Shu Yamamoto was born in Yokohama, Japan. He had graduated from the Aichi Prefectural University of Art and Music, earned a BA in industrial design. He immigrated to Canada in 1973 and worked as a freelance illustrator. After 10 years in Canada, he moved to Utah in 1983 where he has lived since with his wife and four children. His cat project started in 2007 when he saw a color pencil drawing done by one of his four children. It was an imitation of the self portrait of Van Gogh. All was done in Van Gogh style, but the only difference was Van Gogh’s face was replaced with a cat’s face. That gave Shu a thought: It works great on this, but would it work on other paintings? Since then he hasn’t stopped painting cats in a similar manner replicating works of art but changing the characters into felines. So far 500 paintings have been done either on canvas, on illustration boards or on photoshop.
In the fall of 2012, after he accumulated enough paintings for a book, he contacted a Japanese publishing house specializing art books. The proposal was accepted with open arms and the publication was realized relatively in short order. To respond to public demand, two additional printings were needed to be made within six months, not a common occurrence in art books. Curently the book is in fifth printing.