Yui Tsutsumi – Illustrator and Surface Designer

BVSc (Hons)

Posted: 23/01/2023


Salary from illustrations/pattern design is currently not much yet. I also work full-time hours as a vet. Under £15k.


Around 15 per week.



Essential Skills

Being creative, being open-minded, being persistent.


Creativity, independence.

Yui Tsutsumi - is an illustrator and pattern designer, based in Sydney, Australia

Check out our Career Q & A questions below to take a deep dive into this career path.  If you’re interested in this type of career but unsure how to take the next step, click below to learn more about our services designed to support you.

After graduating, I worked as a small animal general practitioner in a 24hr veterinary hospital for 3years in Australia. I did enjoy a high caseload and learnt how to organise a day shuffling multiple cases. As I developed a special interest in exotic pet medicine, I decided to move to the UK to get more exposure to exotic cases. I worked in a busy hospital as both GP and exotics vet, then worked as a locum around London.

I grew up in Japan, where it’s not uncommon for people to work in the same company for a whole carrier life, and that was no exception for my family. Since I was young, I have always wanted to be a vet and moved to Australia to get a vet degree. So, somewhere in my mind, I always felt I should put my 100% into my vet career. I spent my day-offs visiting specialist hospitals and doing webinars or studying for further qualifications. But I burned out a bit.

So I started locuming and met vets who were also studying or working in something completely unrelated to vet, and talking to them was an eye-opening experience for me. During the initial covid lockdown in Australia, I started posting my illustrations to Instagram and print-on-demand online shops. Illustrations evolved to pattern designs, and thanks to the online community, including VSGD, I met amazing humans who helped me get where I am.


I’m still an amateur in this industry and in the learning process, but there are lots of online courses available. As long as you keep open-minded, you can learn and get inspiration from literally anything.

“I think persistence is the key. I enjoy working in two completely different fields and using a different part of my brain, and I think it benefits both sides.”

— Yui Tsutsumi

Once I realised that it’s ok not to be vet 24/7, there was no barrier. Financially, I still work full-time hours as a vet to support myself.

Getting lost in time doing something I like doing. When I get positive feedback or even just imagine my art is in someone’s house or at work, it makes me so happy. Also, funny enough, I enjoy my vet work better by seeing the positive sides – being able to see and treat cute models every day and having stable incomes.

It currently varies a bit. I take photos or notes whenever ideas pop in my mind, and drawing usually happens at night before going to bed or on my day-offs.

Anyone who enjoys creating and has persistence.

I’m still learning as well, but I think persistence is the key. I enjoy working in two completely different fields and using a different part of my brain, and I think it benefits both sides.

Recognise what you enjoy, how you are different from others and start telling people where you imagine yourself be in the future

I am glad that I got brave one day and made a post on the VSGD Facebook Group last year – without support from the community, I wouldn’t have realised people like what I do, and there might be a potential for me to pursue. THANK YOU!!


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Meet Our Team

Ebony is a veterinarian, vetmed educator, speaker and mentor. She focuses on unlocking people’s potential and building confidence in others through her advisory positions, consultant to a number of congresses, and as an entrepreneur.

She is fascinated with harnessing technology to support animal health education in developing countries and collaborates with tech charities.  She is also co-founder of VetYou – helping to support professionals in their financial future. Ebony is also a visiting lecturer at Surrey University and publishes work in the field of gut health on whole horse health. Ebony is the recipient of the inaugural RCVS Inspiration Award and the University of Liverpool Alumni Award.

Melanie is a veterinarian, entrepreneur, speaker, educator, and mum. Melanie loves working with teams to create change, find new ways to think through problems, and collaborate.

She holds a DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College, and MBA in Sustainable Commerce from the University of Guelph, and a Project Management Professional designation.  

Melanie has held roles in many fields of vet med including sport horse medicine, consulting, laboratory, surveillance, not-for-profit/ NGO, and charity sectors.  She founded the DVM Project, the North American branch of VSGD, and formally joined the VSGD team in September 2022.  Melanie’s MBA research focused on veterinary career paths.

Outside of vet med, Melanie loves riding horses, hiking and cross country skiing, writing, and beekeeping.


Adrian is a professional coach, speaker, writer, entrepreneur, business owner and veterinarian with nearly 25 years’ experience in the veterinary profession. He has been coaching and training teams for over 15 years. He has coached over 100 people to successful career changes.

He brings significant commercial and marketing expertise to any project, with 10 years of management experience at Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Colgate Palmolive.

Recognised as a thought leader in the veterinary industry, he has been invited to speak at numerous international seminars, events, Universities and company programmes. Adrian is also a Director at Vets, Stay, Go, Diversify.

Sophia is a veterinary surgeon and former British Army officer. She qualified as a vet in 2007 from the University of Cambridge. She has has worked as an equine and small animal clinician in the private and charity sectors, as well as serving as a Veterinary Officer with the army, including deployments to Afghanistan, Jordan, and Germany.

Sophia’s professional interests relate to the (many!) potential benefits of technology, data science, and behavioural economics to animal healthcare.

Sophia lives on a farm in the Welsh borders with her husband, two sons, and wayward Border Terrier.

Share your experience from your time in practice to roles and responsibilities that you have had

What type of team player are you? If people were to describe you in three words what would they be (great exercise to do with friends and peers)

These are things that must be in place in order for you to consider a role. Location or working hours are common features here.

Remi is a stay-versifier who works as a Registered Veterinary Nurse and Vet Student. When she isn’t studying, she works behind the scenes at VSGD to help support the community pages and Secret Support emails.

Remi has a passion for interprofessionalism in clinical practice and likes to help young students realise that anyone can pursue a career as a veterinary professional.

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