Hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas! It was really nice to see family and friends. I also got lots of presents, and..... look what I got! I'm not showing you what's inside, but I'll say that I'm very happy to have this book. I really appreciate the honest and diligently executed mechanisms. It'll put smile on your face. Very inspiring in so many ways. You're the best, Jeff!

The Pop-up Book of Sex
Illustrations by Balris Rubess
Pop-ups by Kees Moerbeek
Produced by Melcher Media
2006
 
 
Have a happy holiday!


charlie_browns_christmas_tree.pdf
File Size: 1226 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

Picture
You will need
  • 1 x paper grocery bag - print is okay
  • 1 x green paper
  • 1 x cardboard, about 8 x 10in (20 x 25cm)
  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Metal ruler
  • Glue
  • 1 x Christmas ornament

Picture
1. Cut the paper bag, so that you have a big flat sheet.

Picture
2. Roughly cut triangles that are about 20-24 inches (50 x 60cm) long, and 2-4 inch (5 x 10cm) wide on the bottom with scissors as many as you need.

Picture
3. Start rolling and twisting tightly in a winding direction about 1/3 of the triangle from the tip to make a branch. Repeat on the rest of your triangles. If you don't want to see the print on the branch, make sure the  printed side gets rolled in.

Picture
4. Take two branches, and hold the ends of the twisted parts together, and start twisting the two pieces about a couple of inches more.

Picture
5. Add more twisted triangles, one after another, and keep rolling and twisting them altogether to make a tree.

Picture
6. Cut the bottom clean and flat.

Picture
7. Using a knife and a metal ruler, cut 2 pieces of cardboard 3.5 x 9in (9 x 23cm) to make a base, and in the middle, make a hole as big as the width of your branch. Glue them together as shown in the picture.

Picture
8. Cut 6 small pieces out of cardboard, and stack 2 pieces. Put them aside, and make another stack of 2 pieces.

Picture
9. Glue the little stacks on both ends of the base piece that is on the bottom. Glue the rest of the little pieces on both ends of the base piece that is on top.

Picture
10. Flip the base, and put the tree in the hole.

Picture
11. Cut about 2 inch (5cm) long and 1 inch (2.5cm) wide piece out of green paper. Make cuts along the longer side to make pine needles, leaving the other edge uncut.

Picture
12. Put some glue on the uncut edge, and attach one corner to the tip of the branch. Tightly wrap the branch with the green paper in a little bit winding direction.

Picture
13. Decorate the tree with a Christmas ornament.

Picture
14. Cut and spread some pine needles around the tree.

 
 
I found a couple of awesome awesome paper sculpture illustrated books at a Half Price Books years and years ago. The pictures just blew my mind, and told myself to look the artist up, but never did until a few months ago. I was very saddened by what I have found out about him. This year is the 10th year since he passed away. I felt shocked. Not only his works, but also the journey he took as an artist in 49 years of his life is truly inspiring and intriguing.

Here's a good reading about him, but basically, he was very into comic books early on, became a clown when he was an young adult, ran a shadow puppet theater after he got married, and then became a paper illustrator and an author. You can pretty much see all his life experiences reflected in his works: humor, terrific story telling, playfulness, drama, mastery in  compositions, color, animating the characters and cutting paper. I'd like to celebrate and share his exquisite paper art before this year ends. Click the images to see them bigger.
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
I'm back to my paper sculpture how-to book project. It's been roughly a year and a half since I started working on this project with the GMC publications(UK). I didn't imagine it would be taking this long, but it has. This project has been not just work, but quite an event in my life. This event taught me many things, and changed me as a person. Hopefully, I'm a little bit better person now.

Due to too much work load on my first editor, two new editors are assigned to this book, and I've been doing a lot of catching up with them. I like these fresh eyes, and the book is only getting better and better. There's not much I can share with you at the moment, but it's getting there.
 
 
On Monday, I moved the pop-ups to the play area in the Center for Discovery. I put the pop-ups on toddler's eye level, and got rid of the stools. Starting Tuesday, I continued my observation in this new location. Because of Thanksgiving Day, it was a little quiet week.
The children in the play area were mostly babies and toddlers. There are plenty of toys to play with. They roamed around here freely with their caregiver's supervision. The caregivers were encouraged to introduce their children to my pop-ups. The kids' interaction time with the pop-ups was a lot longer than when the pop-ups were displayed on the first location. Quite a few kids kept coming back over and over. As I expected, I witnessed some rough handling, but no one was determined to destroy the pop-ups as I feared. What surprised me was the condition of the pop-ups. The pop-ups are in pristine condition after handled by almost 100 children.
Last 2 weeks has been such an incredible experience for me. I observed almost 100 children's interactions with the pop-ups for about total of 15 hours. I feel very lucky and grateful to be given the freedom by the library to do my research just the way I wanted. I gained so much confidence, positive feedback, and supports. It started as my personal project, but as a very satisfying result of the test, the Center for Discovery and I discussed on the possibilities of my soft pop-up sculptures, and working together to set my personal goal as well as theirs. My next step will be doing more research on resources, and start doodling new soft pop-up sculpture designs.
 
