When I was a little girl, I absolutely loved books. I loved the magical stories they told and the beautiful illustrations that helped me feel like I was part of those magical worlds. As a child, I even tried writing and illustrating a few books of my own.
However, I soon discovered that there was an undeniable pattern in the picture books that were available – none of the characters looked like me (or any person of color, for that matter).
At the time, I didn’t realize the huge impact that had on me. But looking back, I clearly remember thinking that only white people were special. I thought only their stories were valuable and important enough to share. And, worst of all, I thought that people of color didn’t make any significant contributions and that’s why we didn’t have books about people like ourselves.
I’m always fascinated by how artists work and how they are able to make their creations. So, I wanted to share my process. Especially because, when I first discovered paper art, a little over 2.5 years ago, I found it hard to figure out how paper artists made their amazing 3D creations. I couldn’t find any type of tutorials or information on their process. If you are interested in making cut paper art, I hope my blog gives you a bit of a starting point.
A Bit of Background Info
I fell into paper art unexpectedly. I was participating in an Instagram Challenge in 2017, called Drawlloween. I felt like something was missing from my art pieces, so I decided to cut out my illustrations and assemble them like a little diorama.
After that, I was hooked – especially when I began adding lights. Eventually my art evolved from lightboxes to more polished looking illustrations. It took a lot of practice and experimentation to get my work to look more professional, but that’s part of what I love – learning and evolving.
Below are the techniques that have helped me yield the best results. I’m sure they’ll change. But as of mid 2020, this is how I create my cut paper art illustrations. And even though the number of steps might seem daunting, the more I create, the faster each step becomes.
This week I managed to complete two of my light boxes. I find this part really exciting because I never really know what the end result will be until they are actually done.
I also started working on two new projects, but both of them are in the very beginning stages. I will most likely begin work on another light box as well. I’m trying to cram in as much work, because once the baby comes (I’m due in six weeks) I won’t have much time to do anything.
Keep reading to learn more about the finished and new projects below.
Summary – Tells the story of a little girl who feels neglected and lonely. She finds a magic red color and draws a door in her bedroom which leads to a magical world. She takes her crayon along and uses it to draw modes of transportation (a boat, hot air balloon, and a magic carpet). The adventures she goes on are amazing. Eventually it leads her to a new friend and a life that is much less lonely.
Summary – The book is told from the perspective of a parent as he/she imagines all the wonderful things their child will grow up to be. The narrator wonders if their child will be musical, artistic, loving, clever, or nurturing, among other things. The ultimate message is that regardless of what or who they become, they will always be loved by their parents.