You can’t understate the importance of color—especially in art. It wields its power in all sorts of ways, from setting the mood to giving us important visual clues. Over the next several weeks, I’ll share a selection of illustration, paper craft, and embroidery that overwhelmingly uses one hue in its composition. Called The Color Series, first up are blue illustrations.
Kelly Pousette captures storybook scenes in paper dioramas. The shadowbox illustrations are vignettes that chronicle the adventures of a small fox as it traverses wintery scenes, naps by a cozy fire, and enjoys the beauty of blooms.
Juliette Sallin, aka Gang of Freyja, is an illustrator and cut paper artist who works on a miniature scale. She’s recently created a series of “pocket talisman,” which feature stylized hands and paper flowers encased in small glass jars. The exquisite creations are small enough to fit between two fingers—and put in your pocket for good luck. “I like to think of my paper cuts as tiny treasures that reveal a secret we all carry deep inside,” she says. “[That] our innate relationship with our world is lighthearted and sensuous.”
If you’ve read Brown Paper Bag for a while, you already know that I’m a big fan of 100 day projects. I love the dedication that comes with it, as well as the creative magic that can happen when you explore a single topic in so many ways. Over the next two days, I’ll share a couple of 100 day projects that have recently caught my eye.
Over the past 4 weeks, I’ve shared over 30 of my favorite Instagram feeds from some of my must-follow creatives. Through embroidery artists, illustrators, and sketchbook keepers, it’s so easy to be inspired by simply turning on your phone.
In one of the final stops of our tour, I’ve selected 10 of the best paper artists on Instagram. They each have their own way of working and turning the 2D material into spectacular 3D sculptures.
José Antonio Roda creates paper cutouts that look like line drawings. Inspired by the Cubist style, his hand cut portraits have a Picasso-esque feel—like one of his famous sketches. Produced from a single sheet of paper, his careful incisions have this effortless look about them. Shape design is a huge part of cut paper illustration, and a big appeal of José’s work is their obvious dedication to detail and craft.
Out of all the approaches to image making, cut paper illustration is my favorite. The process is often a tedious one, but the results are awe-inspiring. Paper can quickly transform from a 2D composition into 3D, and these types of illustrations have the look of sculptures with elements that cast shadows. This visual depth is the best part of about paper illustration. In addition, it gives you a distinct feeling that the piece is made by hand, and that the meticulous snips of the scissors or the slice of an X-Acto knife were all part of the journey into creating the final result.
Some people lack the green thumb necessary to take care of plants. If you’re one of them, here’s a solution for you—no watering necessary! Tania of Lissova Craft creates tiny paper craft cacti that you can hold in the palm of your hand. Each potted plant is individually cut and intricately detailed with things like decorative planters and tiny flowers. Lissova will use a different types of papers to create a variety of texture, as well as cutting fringe into the paper itself.
These paper cacti are available on greeting cards and as original art in the Lissa Craft Etsy shop. And if you want to see works in progress, follow Tania on Instagram.
The inspiration for Chao Zou’s paper craft project Forest Smell is aroma. “My wife sprayed herself with my perfume,” he explains, “who [wore] the [smell] of the forest for all day…” Motif of leaves were his starting point, and Chao layered a variety of plants within the silhouette of a woman. Alone, it’s a compelling image that has an exquisite shadow box effect. Once you know the short backstory, however, it’s a unique love letter.