We bet you’ve never seen paper art like this before. Lisa Lloyd, a designer and illustrator based in the UK, creates three-dimensional sculptures out of paper inspired by nature. Fascinated with its patterns, symmetry, color, geometry, and texture, the artist injects a modern twist into her work by adopting techniques seen in fashion, interiors, and graphic design.
Over the years, she has found that paper—with its tactile quality and vast range of colors and styles—is the perfect medium to express nature’s beauty.
Upon seeing her creations, you would think Lisa has been into dimensional model making throughout her life. Surprisingly, that isn’t the case. Before she got into paper engineering, she has had quite a varied artistic career. She spoke about her background in an interview with All Things Paper.
“I was an animator for a few years and then became a music video director. I enjoyed working with the dops [photography directors], stylists and choreographers, and directed about seven pop videos. I eventually co-owned an animation company called Mr and Mrs Smith in Soho, London where I was creative director and oversaw lots of jobs for advertising, tv title sequences, etc.”
Their house style was “very tactile,” so they specialized in stop-frame and handmade techniques. That’s when she started taking an interest in things made of paper. However, her role at the time didn’t allow her to do actual work herself, and she really missed it. That pushed Lisa to leave her London company and move to Hove to start a family. This shift provided her a fresh perspective, and in between looking after her two children and doing graphic design, the illustrator started teaching herself how to make paper models.
The first piece she created was a 2D paper hummingbird, and she found the entire experience to be really relaxing – almost like meditation. Over time, Lisa became a member of the Paper Artists Collective, an international group of paper artists. She then started experimenting with 3D models and with more complicated designs.
Lisa’s creative process begins with tons of research. First, she studies videos and images of the creature she’s going to depict. Sometimes, she even goes to the National History Museum, especially if the design is tricky. For her bird models, she first creates the wire feet and uses strips of cardstock to sculpt the interior. Then, she uses tissue paper to fill the inside. She then cuts feathers out using a special machine and hand-fringes each feature. Lisa starts with the tail, places the feathers, and works her way up to the top of the beak.
Each project takes her an average of two weeks to complete. However, there’s a lot of thinking time involved. If she’s doing a personal project, she sometimes takes a break for a few days before returning to it.
Lisa’s intricate creations have earned her a wide clientele base, including Asahi, The Guardian, BBC, Disney, Hershey, Universal Music Group, Sony, and more.
This brilliant illustrator’s advice for aspiring artists out there is this:
“It’s taken a while for me to feel successful, but my biggest advice is just to keep going. Keep creating and keep putting it out there; even if you feel exposed and self-conscious. I honestly believe people are mostly really kind and supportive. It can take some time but if you persevere, I think it can happen,” she said in an interview with Creative Boom.
Check out more of Lisa’s amazing works of art in the gallery below.