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Shin Tanaka's Paper Sneaker Empire

Japanese graffiti artist inspires the kid in us all

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Shin Tanaka's Paper Sneaker Empire
Image courtesy of Shin Tanaka
Shin Tanaka is a paper toy creator, graffiti writer, and designer from Fukuoka, Japan. He first started creating his iconic paper creations while he was still a college student, crafting paper models of all the sneakers he couldn't afford to buy. Since then, Tanaka has gone on to become an international design superstar. His sneaker designs are best known for their exquisite attention to detail. As a result, he has worked with over 20 sneaker brands from around the world.

Tanaka's sneakers have captured international attention. He keeps a busy schedule traveling around the world, leading design workshops and signing autographs. Sneaker fanatics love him just for his ability to create amazing paper sneaker designs that closely resemble the ones they hoard.

Shin Tanaka has perfected one of the most delicate forms of origami and translated it into an urban language. He does it all the same way an engineer designs a car - with calculated precision. "My vision was to mend the line between street culture and the global sneaker phenomena", said Tanaka. "The sneaker has become a vehicle for creative exchange and my sneaker templates online have provided people with a vehicle to exchange styles and ideas", he added.

Shin has instigated thousands of collaborations worldwide and is hyped all over the web for being the innovator behind the coolest graffiti/urban paper toys and art around. So why not take the Tanaka challenge? He encourages everyone to download his free templates and create their own designs.

Go to his web site and download the infamous sneaker template. After you design it, take a photo and send it to him here: tanakashin@gmail.com. He loves sharing what others have done with the world and may use your masterpiece as part of his next collaboration series.

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