Daily Mini Interview: Paperholm by Charles Young

Paperholm Miniature Paper Sculptures

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How did the idea for Paperholm come about?

h_van_02_700The project came about as a way to keep myself making new work every day. Small paper models seemed like something that I could complete without it taking up too much time. The animations came about by chance really as I’d never made any before starting the project.

Do you save all the miniature paper sculptures you created?

I still have every model from the project and they’re now taking up quite a lot of space. I’d love to exhibit them as a constructed city, but I don’t have anything planned at the moment.

Do you have a favorite miniature sculpture thus far?tumblr_nomc3jhWgI1tjhih8o1_500

I think that my current favorite is number 281. which is a house in the form of a giraffe. I was just really pleased with the way that it came out, nothing deeper than that.

Most challenging miniature sculptures you’ve made?

The most difficult sculptures are the ones that feature complex curves. The way of making these shapes from single pieces of paper means that you can’t hide your mistakes. The watercolor paper that I use it great for work at this scale. It’s thick enough to hold its shape, but thin enough to bend fairly well.

Will you be retiring Paperholm in August 2015 at the 1-year mark?

tumblr_nsayam4Uos1tjhih8o1_500Even with just a few days to go before the one year mark, I’m still not sure about whether I’m going to carry on or not. I feel like a year of models would be a good block of work and Paperholm has fulfilled its purpose of keeping me making but I think i’d feel bad for stopping.

Advice for new artists?

I know that I’ve improved my skills a lot over the year just by making something small every day. Regular practice really helps and although it can be hard to get started, once you get established in the rhythm of doing a daily project it becomes very natural.

What inspires you?tumblr_nsgox7rosw1tjhih8o1_500

Inspiration for my work comes from all kinds of sources, existing buildings, things I read or illustrations in books but sometimes an idea is hard to trace and it’s not always clear where it originated. I’m interested in the full breadth of architecture, from Alvar Aalto to Jean-Jacques Lequeu, which is hopefully reflected in my work. It’s one of the great things about producing such small works so quickly that you can experiment with widely varying styles without worrying too much about how it will come out in the end.

Charles Young is based in Edinburgh, UK. To see the full collection of Paperholm miniature paper sculptures in photo and animation form, visit the Paperholm website, shop the Etsy store, or check out his Tumblr

Editor’s Note: Congratulations to Charles Young on successfully reaching 365 days of Paperholm! This dailymini article was published days before the 1-year mark of his delightfully designed paper city.