A modern take on piñatas

With the help of technology, artist Joshua Janis creates realistic piñatas made from papier-mache

A modern take on piñatas
Piñatas have become one of the most beloved traditions in Mexico – Photo: Gretel Morales/EL UNIVERSAL in English
English 09/11/2019 10:39 Mexico City Atenea Campuzano Actualizada 10:59
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Joshua Janis is a young artist that creates realistic piñatas made from papier-mache with the help of technology.

An anime fan, this plastic artist wanted to boy a piñata, however, he did not like any model because he saw imperfections in all of them, so he decided to get into work and use his knowledge in graphic design software to start his own business: Piñatas Eskuinkles.

“I try to give it an artistic touch, with more details; I try to create replicas of the characters. I see them as a work of art and I try to put my heart on them and make them as similar as possible,” asserts Joshua while curling a piece of papier-mache.

Have you heard of the art of piñatas?

This technique is what defines his work: “The [papier mache] curls are the soul of my piñatas, it is what sets them apart from the rest; it is not an easy technique but it is not as difficult once you get the gist of making the curls. You have to make them in several sizes and widths and that’s how you give shape to the piñata,” he adds.


Joshua’s inspiration to create unique designs comes from his love for cartoons and by creating them he nurtures his inner child. “Although I am an adult, I still watch anime and every time I create a design I try to do it as if it were going to be a present for me,” he asserts.

Classic cartoon characters are the most representative and requested: the iconic characters from Dragon Ball Z and Toy Story are usually the hardest to do and in which he spends up to four days in the making of a single piece.

Did you attend the piñatas and flowers exhibition?

It is possible to observe each detail of Janis’s piñatas: from the muscles to the hair, and even the spurs in the boots and the wrinkles in the faces.


There are no limits for the imagination of this artist and he always fulfills the requests of his clients. He has even created special designs for companies and businesses.

“To achieve perfection in piñatas, I first ask the clients which character they need, and then I ask about the pose and do a sketch, which I later replicate in the computer, where I plan how many ballons I’m going to use. After that, I design the patterns to divide colors, textures, and layers to create the shape, to finally add details and textures, always taking care of the proportion to give it a realistic touch,” he says.


The cost of his artistic creations goes from MXN $1,000 to $2,000. This paper sculptures can be from 50 cm to 1.80 meters high, “I make them big so that they look better and for kids to see their character in the correct size.”

Have you heard of Mexican "Alebrijes"?


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