Learn how one fan makes gorgeous paper art inspired by a galaxy far, far away.
Most Impressive Fans is a feature highlighting the amazing creativity of Star Wars devotees, from cosplay to props. If there’s a fearless and inventive fan out there, we’ll highlight them here.
Yuki Shibaura's simple paper cutting knife is an elegant weapon, her patience not unlike the concentration and focus required of a Jedi in training. As she makes another slice, the subject of her latest intricate kirigami piece comes alive from what was recently just an ordinary blank piece of paper.
And although the longtime Star Wars fan assures me anyone with these same simple tools can create their own paper cutting art, her decade of experience with the craft shows through in the fine details of her work.
The likeness of her latest piece is unmistakably a grizzled and world-weary Luke Skywalker. To celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Yuki made the work exclusively for StarWars.com and took some time away from her art to talk more about her impressive skills with a precision knife and her favorite Jedi masters from her home in Osaka, Japan.
The Force is her ally
At 46 years old, Yuki can still recall the excitement of seeing the original Star Wars in the theater for the first time with her father. “It was shown in Japan in 1978, so I was seven years old,” she says.
Some of the plot details eluded her, but the heroes she discovered in Luke and Han made an impression from the start. Still, Star Wars was just one of many interesting films and animations that intrigued her young mind, eventually inspiring her to go into a career as a designer at a video game production company.
Then the Special Editions hit theaters.
Through the eyes of an adult, the then 20-year-old film, newly restored and revamped, turned her into an unabashed fan overnight. “I became able to understand the story and the wonderfulness of the design as a sci-fi movie,” she says. And she came away with a newfound appreciation for the crazy old man she discovered in Ben Kenobi, inspiring a future cosplay of her own.
When she started dabbling in the hobby of paper cutting 10 years ago, Star Wars was an obvious choice as both subject matter and inspiration, counting the likes of illustrators Tsuneo Sanda and Star Wars poster illustrator Drew Struzan among her favorite artists.