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Photos: Luis Aragon |

Hailing from Tokyo, Yuki Matsumura packed both her hunger and passion to discover the world. Find out why this professional model left everything she knew in order to discover her true potential.
| by Lucy Coutinho | Jan. 10 |

SHY: When did you first discover your passion for modeling?

Yuki:I was always very interested in this industry, but I was way too shy to admit it. I was nineteen when my agent back then found me on a street in Tokyo, and soon after I went to America to study abroad at UCSD. People in America often asked me to take pictures with them. It was totally weird but it was also fun to know that I might have a shot at modeling. So I decided to sign with my Japanese agency after I went back to Japan. 

SHY: What type of modeling do you do?

Yuki: I do mostly print; commercial work. Because of my skin, I get a lot of beauty work too. I’ve also done some runway as well as hand modeling.
SHY: Where can people see your work?

Yuki: Most recently I have worked on campaigns for Reebok and Apple.  I was the poor murdered girl, “Sachi Nakamura”, on Bones and have done a Nip/Tuck promo. I have been in many magazines such as Viet Beauty, On Makeup, Super Street Bike, Rangefinder, C-heads, etc- Many more to come!

SHY: What would you want others to know about “Yuki”, behind the pretty pictures?

Yuki: I am a regular girl with normal thoughts who finds herself a little bit more comfortable than others when she is in front of camera. I’m friendly, always on time, and love animals more than anything.

SHY: What do you do to stay ahead of the competition? What is your vision for your future in modeling?

Cover: Stephen Akers |

Yuki: I spent many years, attending castings and open-calls, with many talented models standing next to me. Rejections have been always there with me and sometimes I feel lost in this crazy competitive world. Thankfully, I learned that without failure, you will never be able to succeed. So I took my chances, attempt to seize opportunities and take on new challenges and adventures whenever they have presented themselves to me. I learned a lot about myself; about what drives me, and motivates me. I discovered the passions that would allow me to figure out what I would want to do with my future. Basically what would make me happy and content with my own life.
SHY: Where do you draw your inspirations?

Yuki: I’m inspired easily! Meeting new people, traveling, or even just watching the parades at Disneyland is what inspires me.  Audrey Hepburn’s new fashion trends at my favorite stores like Forever21, all the useful youtube posts are just a few examples of things that can unexpectedly inspire my tastes and career road-map. That which inspires me challenges me to do something new in my life, make a new hobby, or give me new reasons for why I am standing right here today.

SHY: What would you say would make you feel the most accomplished in your career?

Yuki: I’ve always thought this answer would have been something like, ‘when I saw a picture of myself on a huge billboard in NYC’ or “the first time I booked a global print job”, but when I look back now, I think my answer is that I decided to book a flight to America all by myself to see the world. The first time I decided to leave my family, all my friends, and everything I grown up with in my little town in Japan. I learned there is something you never get if you stay in the same place, hanging out with the same people, doing exactly the same things in your life and never change. I went to America to study English, but honestly what I learned the most was not the language; it was all the potential possibilities for me.

SHY: What are some of your other interests and or talents?

Yuki: When I have free time, I enjoy painting. The world gets quiet when I start to paint, and I need that silence to take a break from my busy schedule. My paintings are usually for personal reasons, but I’m thinking about getting an agent and selling them next year. I also enjoy snowboarding every winter, shopping, cooking curry, and visiting pet shops to meet new-guinea pigs.
SHY: How has the transition been like moving to San Diego from Tokyo?

Yuki: It was very hard. I spoke no English back then, so I had to start it from my ABCs. I’ve never studied anything that hard in my life. I was lucky enough to make many great friends here, but I have never gotten used to not having my best friends from Japan around me.  Even though this was my decision to come here with no friends and family, I do sometimes get lost and feel absolutely homesick. It’s been rough and challenging but I found a way to make it work because modeling is my passion and I’ve never loved any “job” like I love modeling!

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1 comment

  1. John

    Great cover girl! I like the range of her work. Does anyone else know where I can see her work? Stephen Akers I’ve seen on Model Mayhem and his portfolio is pretty amazing, especially his other shots of Yuki.

    As for the article, while interesting, I think I would have enjoyed it more as a biography rather than an interview for this sort of subject. It’s harder to tell what sort of person Yuki is just from the words each person says rather than going into demeanor and some background. But that’s just my two. 🙂

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