If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ve probably noticed that I pin a lot of paper flower DIYs. I’m attracted to their bright colors and the sheer novelty of recreating living things out of inanimate objects. Illustrator Kim Sielbeck does just this with her charming series of tiny cacti. Using papier-mache, cardboard, polymer clay, paper, styrofoam, and clay pots, she’s constructed living-ish sculptures you can hold in the palm of your hand. All I can say is: do want!
Kim will be selling these small plants at the NYC MoCCA festival on April 2 and April 3.
Kim’s tiny plants are inspired by a spectacular window display she created at Desert Island in Brooklyn:
No, those birds in flight aren’t a photograph—they’re paper sculptures by Diana Beltran Herrera. For years, the Colombian artist has crafted lifelike, graceful creatures using meticulous construction and fine textures. It’s these intricate details that make Diana’s sculptures so impressive; look closely, and you’ll notice all of the small cuts that perfectly mimic a bird’s plumage.
Diana’s formal education is in industrial design, but after graduating, she realized she didn’t want to pursue it as a career. “I am really interested in the simple processes of transformation that don’t need complicated tools or industrial processes,” she told Frankie Magazine. Hence the paper.
In Diana’s eyes, there’s a disconnect between humans and nature; through her artwork, she wants to repair this relationship. As a result, pieces are “presented as a resistance where those sculptures remain in an ideal state and act like a model of representation of a reality that doesn’t suffer any change.” They’re beautiful now and will remain so for a lifetime—that way, we can always admire them. (via My Modern Met)
Diana has recently branched out and created butterflies:
Historical wigs—especially those from the Baroque era—have always fascinated paper artist Asya Kozina. “This is art for art’s sake aesthetics for aesthetics,” she writes, “no practical sense. But they are beautiful.” To celebrate this, she constructed a series of wigs made entirely from paper.
Asya used white paper to highlight the wig’s forms and their elaborate details. Tall bouffants, floral bouquets, and even nautical ships make up these crazy hair pieces. And to think—people actually wore these!
There’s more paper masks and costumes to see on Asya’s Behance page.
Charles Young must be a busy man. In 2014, he created Paperholm, a project where each day, a new model is produced, photographed, and uploaded to the web. On August 11, 2015, after year of building, he completed its first iteration. The paper sculptor then took a short break but has continued Paperholm as of November of last year. Charles’ creations now depict a city that has the hustle and bustle we’d expect from an up-and-coming metropolis.
Individually, the pieces are impressive—they often include some movement from, revolving doors to driving vehicles. Once together, however, you see how clever Charles’ work really is—the relatively simple forms (created with 200gsm watercolor paper and PVA glue) appear increasingly complex as they spatially relate to one another and create an overall narrative about the place.
Check out all of Paperholm on Tumblr.
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.
Ann Wood and Dean Lucker are the duo behind Woodlucker, a studio that creates interactive mechanical sculptures and botanical paper creations. I’ve been on a paper flower kick for a while now, so that’s what I was instantly drawn to when looking at their beautiful Instagram. Each petal, wing, and stem is crafted with care, and this attention to detail is evident in every facet of the work, including the tiny brush strokes that adorn paper’s surface.
If you’re local to Minneapolis, you can visit the Woodlucker studio and see these gorgeous pieces in person. They open their work space to the public at least a couple of times a year. Find out more here. Otherwise, admire them from afar, just like me! (H/T Perrin)
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!
Not too long ago, I shared some of Mlle Hipolyte’s amazing paper-crafted masks. Since then, I’ve been keeping an eye on her work. I was perusing Instagram yesterday and saw snippets of her mural-sized paper project. How great! And, better yet, Mlle posted the entire Tropical Jungle on her website.
She explains on Bored Panda that everything was cut by hand, and it took two weeks to get the paper elements ready to go up on the wall. Afterwards, it took six hours to apply it to the vertical surface. Totally worth the time and energy. I love the colors and all the small details.
Did you ever play with paper dolls? I did when I was younger, and so I was instantly attracted to Sara Guindon’s delightful paper toys. They feature characters dressed to the nines who do things like play guitar, look through their binoculars, and draw in their sketchbooks. Fun!
Each puppet is handmade and printed on acid-free card stock. Their moveable joints are secured by brads and are able to move up and down. Some are available for purchase on Sara’s Etsy shop.
This exquisite piece by illustrator Sonia Poli is called Vegetal Gradiant. It’s made from paper and mounted in an embroidery frame. Sonia writes:
While following my path through the paper collage world and I simply came up with this. Tired of frames, I wanted my collage to act more like a sculpture. After playing around with fish for my previous exhibition, I used the same technique (gradient from navy blue to a lighter/brighter color) for another favorite thing of mine, leaves.