Paper Art

Cut It Out. Paper Illustration by Fideli Sundqvist.

Recent graduate of Konstfack in Stockholm, artist, illustartor, and designer Fideli Sundqvist creates some beautiful sculptural paper illustrations. While these could be easily modeled on a computer and rendered out, there is something quite refreshing about the tactile objects she creates.

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Sundqvist grew up in a creative environment in Uppsala. Her mother is a ceramicist and her father a historian. In the family home there was a small area in the kitchen that had been set up as a printing space where Sundqvist could be creative, and let her imagination grow.

“During one period in my life, I was completely engrossed by album-cover art,” she says. “I particularly remember one cover that was made from a linoleum cut, it was a real eye-opener to discover that art form.”

After high school Fideli moved to Stockholm to study at Nyckelviksskolan, and then at Konstfack graduating in the spring of 2011.

By her second year at Nyckelviksskolan she had already started cutting paper silhouettes using a scalpel, fascinated by all the possibilities paper art gave her. At first she worked mostly two-dimensionally but has increasingly switched to constructing and building three-dimensional paper objects that are then photographed. In 2011 Sundqvist published her first book “Birre, where are you?” which won first prize in publishing house Opal’s contest for picturebooks.

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Design Friday. Hellen Musselwhite’s Paper Vision.

Use of bold color, strong graphic lines and familiar images help define Manchester England artist, Helen Musselwhite’s visually appealing illustrations. Made from hand cut and folded paper each piece is built to fit inside of a box frame, developed using multiple layers that create complex and refined images that are visually stunning.

According to an interview with Creative Review, Musselwhite began working with paper because she mistakenly thought it would be faster and easier than painting. She also liked the flat continuous tones of the paper surfaces she works with.

Her pieces are for the most part fairly small, with the frames coming in at about 5 inches square, and 2 inches deep on average, although she has created images as large as 24 by 30 inches in size. The small-scale of most of her work adds one more layer of amazement for me, especially when you look at the level of detail in some of her works. Recently she has begun to work in complete three-dimensional space developing a number of pieces that are held inside glass bell jars. One of the things that Musselwhite would like to do in the future is work on a large-scale project, like film or theater sets, which I could completely see. Her work has an immersive quality to it, and on the grand scale f a theater set her audience could be completely drawn in.

Her works are inspired by nature, from the things she sees while walking her dogs in the semi-suburban location of her home in Manchester. Living close to the country side she is inspired by the changing of the seasons, the shapes, colors and sounds of world around her.

Base sketch for "The Number Tree".

The artist studio in Manchester.

"The Number Tree", finished.

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.