Andrew Joyce



Andrew captures in his characteristic style both buildings and objects in a highly personal manner. His thick marker and clear lines are truly representative for both what he draws and how he is—a clear, honest fellow.


MC: What is your relationship to Tokyo?

AJ: I’m a UK illustrator living in Tokyo for the last three years. 


MC: When and why did you start drawing the city?

AJ: When I first visited Tokyo over ten years ago, I wasn’t an illustrator or even wanted to be one yet. I just drew things ever since I was a child and visiting a new place is always a great opportunity to draw. 


MC: How do you combine drawing with your work?

AJ: For me, it can sometimes be difficult to get the hobby of drawing back into everyday life. After a busy period at work I usually take a bit of a break. This brings time to think of new personal projects and collaborations. Recently I’ve been keeping sketchbooks where I do one drawing a day in. This way I can draw something for me everyday without taking up too much time.


MC: What is it you tried to achieve with your drawings of Tokyo?

AJ: Nothing in particular to be honest. If I see a view that catches my eye then I try to capture it. I like the busyness and shapes of the buildings in Tokyo, so I suppose I try to get that across in my drawings. 


MC: What’s your favorite Tokyo place?

AJ: Ueno interests me a lot actually. It’s an old part of Tokyo with lots of little alleyways and markets with tons of restaurants and local hangouts to discover. It was the place I stayed when I first came to Tokyo so it always reminds of that time in my life. Whenever Tokyo becomes a bit normal, I go there and remind myself how excited I was arriving on my own ten years ago. 


MC: Who is a reference for your work or is there someone whose work you particularly admire?

AJ: People like Kate Morross, Hennie Haworth, and Linzie Hunter are all illustration icons for me. All for slightly different reasons, but I like the lively and colorful nature of their work as well as the subjects they choose to illustrate. Recently, Fernand Léger’s Cirque has also been an inspiration.  


MC: Did drawing change your life and if it did can you explain us in what way?

AJ: Well, it started as something I did everyday as an only child to pass the time and turned into something that become a career for me. It has also let me live in the city I love. I guess drawing has been, and will hopefully continue to be, one of the biggest factors of my life. 



Tokyo Tower is a landmark that has always fascinated me, and I always find myself drawing it in my spare time. © Andrew Joyce.




Tokyo landscapes (for an exhibition): I’ve always enjoyed trying to capture the detail and busyness of Tokyo. I love filling the page building by building. © Andrew Joyce.



Tasu Ichi, a bar in Tokyo that my friends and I would meet in. Cheap beer, dodgy food and always cramped but I have good memories of that place. © Andrew Joyce.




I like drawing individual things and building up a collection, which I sometimes turn into zines or use for exhibitions. Every now and then people pay me to do it! © Andrew Joyce





Illustrations for TO Magazine in Japan. Each issue focuses on one ward in Tokyo. This issue was for Meguro ward. © Andrew Joyce.




Tokyo is built up of so many areas with their own personality and landmarks. Sometimes I like to capture this by drawing mini-maps as a guide. © Andrew Joyce.



I was contacted by a lady last year asking me to draw her favorite parts of Tokyo as she was moving abroad for her job. It was a perfect excuse to draw Tokyo. © Andrew Joyce.


Andrew Joyce is a UK illustrator specializing in cityscapes, hand-drawn lettering, and observational illustration. He lives in Tokyo with his family. | | @doodlesandstuff

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