Photos by Steve Shay
Griffin and Regan Thomas, ages 3 and 7, of West Seattle patiently sit while master scissor artist to the stars, Karl Johnson from Thousand Oaks, CA., snips their profiles at Curious Kidstuff in the Alaska Junction Tuesday. He will appear at Capers, also in the Junction, this Saturday, April 23. Pictured right, Johnson mounts his silhouette of Regan to a white background.

Celebrity silhouette scissor artist now in town

Artist Karl Johnson works with Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon, and now, your child

Silhouette artist Karl Johnson made paper silhouettes of dozens of children Tuesday at Curious Kidstuff, 4740 California Ave SW. He will appear at Capers, 4525 California Ave SW, this Saturday, April 23. Call them at 206-932-0371 to reserve a spot.

"Silhouettes take only 90 seconds and squirmy children are welcome," said Johnson, 46. "Most parents think it will take a lot longer, and fear that their kid won't sit still long enough to do it."

Johnson is known in the celebrity playground of Los Angeles as the guy to hire to capture the profiles of high-profile stars with his black paper tiles and oval frames. He appeared three weeks ago at the wedding of Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth. He said he did not exactly learn the art from his father, who did what he does. However, his father gave him his scissors at age 10, which he continues to use. His father once did the silhouette of jimmy Durante, nose and all,. He even uses his father's "medical scissors" as his lone tool for snipping which he carefully carries in a pouch on a strap around his neck.

"I have a spare scissors just in case, but have never needed it yet," said Johnson, who lives near L.A. He seems to get into a zone as he concentrates on his subjects with his right eye as he is blind in his left. He therefore sees faces, and all objects, as two-dimensional.

It started as a hobby. Then, in 1985, he got his first gig in Dollywood, the (Tennessee) amusement park. Things took off from there, and this is now his full-time job.

"I went to Tom Cruise's birthday party at his Beverly Hills home, and I did Will Smith's kids who were there. I did Reese's silhouette at Tom Hank's son's wedding and she then asked me to do hers." recalled the mild-mannered artist who said he keeps a steady hand, even while snipping the A-List stars. Of Witherspoon he said, "She's a down to earth, wonderful person."

Karl Johnson's schedule this week is as follows:

Wednesday, April 20, Bootyland Kids, 1317 E Pine St.
206-328-0636

Thursday, April 21st, Birth & Beyond, 2719 E Madison St.
206-324-4831

Friday, April 22, Lollipop Childrenʼs Boutique, 278 Winslow Way E., Bainridge Island
206-780-9012

Saturday, April 23rd, Capers, 4525 California Ave SW
206-932-0371

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