Paper Cut - Book Review

Paper Cut - Book Review

Paper Cut: An Exploration into the Contemporary World of Papercraft Art and Illustration
By Owen Gildersleeve
Rockport Publishers, 2014

Are you ready to take your papercraft to a whole new level? If you’re looking for inspiration to nudge your work up a notch, then check out Paper Cut: An Exploration into the Contemporary World of Papercraft Art and Illustration by designer and papercraft illustrator Owen Gildersleeve.

Papercraft illustration consists of cutting, forming and composing paper or cardboard to express a concept, and is used in ads, magazines, window displays, and stage sets, among others. Many of the paper craft illustrations in this book are based on traditional techniques like paper cutting, quilling, kirigami and paper sculpture. In the hands of different artists, though, these techniques take on a new dimension that gives them a fresh appeal.

Paper Cut looks at the works of 25 world renowned papercraft illustrators, alongside interviews that reveal their motivations, methods, challenges, and also advice for individuals who would like to make a career out of papercraft illustration. Featured artists include Yulia Brodskaya, Rob Ryan, Mayuko Fujino, Marc Hagan-Guirey, Jeff Nishinaka, as well the creative minds (and hands) behind design studios like Zim and Zou, Andersen M Studio, and Shotopop.

This publication isn’t a craft book that explicitly shows you how to do paper cuts in the style of Rob Ryan or quilling a la Yulia Brodskaya, but it does give you an idea of how the artists come up with their remarkable pieces. Behind-the-scenes photos offer a glimpse of works in progress, and in-depth interviews provide nuggets of information such as what paper stock and tools to use, or what cutting techniques best get the job done.

Paper Cut will change the way you look at paper crafts, and is a great resource if you want to get into the field of papercraft illustration. But even if you don’t intend to go down that path, you can take away a lot of ideas for your future projects. Think paper tole landscapes and layered paper cut portraits, sophisticated paper cut room divider screens, whimsical mobiles with 3D paper models, or pop-up kirigami cards featuring your own house. There’s a lot of stunning artwork here, and couple that with the Q and A narrative and you get one book that’s a sure winner.

Note: I purchased this book with my own funds and was not compensated for this review in any way.

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