Did you know that you can use your discarded Amazon boxes to create sculptures? That is if you’re lucky enough to be blessed with Monami Ohno’s creative skills who can transform used cardboard boxes into something amazing!
This Japanese artist is formally trained in 3-D animation, but she has made a name for herself as a brilliant sculptor. But instead of using wood, clay, or other traditional materials, Ohno has specialized in creating art using an unusual medium—cardboard.
Ohno specifically uses Amazon boxes to create her jaw-dropping and intricate cardboard sculptures. She often makes realistic depictions of pop culture characters, food, drinks, everyday objects, elaborate vehicles, and fictional monsters.
Each piece is made with multiple parts strategically attached to one another, allowing Ohno to achieve various patterns, textures, and features in her works.
Given the level of detail needed to create each piece of upcycled art, you’d think Ohno uses tons of tools to make her striking sculptures. But the truth is, all she really needs is a trusty pair of scissors, a standard box cutter, glue, masking tape, and a ruler.
It all started when Ohno crafted a “bike-like thing” out of cardboard for a college assignment over a decade ago.
“When I first tried folding the paper, gluing and putting them together, the people around me praised me, saying things like ‘Wow, you can make this,’” she said. “That made me so happy that I have continued doing this until now.”
Ohno was also inspired to explore cardboard art after realizing that shop fees were too expensive for her to animate as frequently as she would like. She looked for another artistic outlet to venture into and started experimenting with some old Amazon boxes she had at home.
“I tried making something out of [the boxes],” Ohno explained, “found out that cardboard is a surprisingly fun medium to work with, and from there I really started getting into creating with it!”
Now, Ohno spends most of her time perfecting her cardboard art skills. All her hard work has paid off because her sculptures have gained massive attention all over the world. Her creations are exhibited in galleries in Japan and overseas.
Ohno doesn’t rely on an exact blueprint to create her art. Instead, she draws a rough sketch on the cardboard to get an idea of the measurements before cutting out the design. To mold it, she uses glue and sometimes adds in a bit of water.
Ohno also likes creating sculptures she would like to decorate her house with.
Her commissioned pieces have sold for 100,000 yen ($910) to 1,500,000 yen ($13,646).
Although Ohno uses cardboard boxes for her art, she said her work has no underlying environmental message.
“Eventually if it makes that point, it would be nice if people can see my work, which is made out of cardboard and recycled materials rather than plastics, and realise that there are these kinds of people who are involved in recycling,” she said.
See some of Ohno’s amazing cardboard art in the gallery below.