I’ve never been to It’s a Small World in Disneyland, but I’ve always admired Mary Blair’s version that features stylized buildings constructed out of simple, colorful shapes. It’s this aesthetic that instantly drew me to the cut-paper works of Ultralazer, a collaborative project from two France-based makers named Maxence and Pauline.
Together, Maxence and Pauline create playful scenes that you can hold in the palm of your hand. I’m partial to their castles, but nature scenes are common, too. Regardless of the landscape, each is crafted with a stunning attention to detail.
Illustrator Molly Costello crafts compelling portraiture from cut paper. The exquisite compositions—powerful in their simplicity—are informed by her years “working on urban youth programming around sustainability and social injustice,” reflecting the themes she encountered during that time: community, struggle, love, and more. “Through my work I focus on ideas of connectedness,” she writes, “connectedness with our whole selves, with each other, our communities, its systems, the natural world, and the energy and divine of our universe at large.”
Molly sells prints of her work on Etsy!
Illustrator Malin Koort creates charming characters out of cut paper. Her work features elements of 2D and 3D design—most notably, she’ll fold paper and casts its shadows onto the composition. This produces the illusion that they’re really sitting. Surface patterns—on clothing, in hair, etc—are otherwise drawn onto the figures. Coupled with bright colors, these two approaches give her work a fresh and playful feel with the best of both flat and tactile worlds.
Malin sells selected works on Society6. I’m partial to her iPhone cases!
Using an X-Acto knife and some careful cutting, Ukraine-based artist Eugenia Zoloto creates intricate silhouettes out of twisting vines, beautiful blooms, and winged insects. The large, lacy portraits—around 15 inches by 11 inches—look stunning against a range of backdrops (check out the vibrant green grass, below). Some of them are now available in Eugenia’s Etsy shop, where you can frame them however you like.
Mlle Hipolyte is one of my favorite cut-paper artists working today. I love the meticulousness of her sculptures and the mask-like appearance that they all have. Their exaggerated colors and features give Mlle’s pieces a cartoonish quality, injecting some whimsy into her animal characters.
Mlle has recently opened an Etsy shop where she sells her handmade creations. There, you can purchase hang able busts of pandas, bears, foxes, and more. In addition, she also features DIY kits to make your own low-poly owls. Fun!
Check out Mlle’s gigantic cut-paper mural that she made last summer.
If you’ve read this blog for even a little while, you know that I’m a big fan of cut paper illustrations. These are two projects—by different illustrators—that I’ve enjoyed, and I thought you would too!
If you follow me on Tumblr or Instagram, then you’ve seen part of these before. Follow me to see daily illustrations that don’t always make it on here!
People love their pets, so naturally, they have artworks made in their honor. Russian-based illustrators Alexey Lyapunov and Lena Erlich— aka People Too—created a delightful series that imagines their clients’ animals as decorated war heroes, dainty ladies, and learned fellows. They’re totally imaginative and constructed entirely out of paper. The creative pair layered colors and cutouts, producing 3D portraits reminiscent of historical paintings from the 17th or 18th century. Check out their work in progress below!
Ya’ll know I love cut paper illustrations. So, imagine my delight when I discovered the work of Jotaká, an illustrator from Valencia, Spain. His project called La siesta is a personal project “about hugs, the importance and the ideal time to receive them.” The bright portraits are a tangle of limbs as people wrap their arms around each other in a loving embrace. Not only humans, though, but other things, too—cats, dogs, books, and records.
There are couple of things I really enjoy about Jotaká’s series: one is the sweet sentiment that the images convey; another is the stylistic choice of layering the paper shapes to create some depth and three dimensionality.
FYI — I first posted La siesta on my Tumblr last Thursday night. Follow it for some fun illustration extras!
With Christmas only a week away, it feels very appropriate to share this magnificent cut-paper creation by Elsa Mora. I somewhat-recently shared her amazing Garden of Books, and she’s back with another intricately-detailed piece. This one is titled Winter Wonderland which features the cross section of a house that’s all decked out for the holidays. There are so many lovely things in this work, and I’m always in awe that Elsa overlooks nothing. Even the lampshade has a tiny pattern on it!
Winter Wonderland is currently on display at the MoMA Design Store until the end of the year. So, if you’re local to NYC, stop by and check it out (and tell me how it looks in person!).
Katrin Rodegast is a German illustrator who creates cut-paper sculptures that are later photographed to create a 2D image. Using bright, solid colors she builds intimate scenes, delectable edibles, and revealing portraits.
When done well, I’m a big fan of paper-sculpted illustrations. They’re tactile and neat to look at, often with a lot of interesting details peppered throughout. Just take a look at the tiny apps on the iPhone or taped papers to the wall. Delightful.