Jeff Nishinaka is a paper sculptor from Los Angeles whose handcrafted work is commissioned around the globe by private and public companies and celebrities. From ethereal lines in a mythical creature to geometric shapes in a cityscape, Nishinaka draws from fantasy and reality to create monochromatic objects in relief. His fascination with art started at a young age, as a fan of Norman Rockwell, 1960s cartoons, Marvel comic books and the Japanese comic book “Astro Boy.” After attending University of California, Los Angeles, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Paper became Nishinaka’s medium of choice as an art student. Instead of choosing matchsticks, nails or clay for a class project, he challenged himself by using paper to create a multidimensional fish sculpture. During this creative process, he felt compelled to discover new ways to shape, bend and round edges on different types of paper. He felt destined to be a paper artist.

Nishinaka’s work has been featured in numerous galleries, public art displays, retail displays and ad campaigns for clients such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Ralph Lauren, United Airlines, Clinique, MGM Studios, Lexus, Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Qualcomm and Iggesund Paperboard. He has created more than 40 custom sculptures for martial arts expert and actor Jackie Chan. Art publications from around the world and media outlets such as USA Today, The New York Times, V Magazine and The Atlantic have touted his work.

The artist attributes his successful 30-year career to the special relationship he has with paper. He feels that the medium has an energy and life of its own and that it is his part to release or reveal what is already there. Trying not to overwork or force paper into submission, he lets the beauty of paper speak for itself. Each sculpture begins with an idea, a rough sketch and research. When ready to construct, Nishinaka uses simple tools: a pencil, X-Acto knife, wood dowel, tweezers, glue and an eraser. Above all, his most treasured tools are his hands. To him, the human touch lends a textural quality that cannot be achieved digitally. Adhering to the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship, Nishinaka meticulously creates each element of a structure with great precision, patience and passion.

To Nishinaka, creating art for clients is just as fun as it is teaching it. He serves as an instructor at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he says “fresh young minds” inspire and motivate him to continually refine his skills. Along with teaching, Nishinaka enjoys traveling, playing the drums, building model airplanes and sharing tips about his craft with social media followers.


20th Century Fox

3M Company

Alcon Pharmaceuticals

America West Airlines

Art Center College of Design

Avon Books

Better Homes & Gardens

Blue Cross

Bob Evans Farms


Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas

Carls Jr. Restaurants


Coca Cola

Computer World

Concern 2

Continental Vending Inc.

CSX Transportation

Denny’s Restaurants

Double Day Books

Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals

Flamingo Hilton Las Vegas

Frito Lay Inc.

The Gas Company

Georgia Pacific

The Grammys


Home Team Sports

Hughes Aircraft Company


John Hancock Mutual Life

Kaiser Permanente

Kentucky Fried Chicken


KPIX Channel 5 TV San Francisco

LA Times Magazines

The Lion King (The Musical)

Lucent Technologies



Medallion Books

Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Milton Bradley

Modern Maturity Magazine

Monsanto Magazine


Natural Health Magazine

NBC Television (Our House T.V. Program)

NFL Properties

Nippon Express/Japan Airlines

Nissan USA

Nissin Foods USA

Northwest Airlines

Paramount Pictures

PC Magazine

Philip Morris


Pizza Inn

Playboy Jazz Festival

Playboy Magazine

Prentice Hall Publishing Company

Prudential Bank of Hawaii

Quaker Oats

Richard Simmons Salad Spray

Saddleback Hospital

San Diego Charger Football

Santa Anita Park

Sapporo Beer

Savin Corporation

Sesame Street

Silver, Burdett & Ginn Publishing

Simon & Schuster

Small World Toys

Smokey Bear

Southwest Airlines


Syntex Pharmaceuticals

Texas Utilities Company


Tropical Sunglasses

U.S. News and World Report Magazine

U.S. Postal Service

United Way


Warner Books

Weider Signature Lines


Yamaha Stereo

Yamato Transport Co.

Yellow Pages

Zebra Books