiss ArtCenter campus.
The truth is that we were working all the time – even when we weren’t. All those endless days, we were soaking up each other’s energy and teaching each other new skills. ArtCenter is an intense undertaking – as anyone who has been through it will tell you – but it offers a kind of bonding experience you simply don’t get anywhere else.
Mike and I still like to work together today as much as we did back when we first met at ArtCenter. We’ve been through a lot – together and separately. I consider myself lucky that I’ve been able to successfully blend elements of my professional life with my personal one.
Yuri Shimizu Abelson
BFA 97 Communications
Being ArtCenter grads means both Mike and I hold ourselves to a freakishly high standard. The end result may never be perfect, but it will be a little less imperfect every time, and that’s what keeps us going.Yuri Shimizu Abelson