As an artist and CAD/3D designer, Kyoko Endo lives deeply in both sides of her brain. The CAD-drafting, 3D-rendering Kyoko is all precision — living in a measured world of exactitude. Then there’s the other Kyoko.

In her paintings and papercut works, the Fort Worth artist explores the uncontrolled nature of continuous motion. Kyoko grew up in Kobe, Japan, near the ocean and the mountains, and decades later the water is still her muse. Her images often place the fluidity and power of the ocean against the stillness and calm of the horizon or the beach.

These works reflect her Buddhist belief “that nothing stays the way it is,” she says. Other series on space and the wind have taken a similar approach to their subjects.

“But I always go back to the ocean theme,” drawn to the ocean’s caustic light. “It’s kind of consuming – I need so much patience. It’s kind of meditative. Sometimes, it’s repeating the pattern and go with the flow.”

How long have you been at your craft? How did you get started?

I’ve been painting since the ’90s and have worked in 2D/3D digital art industry for over 25 years, but started papercut about 3 years ago.

I wanted to try something new so I started experimented with 3D printing. I tried various methods/materials and accidentally found the papercutting. Being Japanese, I was fascinated with Japanese Kirie (papercut) history and started learning the techniques on my own.

Why do you do what you do? What do you love about it? What attracted you?

I find my inspiration from nature, Japanese traditional art such as Kirie (papercut art), Ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), and Sumi-e (ink wash painting).

I like to create artworks that provide a sense of calmness and peace…. like visual meditation.

What is your training? What defines your style or method?

I majored in printmaking at the University of Georgia and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Also, I studied architecture at the graduate school in Chicago. My current style is inspired by both printmaking (especially silk screen and wood block) and architecture.

I think no experience is ever a waste in life. What I have learned and experienced in the past becomes part of my craft.

What is your signature creation? What attracts your fans to your work?

3D papercut sculpture.

I think people like this series because it’s unique. It’s the combination of various methods such as painting, papercut, and sculpture.

In addition, hanging the ocean series of 3D Papercut sculptures will make the customers feel like they are on a beach vacation while they are at home.

As a working artisan, what have you learned that you want to share with other artisans?

It’s important to concentrate on creating the best craft you can make with your current skill set. Always think “How can I improve my work?” and spend resources and time experimenting with the methods and materials.

Compete only with yourself. Don’t compete with others. I think the only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.

What are your concerns and challenges that lie ahead? New products, ideas or directions?

It’s almost impossible to scale up the hand-cut 3D papercut works so I may try the laser-cut versions of the current series with wood or aluminum. Or I will try to find a different way to create a 3D painting.

In addition, I’m interested in experimenting with combining digital and fine art aesthetics. I love experimenting with new ideas so I don’t know what I will be creating 10 years from now.

What did we miss? Tell us about other details that make you unique.

I start with the idea first and search for the mediums & methods to express the idea so I’m open to exploring all mediums.