Paper toys: Shin Tanaka
Japanese graffiti artist Shin Tanaka sees his paper toy creations as canvases for his art, and regularly encourages fellow artists to collaborate with him by customising blank templates of some of his character designs...
Creative Review: How long have you been creating paper toys?
Shin Tanaka: Since 2005. I'm a graffiti artist but once I created a paper object as my new canvas I couldn't stop.
CR: What do you enjoy about working with paper in this way?
ST: Paper is very familiar material to us. It is easier assembling, building it up and customizing. If we use the internet, the template is sent via E-mail or downloaded from all over the world. This is new medium of art. As a material, paper has very elegant surface and curves. And because folded paper also has a very sharp edge, artists can express many imaginations with it.
CR: Is this something that you will always do - or do you think it's a fad or a phase you're going through that will lead to another way of working?
ST: I love collaborating and, by now, many artists and people have downloaded my blank templates and have enjoyed customising them. So many imaginations and inspirations are born from it. Also many paper toy artists are born. This is a positive chain reaction, and it adds a new dimension to today's art scene.
CR: Do you think that paper toy culture is close to tipping into the mainstream?
ST: I have been working on creating paper artworks, but I think there is new interest from people who want to discover something fresh and to create something new - which is helping the popularity of paper toys. My paper toy templates are used for art education in schools, universities and academies in many countries. I hope the students continue to create fresh art and new ways of working in the future.
See more of Tanaka's work at shin.co.nr
Stay tuned for more paper toy art on the blog this week - and look out for the new December issue of CR in the shops which will feature a bound-in 170gsm blank custom Tougui toy template (in association with Arojowiggins Creative Papers) so you can make your own (blank version shown above). The best customised toy will win prizes! Full details to follow later in the week.
I like the patterns and angles in Tanaka's work - less 'boxy' than most. The wee bit of depth added by the hoodies and laces is a nice touch too.
Great work!! its the new generation of origami..
i love the bright colours and large heads. The level of detail is really good, they would make for great characters in a short stop start animation.
these are so cool!
He is clearly a very clever chap. I absolutely love them but cannot immediately see how making it the next big thing will be possible. The polar bear on the back cover of 'Not the Christmas Issue' shows off the material brilliantly and you can almost see the fur (Good photography, clever retouching or both?). I think size is important (enough already) and you dont get a clear idea of scale here, i'm assuming they fit in your hand but a large format one would be lovely too. Good idea of Arjowiggins to get involved!
amazing again.. love this series :)
We spent ages studying these on my course last year, but they never get old/boring. I just love the colours mixed with patterns to create these creatures.
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