Paper art of Diana Beltrán Herrera

Paper art

The 32-year-old Diana Beltrán Herrera is paper artist in the UK. In Issue 34 she tells us a bit more about her life and work.

What are you up to?

“I have an exhibition coming up in Singapore. I created a bird postage stamp project, and the Singapore Philatelic Museum contacted me as they want to show some of my work. So, I am working on the pieces that are going to be exhibited. I’m also working on a book cover and I want to make paper mammals.”

Can you tell us more about these?

“I want to create one style for different mammals. I don’t want them to be too geometric; I want them to look more child-like. With the birds there was a lot of cutting, but now I have to use a different technique. I worked on the birds for five or six years before they turned out how I wanted them. Mammals are more complicated. I like to make new things. It takes a lot of creativity, but I enjoy the challenge.”

What is your process for making the birds?

“I really got to ‘know’ the birds: I collected a lot of photos and I studied them in books. I made an archive with different views, colors and special information. To make them, I first choose a profile and draw them — the wings, the feet, the face — in Illustrator. My work is half digital, half handmade. I print everything and cut it before I put it together. It takes me at least four days to make one bird.”

What kind of materials do you use?

“I only use paper, and some wire for the feet. I paint them myself; I add watercolor to the paper to get the tone I need. I use very basic, daily materials and transform them into something that has more value. With my work I want to show people that you can make great things with the simplest material you can find: paper. You only need time and imagination.”

Text Jeannette Jonker  Photography Diana Beltrán Herrer