She works primarily as a muralist, children’s book author / illustrator and teaching artist.
Yamasaki’s mural work has enabled her to travel widely, creating visual dialogues among diverse communities. From schools to prisons, housing occupations to hospitals, Yamasaki sees her art as a vehicle for dialogue, a tool for building platforms for communication. Yamasaki has painted over 80 murals around the world.
Another major focus of Yamasaki’s work is storytelling. She has published 3 books: Honda, The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars (Lee and Low, 2007); Lifelines, the Black Book of Proverbs (Broadway Books/Random House, 2009), and Fish for Jimmy, her first book as both author and illustrator (Holiday House, 2013). Yamasaki also has two additional books in the works as author/illustrator, “When the Cousins Came,” (Holiday House, est. 2017) and the biography of her architect grandfather, Minoru Yamasaki, “YAMA,” (Lee & Low, est. 2017).
Yamasaki earned BA at Earlham College and her MFA in the Illustration as Visual Essay program from the School of Visual Arts in 2003, where she is currently a member of the faculty.
Yamasaki comes from a huge, diverse family, that is full of (among many other things), artists and teachers.