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Craft Illustration Photography

Found Photographs and Book Pages Weave into Textured Collages by Hollie Chastain

January 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Psychopomp.” All images © Hollie Chastain, shared with permission

Paper artist and illustrator Hollie Chastain clips, layers, and stitches found photographs and scraps of paper ephemera to create her mixed-media collages. The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based artist repurposes old narratives and images⁠—in one piece, tuba players pop out of a library card pocket, and in another, two men tug on a string woven through a handwritten note⁠—providing a new story for each regenerated work.

Chastain tells Colossal she began working with the medium in 2008. “Vintage book covers became a favorite substrate,” she says. “I fell in love with the scribbles, stamps, library and school identification, water and ink marks and all the other visual history and how that added to and sometimes altered the composition of the piece. ” Today, she often cuts images from National Geographic copies printed in the 1960s and 70s, gravitating toward “strong characters and people in action.”

To share her appreciation of the versatile medium, Chastain published an instructional book detailing various techniques and methods. “What I adore about collage as a medium is the complete versatility and the allowances that it gives first time creators to play around with color and texture and composition without any ‘but I can’t draw’ and ‘I’m not an artist’ hang-ups,” she says. If you want to join Chastain and start your own textured project, order a copy of If You Can Cut, You Can Collage. Otherwise, check out her shop and follow her on Instagram.

“Band Stand”

“Harvest”

“Homework”

“Parade Day”

“Paradise Lost”

“The Delegate”

 

 



Craft

Oversized Paper Flowers Bloom in Lush Bunches by Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen

January 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen, shared with permission

Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen doesn’t have to worry about her flowers wilting. She constructs enormous bouquets of tissue paper blossoms featuring countless petals and leaves in color-coordinated bunches. The Copenhagen-based artist tells Colossal that she doesn’t keep track of the pieces of paper or number of hours she spends on her large-scale projects, preferring to focus on creating rather than the actual process of cutting and shaping. Each piece is crafted by hand and without patterns or templates, making every petal, stem, and bit of pollen unique.

Much of Scott-Hansen’s work reflects her childhood in the countryside, anchoring her style in nature and Danish folk art. Heavily rooted in craft, the artist says she works both artistically and intuitively. “It’s all in the hands so to speak. I want to enter into a dialogue with the material. Work my way into it. Exploring rather than ‘mere’ re-working and investigation. (Seeing) how far can you ‘stretch’ paper.” She enjoys using the same material to create various textures, contrasting durable, rough wood and delicate petals.

Thrift, hard work, and industry are required as well, in order for my artworks to grow into something other than the tissue they were. Something must be small before it can be big, humble before it can be flashy—it is the contrast of nature that carries opulence within it and triggers our imagination. In my reworking, the tissue paper roots of the triffid may also become that of the rose.

The artist graduated from The School of Design at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1995 with a degree in fashion design. Since then, she’s collaborated with a long list of clients including Elle Denmark, Karl Lagerfeld, and Hermès, to name a few. Currently, she’s working on an installation for an international summit planned in Copenhagen in May. See more of Scott-Hansen’s blooming projects on Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

 



Craft

A Fleet of Magnificent Paper Aircraft by Zim & Zou Heads for an Unknown World in ‘Exodus’

January 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Zim & Zou

These intricate paper ships crafted by Zim & Zou (previously) form a collective perpetually in search of alternate realities as part of “Exodus.” From their layered propellers to their waving pennants, the bright pink, blue, and purple aircraft are constructed entirely by hand. Each body displays multiple geometric patterns created with cut and stacked paper that match the rest of the fleet. The Dordogne, France-based artistic duo calls this personal project “an ode to travel. Thrown in an endless movement, the aircraft colony crosses time and space toward an unknown outcome. Like birds stuck in an eternal migration, they’re pursuing their dream of an elsewhere.”

In a statement, the pair said paper is their preferred medium because it “inspires them for its versatility, infinite range of colors and unique textures. The flat paper sheets turned into volume are giving an installation the poetry of ephemeral material.” Head to Instagram and Behance for more of Zim & Zou’s tangible pieces, and check out their shop to add a member of the paper fleet to your collection.

