Yara Kono was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, into a family of Japanese origin. She studied pharmaceutics and biochemistry. During her years of study she was drawing scientific drawings, which started to interest her much more than the actual studies. So she took over evening classes on design and communications.
In the year 2001 Kono travelled to Portugal, where she started to work as a graphic designer. At that time already the connection of digital design, combined with round and dynamic lines in her work was visible.
In the year 2004 Kono started to work with an editor called Planeta Tangerina, where she had the chance to realize her own illustrations more than before. The first book she illustrated “Ovelhinha Dá-me Lã” won an honorable mention in the Compostela awards. In 2010 “O Papão no Desvão”, a book with Kono´s illustrations won the national Portuguese award (Premio Nacional de Ilustração), for the best picture book. At the moment Yara Kono is considered one of the most promising of the new generation of Portuguese illustrators.