Imaginary Japanese Storefronts Come to Life in Charming Watercolor Scenes

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Florist Kusakabe”
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When Polish animator Mateusz Urbanowicz moved to Tokyo in 2014, he began depicting some of his favorite storefronts in colorful watercolor illustrations. The artist has since continued his passion for cityscapes, but he's taken the drawings in a different direction. Urbanowicz's series New Storefronts depicts imaginary Japanese storefronts inspired by retro architecture styles.

Every building in New Storefronts is based on a prompt given by Urbanowicz's fans on his popular YouTube channel. Included in the collection is the artist's version of a flower shop, a bakery, an art supply store, and a photography shop. Although each one is uniquely fantastical, they all share Urbanowicz's candy-colored palette and charming wiggly linework.

At first glance, it's hard to believe that these vibrant buildings are made entirely from the imagination. Urbanowicz imbues his paintings with numerous thoughtful details that make them appear to be real places. “I always try to aim for art that tells a story, a narrative,” he explains to My Modern Met. “Even if there are no people in the scene I create, there has to be more content and depth in it, so it's not just a pretty picture.” This speaks to the larger idea behind his work. “I'm fascinated by architecture, and in general, things and places used by people because of how they seem to ‘record' changes and events that sometimes happened a really long time ago,” Urbanowicz explains to My Modern Met.

You can purchase prints of Urbanowicz's paintings via Society6, and keep up to date with his latest creations by following him on Instagram.

Polish artist Mateusz Urbanowicz has created a new series of cityscape paintings.

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Florist Kusakabe” (detail)

New Storefronts depicts imaginary storefronts inspired by retro architecture styles.

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Gasaido,” an art supplies and stationery

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Gasaido,” an art supplies and stationery (detail)

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Studio Mamiko,” a photography shop

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Studio Mamiko” a photography shop (detail)

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Morikawa Stamps,” a made-to-order stamp shop

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Morikawa Stamps,” a made-to-order stamp shop (detail)

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Yamanaka Wood,” a woodworking shop and specialty store

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Yamanaka Wood,” a woodworking shop and specialty store (detail)

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Naminori Pan,” a small bakery located close to the beach

 Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Naminori Pan,” a small bakery located close to the beach (detail)

Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Yamamoto Motors,” a car dealership and sharing service

Storefront Paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

“Yamamoto Motors,” a car dealership and sharing service (detail)

Watch this video for insight into Urbanowicz's painting process:

Mateusz Urbanowicz: Website | Society6 | Facebook | Instagram | Patreon

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Mateusz Urbanowicz.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.

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