 
This is the location of the display wall we picked in the Center for Discovery. After storytime, people pass by here and the castle, and go to the play area, which is seen on the far right side in this picture.
On Monday, I installed the pop-ups. From Tuesday, I started observation. I realized that most of parents carry so many things on them that they couldn't hold their toddlers. Also, even when they were able to hold their kids, they had a difficulty holding them long enough. Most infants were in their strollers sleeping. The ways the kids handled the pop-ups were very acceptable, so I decided to lower the pop-ups.
I reinstalled the pop-ups to lower level on Wednesday. I continued my observations on Thursday and Saturday. I also, started filming the interactions.
So far, my total observation time is about 8 hours. I was there from when the people started coming out of the storytime room. A little over 60 children interacted with the pop-ups. The ages were mostly 2-5 years old. There were a few kids frequently revisiting the display. There are no advertisement or signs about the display. There were some verbal directing once in a while to some parents to encourage their children to open the pop-ups, but not a whole lot. Without directing them, some people noticed, and some didn't. It was interesting to see many children noticed the stools first, and then tried to find out what's up there, and then got curious about the pop-ups. Most kids spent a few seconds on each, total of no more than a minute. The parents were in hurry.
My pop-ups are holding up very nicely. I have more confidence about the durability of the pop-ups and the way the children interact with them now. This week, I'm going to relocate the pop-ups to the play area. In this area, the kids play hard with toys. The parents less supervise their kids here. I'm going to mount the pop-ups much lower, and remove the stools, so that the toddlers can have easy access.
 
 
I have a great passion for pop-ups. I have always wanted to have an interactive public installation with pop-ups, but the durability was a big challenge. I came up with an idea of making the pop-ups out of felt and fabric, and made some pieces years ago, but never had a chance to test them out in public. A few weeks ago, I finally contacted Center for Discovery in Columbus main library. Center for Discovery is the children's area in the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. It is one of the greatest places to be for children in Columbus, and it has steady traffic. I've got permission from the library to temporarily install the pop-ups and observe children's interactions with them.
Last Friday was my first meeting with the staff . Every single person I've met there was incredibly nice, and very enthusiastic about my idea. I wasn't sure on many things before, but brilliant ideas were pouring in from everyone. We picked a wall spot
to display. We decided to put them up high, so the caregivers have to lift their infants and toddlers. We think the children will surely be supervised that way. For small children, we are thinking to put a stool below each piece, so that they can independently access the pop-ups. I'm hoping that small children are a little easier to reason with than babies. Another idea we came up with was to decorate the wall to create a context for the pop-ups. Since they are windows, I had an idea of making the wall as a room. I'm also going to put a little sign under each pop-up, saying "please be gentle."
Picture
Display plan
I'm going to be working on this project for at least 7 days starting this week. I'm planning to observe the children's behaviors
on that installation, how many interactions and how long on each, and of course the condition of the pop-ups. I was so nervous at first, and then got too excited at the end, I completely forgot to take pictures of the area,or the meeting. Hopefully, I'll have some good photos to share with you next time.
 
 
I finally received 3 copies of "GRIMM TALES for YOUNG and OLD" I ordered from Amazon UK, and have been reading it. I was delightfully surprised that the cover has nothing but my artwork, no additional fonts or logo or what so ever. The books came with pretty red book markers which all were placed on 'Little Red Riding Hood' story. I'm about half way now, and the book is incredibly easy to read. I read the stories to my 8 year old son in his bed time. The author's writing really makes me feel like I'm telling a story rather than reading a book. There are a few spots here and there I skip for my son just because I need to do some explaining, and I'm not ready yet. Other than that he's been enjoying the stories very much. I have read other translated version of Grimm Tales, but Philip Pullman's version makes more sense while still keeping all the silliness, raw brutality, magic and humor, and therefore I can picture better in my head. It makes me wanna make a paper illustration for every page. This version is to be released in US soon, but it won't be the same cover I did.
 