 

 



Animation Craft Illustration

Artist Nancy Liang Combines Illustration, Craft, and Digital Art to Create Playful Gifs of Nighttime Scenes

December 27, 2019

Grace Ebert

Sydney-based artist Nancy Liang (previously) takes an unusual and multidisciplinary approach to creating whimsical looping gifs of star-filled nights. Liang begins with kraft paper cutouts and hand-drawn illustrations in her sketchbook that she transfers to a digital platform like Photoshop or After Effects. She then arranges her work in a collage and animates it, creating darkly colored, moving scenes that often focus on the natural elements of cityscapes and suburban life in Australia.

Liang said in an interview with Paper Darts that much of her inspiration comes from her habit of working throughout the night, something she’s done since she was a child. “While most people are asleep, I find something very exciting about being awake. The night is quiet and still, and much like my thoughts, this inspires curious and mysterious urban stories out there,” Liang says.

You can learn more about the artist’s unconventional process that combines programming, craft, and illustration on Tumblr and Instagram.

 

 



Craft

Miniscule Paper Plants Nestle in Intricately Woven Baskets by Raya Sader Bujana

December 23, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Raya Sader Bujana, shared with permission

Barcelona-based artist Raya Sader Bujana (previously) painstakingly cuts and scores tiny paper monsteras, ficuses, and philodendron that stand just a few inches tall. The life-like plants feature wrapped brown stalks and green leaves that are no bigger than a finger. Often sitting in miraculous hand-woven baskets, each plant takes between five and six weeks to complete. The artist tells Colossal that each project starts with a vague idea and evolves along the way.  “I like applying techniques from other artistic disciplines or crafts, such as weaving or basketry and translating them to paper,” Bujana writes. These pieces are part of Tiny Big Paper House Plants, a series she began in 2017. Many of Bujana’s miniature creations can be found on Instagram and are available for purchase on Etsy.

 

 



Craft

Using More Than 4,000 Pieces of Paper, Artist Lisa Lloyd Painstakingly Constructs Birds and Butterflies

December 20, 2019

Grace Ebert

Robin. All images © Lisa Lloyd, shared with permission

Employing tweezers to place each bit of paper, London-based artist Lisa Lloyd (previously) meticulously assembles birds and butterflies. Her realistic sculptures feature geometric pieces that are arranged in a pattern by color and then glued in place. Lloyd’s birds are constructed internally with a card, paper, and tissue paper skeleton before they are outfitted with more than 4,000 individual paper pieces that the artist hand-scores and fringes. Wire covered in tissue paper creates the birds’ feet, and the eyes are Filmo with a high gloss varnish. A recent butterfly sculpture posed a particular challenge, the artist says, because each wing had to be perfectly symmetrical, just like the real-life insect.

“Through practice, I’ve learned how to sculpt the paper so they look like they’re titling and turning their heads, which makes them feel more alive. Also, I try to give the wings the appearance that the birds are ruffling their feathers, also to make them seem more alive,” Lloyd shares with Colossal. It took her about two months to make three birds: the robin, the great spotted woodpecker, and the blue tit, which have found their permanent home perched on willow branches in a glass display, thanks to one of Lloyd’s London-based clients. You can add one of the artist’s vibrant sculptures to your own collection by purchasing from her shop, and follow her latest work on Instagram.

Great spotted woodpecker

Countryfile butterfly

A blue tit (top), great spotted woodpecker (left), and robin (right)

Blue tit

Blue tit

Robin

 

 



Craft

A Paper Monster Named Musgor Inhabits a Future World in ‘Urban Mutations’

December 9, 2019

Grace Ebert

Musgor, an angular green monster, roams a futuristic paper world in “Urban Mutations.” The exhibit, which originally was on view at the Museo del Humor in Buenos Aires in November 2018, showcased work from 17 artists—including Estudio Guardabosques (previously), a Buenos Aires design studio by Caro Silvero and Juan Elizalde. The artists reinterpreted historical components of La Plata and presented them in futuristic terms. The series depicts Musgor, its world of origin, and a few of the fictional space’s other creatures, including a beetle whose face appears on its body and a ten-legged insect that resembles a leaf.

With a focus on the Natural Museum of La Plata, the artists say they wanted to maintain the influence of a science museum, which included incorporating the research and speculation central to interpreting unknown beings. Combining this idea with the large monsters of Japanese kaiju films brought the group to these paper figures. Explore more of Estudio Guardabosques’s geometric paper creations on Instagram.