We may have been proud of our construction paper art projects as kindergarteners, but using paper became passé as we aged, compelling us to shelve our Fiskars
and glue sticks for more "mature" artistic endeavors. Paper art, however, has since elevated from simple children's art projects to sophisticated sculpture. Don't just take our word for it...check out a few of our favorite contemporary paper crafters.
Before we could really read, pop-up books offered our favorite bedtime stories. Though we now prefer to unwind with a novel, Daisy Lew's artistic spin on the pop-up book reminds us of the unshakable allure of a collapsible three dimensional world. An illustrator and graphic designer, Lew has translated her personal love of Manhattan into a pop-up book series, Pop-Up NYC
. The series features several pop-up sculptures and books that represent icons of New York City, including the Big Apple, the Statue of Liberty, a yellow cab and even the Chrysler Building. When viewed from the top, the symbols of New York are easily recognizable; when viewed from the side, they reflect a cityscape of miniature paper buildings. On par with the proliferation of miniatures
we've been seeing lately, we are very impressed with Lew's painstaking attention to detail and reinvention of the modern pop-up, as well as what must be an enormous amount of patience required for her craft.
Upon discovering that construction paper is one of the least expensive art materials out there, Miami artist Jen Stark first started creating paper sculptures in her college years at Maryland Institute College of Art. A few years later (and, we assume, with a little more money in her pocket), Stark's materials of choice are still construction paper and an X-Acto knife, which she uses to create her elaborate large scale paper sculptures. Each trippy piece is made by hand-cutting pieces of paper, one by one, and layering each piece in order to create other worldly dimensions. Depending on the size of the sculpture, Stark can spend, on average, a month and a half cutting between 50 and 150 individual pieces of paper and fashioning them together. In what little time she has leftover, Stark also makes stop motion animated films
to document her creative process.
Russian-born artist Yulia Brodskaya is becoming a cause célèbre in the design world, and her knack for creating labor intensive paper art pieces has the blogosphere buzzing. Known for combining three of her favorite things (paper, typography
and intricate handmade art projects), Brodskaya has coined the term "papergraphics" to describe her work. Currently based in the UK, Brodskaya creates her paper illustrations by employing a technique called quilling
, using individual strips of paper and a lot of glue to fashion her one-of-a-kind, labyrinthine works. Some of her sculptures have appeared in advertisements for Cadbury
, Neiman Marcus
. She was even asked to use some of her brilliantly colored designs to create a custom theme for Google Chrome
. We can only hope that she, as well as those highlighted above, is immune to paper cuts.