 
Halloween is just around the corner! Here's a fun project for you. Try this, and send me a picture. Show me how yours turned out. I will post it on my blog.


paper_zombie_mask.pdf
File Size: 1963 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

Picture
You will need
  • 1 x white poster board or card stock - sturdier the better for the head band(skull)
  • Few sheets of light weight card stock or tissue paper - color of your choice for the hair
  • 1 x yucky green paper - light to medium weight, big enough to cover your entire face
  • 1 x yellowish or brownish paper - for the teeth
  • 1 x red paper - for blood
  • 1 sheet of white tissue paper - for the eyeballs
  • 1 package of 20 x 26in (50 x 66cm) pale pink gift wrapping tissue paper - for the brain, you need one sheet, but you'll probably need more than one to practice
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto knife(optional - if you use one, you'd need a cutting mat or a sheet of thick scrap cardboard)
  • White glue
  • Small paint brush or scrap paper strip
  • Pencil

Picture
1. Cut 2 inch (5cm) wide strips out of white paper for the skull as many as you need, and glue the ends together to make one long strip that can wrap around your head. Loosely fit the head band on your head, and cut it 1/2 inch (1cm) longer than the fit for gluing. Glue the ends.

Picture
2. Cut a sheet of pink tissue paper roughly 3 times larger in diameter than the skull.

Picture
3. Give it a good crumple.

Picture
4. Gently open the crumple until it becomes as big as the skull, flattening the center of the paper while keep the edges crumpled as much as possible to form a blob.

Picture
5. Put a small amount of glue on one edge. Gather the edge a little bit. Hold it until the glue sets. Carefully let go of the tissue paper, and dry off any wet glue on your fingers for your next gluing. Glue the opposite side of the blob, and then in between the glued areas till the shape is evenly secured.

Picture
6. Pour some glue on a piece of scrap paper or plastic. Thinly apply a little bit of glue in the middle of the blob with a paint brush.

Picture
7. Pinch the glued area from underneath the blob. Carefully let go of the tissue paper, and dry off any wet glue on your fingers. Glue a few inches further next to the first glued spot.

Picture
8. Make sure your fingers are dry in between gluing. After a few gluing, let it dry a little. Repeat gluing in between the glued spots until the blob is divided into two sections.

Picture
9. Apply glue on one edge of the brain, and attach it to inside of the skull.

Picture
10. Repeat on the opposite side, and then in between the glued areas until the brain is evenly secured to the skull.

Picture
11. Crumple and flatten the green paper few times to get a weathered look. A little tear here and there is perfectly okay. Cover your face completely with the paper. Feel your eye sockets, nose, and mouth, and mark them on the paper with a pencil.

Picture
12. Cut out the eye sockets. Tear the nose part out. Cut the paper all across the mouth area. Cut the paper in the shape of a skull as shown in the photo.

Picture
13. Cut about 1 1/2 inch (4cm) wide strip long enough to fit along the mouth. Give some short cuts along one edge for the teeth, leaving 1/2 inch (1cm) of the opposite edge uncut.

Picture
14. Glue the teeth to the back of the mouth, and then bend some teeth outwards.

Picture
15. Cut a dripping blood shape out the red paper, and glue it to the back of the mouth.

Picture
16. Cut 2 circles out of white tissue paper about twice larger in diameter than the eye sockets. 

Picture
17. Crumple each circle and form a blob just like you did for the brain, and attach the eyeballs from the back of the face. Cut, or tear a little hole on each eyeball, so that you can see through.

Picture
18. Put the brain on your head. Put the zombie face on your face, looking at a mirror. Fold the top of the forehead back, and position the face on the skull, showing about 1/2 inch (1cm) of the skull. Take the mask off. Put glue on the folded area, and attach it to the skull.

Picture
19. Connect the paper for the hair to be long enough to cover your head except for the face. Fold one of the longer side edges over, about 2 inches (5cm). Cut strips on the larger area all the way to the fold.

Picture
20. Crumple the hair if you'd like. Put glue on the uncut side of the fold, and attach it to the remaining skull.

 
 
Wow! I finally managed to clean up my studio after working on my how-to book for so many months. I really didn't think it would be possible to have my clean studio back. I'm so happy now.
 
Picture

My windows are pretty much covered all the time because UV rays are harmful to paper. My studio is never too humid or too dry. We don't have pets anymore, but even when we did, pets were never allowed in the studio. It's a big no no for me. I have work tables and chairs, many shelves and storage, piles of books, art works, frames, a paper trimmer, a mat cutter, a handheld vacuum cleaner, a dry mop, and of course lots and lots of paper.

 
Picture
My sweet dear father-in-law made these wooden shelves for me like 10 years ago. I separate acid free paper and non acid free paper. I store my acid free paper in archival storage boxes(you see those grey boxes?). I have a box for white papers, and a box for color papers. I also divide papers to big, medium and small sizes, and store them separately.

 
Picture
I sort papers with similar hues.

 
Picture
On my work table, I have many cutting mats in different sizes. I have a desk organizer. I also have a tool bag, so that I can carry my tools to some place else.

 
Picture
On the other side of my studio, I have a closet full of more stuff, photo equipment, shipping materials, and files. I even have an entertainment system. I'm so lucky to have my own space to do what I love to do. If you would like to try paper craft, you wouldn't need a studio like mine. A dining table, a cutting mat, a small tool bag, and a small paper storage can give you a good start.