Terry Satomi



Terry’s drawings of people at Starbucks are as important as her comments on them. She’s a Starbucks anthropologist.


MC: What is your relationship to Tokyo?

TS: I was born and raised in Tokyo. I’ve been in Saitama and Kyoto, and I have lived for twenty-one years in Tokyo.

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

TS: I have been drawing people while commuting on the train, starting a year ago. I like people’s faces. People who are sleeping, operating a smartphone and are frustrated, or people doing their makeup in public. I am drawing the problems of a contemporary person.

MC: How do you combine drawing with your work?

TS: I don’t. It has not yet led to work.

MC: Tell us about the place that you have selected.

TS: I drew on the train and at the Shibuya Starbucks. On the train I can observe people’s faces from the front and the gestures of people. At Starbucks there are a lot of people of varying age, sex, and nationality.

MC: What’s your favorite Tokyo place?

TS: My favorite place is the station square bench in Jiyugaoka. There are beautiful cherry trees in the spring. I will go out there with a water bottle on a warm day. I like to take my time to watch the families, couples, high school girls, mothers, and dogs.

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

TS: I like Katsuki Tanaka. He is a cartoonist, an art director, and a writer. His appeal is his importance of living plainly over making humorous manga. I respect his artwork.

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

TS: I have an instinctive feeling for what I see when drawing. I had never thought deeply about “What do I see,” “How do I feel if,” ”Why did I feel so.” I noticed that I was watching invisible things unconsciously. I became able to reconsider my value objectively, so it seems that I taught to myself to draw.



Train / A man about 50 years old / With his wife / He is interested in the woman on the opposite side of his wife / He sometimes can be effeminate. © Terry Satomi



Train / Woman / College student / Very silky hair / Brown hair / Awfully sleepy / The public’s attention is focused on her. © Terry Satomi



Train / Woman / Alone / Sniffs / Her sniffle echoes throughout the train / She calls in the train / The heels of her dirty pumps are badly damaged. © Terry Satomi



Train / An elderly man / Lily white skin / Seems to be dead / His lips sometimes have convulsions. © Terry Satomi



Train / Man / Office worker / With a man who is his colleague / He keeps a forced smile when they don’ t talk / He laughs exaggeratedly. © Terry Satomi



Train / A man about 30 years old / Alone / He is reading a manga of geek / He is grinning under the mask / Sometimes laughs out loud. © Terry Satomi



Train / A woman about 20 years old / Alone / The moisture of her lips is beyond a degree / White chiffon skirt / Her legs are open but covered with an umbrella. © Terry Satomi



Shibuya station square / A plain man in his early 20s / He sings while playing the guitar sitting on the street / There are no audiences / A woman, who probably is his mother, takes photographs. © Terry Satomi



Shibuya station square / A homeless man / A cigarette in his left chest pocket / He hunts in the trash / He is drinking a Starbucks drink from the trash © Terry Satomi



Starbucks Coffee / Shibuya Tsutaya / Girl in junior high school / With a girlfriend / Both operate their smartphones / She hold her sides with laughter. © Terry Satomi



Shibuya Tsutaya / A man about 30 years old / Alone / He is waiting for a turn in the photography session / He wears a T-shirt with a photograph of a high school girl in a uniform printed on it. © Terry Satomi



Starbucks Coffee / Shibuya Tsutaya / Girl in junior high school / With a girlfriend / Both operate their smartphones / She hold her sides with laughter. © Terry Satomi


Terry Satomi is an illustrator from Tokyo. She is a graduate of the Department of Graphic Design from the Tama Art University.

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