Artist, animator and color designer Michiyo Yasuda has passed away last week at the age of 77. Yasuda, born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, was part of Studio Ghibli when it was founded in 1985 by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.
She was the head of the color department until 2008 when she retired after working on Ponyo. She returned in 2013 to work on the Academy Award nominated film The Wind Rises. She is best known for her work on the Academy Award winning 2001 film Spirited Away. Other notable credits include Future Boy Conan, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro and Porco Rosso.
She told the LA Times in 2009:
Colour has a meaning and it makes the film more easily understood. Colours and pictures can enhance what the situation is on screen.