Cut Paper

Monday is Going to the Dogs.

I’m a dog person. Even when I didn’t own a dog, I was a dog person. Because I’m a dog person, I am posting a series of images created by illustrator Peter Clark. Clark’s collages are constructed from found paper, maps, and other ephemera that is alive with texture, color, movement, and pattern. The images capture the feel of the dog breeds he portrays, and gives each individual canine a personality to match. Enjoy dog lovers.

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Paper vs. Pixels.

I always appreciate artwork that doesn’t involve the computer. In the business of graphic design these days, computer generated or tweaked art is the norm so it’s always refreshing to see something that is still done by hand with scissors, paper, pencils, and glue.

Montreal based designer/art director Julien Vallée creates hand crafted illustrations that are unique one of a kind works of art. I love this stuff, it has an obviously hand-made feel to it, and yet it mirrors an aesthetic that looks and feels in many ways like early computer graphics from the late 1980’s.

His clients include some heavy hitters like The New York Times, Print Magazine, MTV, and Computer Arts Magazine, in addition to being featured in hundreds of publications world-wide.

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Hina Aoyama’s Mind Blowing Hand Cut Paper Illustrations.

When I came across these images this morning I was simply blown away. I have seen a ton of ultra detailed laser cut paper over the course of my career. I work for a company that has perfected it, but this takes it to a whole new level. Why is this on a different level? Well because this was all cut by hand. That’s right, cut by hand, as in pick up a pair of scissors and put shears to paper.

These astonishing images were created by Japanese artist Hina Aoyama with a simple pair of scissors. Based in Ferney Volaire, France, Aoyama’s are simply amazing. The level of intricate detail in each piece is masterful in its own right. I have no idea how long it takes her to produce one of these, but I do know she must possess the patience of Job. I wish there was a video source of her actually creating one of these. I am completely fascinated by the level of detail in them, and I’d love to see how she makes this stuff. Be sure and click the link to her site, and check out the Flickr slide show for even more examples of her work.

Papercraft from Gestalten

Papercraft is the fourth book from Gestalten that documents the growing trend in hand crafted creations. Papercraft Follows on the heels of Gestalten’s Hidden Track, and Tactile and Tangible. The book Papercraft focuses exclusively on paper as a means of creation and the expression of ideas and creativity through this common medium.

This book Highlights the importance of paper historically, by discussing how paper once symbolized a means of democratizing and distributing information. Papercraft also shows how the advent of digital technology over the last 30 years has given birth to the copy & paste culture of infinite permutations, and how a framework was born to rebel against this. Papercraft presents works in the form of the DIY hand-crafted creations that in many ways feel more real because of their tangible qualities. The book is split into five sections that cover work from publications and posters to 3D objects such as paper toys and installations, fashion and costume design, as well as typography and environments showing the rich diversity of objects.

At first, I felt as though I’d seen a good portion of this work before. This isn’t surprising though considering the coverage many of these people have received for their work over the past 12 months. As I spent more time with the book, and despite the familiarity I was sucked in by the labor of love that is evident in all this work.

The book is well put together with the usual high quality design and production value expected from Gestalten. The book’s designer Birg Meyer has detailed the content sympathetically, using a flexible grid that offers a variety of images big enough to really illustrate the work displayed. Complemented by a simple layout this allows the intensely detailed work to speak for itself. The inclusion of DVD content is also a nice surprise. A collection of animation work featured in the book alongside printable nets of some paper toys help bring life to boring studio desks and are a cheerful addition.

My one  complaint about the book is an overall lack of organization. There are small sections populated through out the book that give brief descriptions of the artist and the production process, but all of them fall a bit short. In a book where the way you make something is as important as the end result, you would think that the publisher would have focused a bit more attention the process that goes into each piece.

Overall Papercraft does solid job of showcasing a diverse collection of work created using paper, and it is more concentrated than its predecessors allowing it to hold its own. If you have seen Tactile  and liked it, you’re probably going to like this fourth edition. The companion DVD makes the title stand out from many ordinary art books and helps to justify the price. This is a good reference book and one that I found quite inspiring. More over it is just really nice to look at. There is such great photography for each of the pieces, and it really helps you to get a sense of how they looked in real life.