Artspiration: Paper – Sounds Boring, But It Ain’t

Creativity, Graphic Design, Things That Inspire Us Sep 06, 2014 2 Comments

Thousands of Uses…Here’s a Few More

Paper is a part of everyday life, and not just for graphic designers or wedding planners. We all use paper — to pay for things, to write memos, to express our love — but paper has become mundane, even vilified.

With the advent of the internet and email, the idea was born that print is dead and that paper is wasteful. Just look at the poor state of newspaper industry, or think about service providers urging you to go green by going paperless. And yes, I do recycle and I’m signed up for eBilling too.

But I hardly think paper is commonplace. As part of a graphic design agency, I’ve noticed we have fewer and fewer opportunities to produce printed work. And, on those rare occasions when we do, clients resist choosing special paper stocks. Well, that’s not entirely true. If their business runs on an enviro-friendly platform, they will consider specialty papers, but only those bearing that golden mark, “100% PCW.”

As interest in paper wanes there are several artists breathing new life into this ancient technology. Check out these 3 incredible artists who make paper anything but boring.


Yulia Brodskaya

Yulia Brodskaya‘s innovative, self-titled art or “papergraphic” was featured on the July 2011 cover of HOW Magazine. Papergraphic is a process of rolling, twisting and shaping many thin strips of paper to create intricate illustrations. Each “illustration” can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete. See more of Yulia’s work.

Nokia Ad

Nokia Ad by Yulia Brodskaya


London by Yulia Brodskaya


HOW Design Magazine Cover, July 2011, by Yulia Brodskaya


Jeff Nishinaka

A graduate of the prestigious Art Center College of Design, Jeff Nishinaka boasts an impressive commercial portfolio that includes work for Bloomingdale’s, Coca Cola and Paramount Pictures, to name just a few. For Jeff, paper is a “living, breathing thing that has a life of its own.” Check out more of Jeff’s work.

ANA Tokyo Hotel, 5th Anniversary

An Installation at the ANA Tokyo Hotel - 5th Anniversary, by Jeff Nishinaka

Bloomingdale’s Advertisement

Advertisement for Bloomingdale's, by Jeff Nishinaka

Permanent Installation at the Children’s Museum of the East End
Bridgehampton, NY

Permanent Installation at the Children’s Museum of the East End (Bridgehampton, NY), by Jeff Nishinaka


Won Park

An origami master, it’s no wonder that Won Park credits M.C. Escher as his favorite artist. Bending, folding and shaping money (his paper of choice), Won Park achieves incredible detail in each of his original pieces. No site of his own, but Google his name, and you’ll see examples of his work all over the internet.


Koi by Won Park


Scorpion by Won Park

Formula One Race Car

Formula One Race Car, by Won Park



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2 Responses to “Artspiration: Paper – Sounds Boring, But It Ain’t”

  1. Justin Reed says:

    Wow – those pieces are truly fantastic!

    i especially like the yulia brodskya work, there is so much depth and interesting use of color and shadow. thanks for sharing…artspiration indeed!

    • GMC Editorial Board says:

      Hey Mr. Justin Reed. Thanks much for the comment. We appreciate it! We’re always scouring the web for inspiring stuff from the world of art and design. Hope you check back with us and become even more art-spired in the days to come.

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