Before becoming a highly regarded paper artist, Yulia Brodskaya was a graphic artist and illustrator working on her computer. In 2006, she abandoned the computer and brought together her love of paper with her experience as a graphic designer to create incredible, vibrant, three-dimensional paper artworks.
“Paper always held a special fascination for me,” Yulia says on her website. “I’ve tried many different methods and techniques of working with it, until I found the way that has turned out to be ‘the one’ for me: now I draw with paper instead of on it”.
The process to create these mind-blowing masterpieces is meticulous and thought out. Starting with a pencil sketch of the image she is going to create, Yulia then carefully and precisely places cut, bent, rolled and folded strips of paper into patterns, which she glues down. Once a piece of paper is glued into place, it cannot be removed, leaving no room for error. Depending on the size, complexity of the image and level of detail, it can take a couple of days, weeks or even months to create one piece.
This technique is referred to as quilling. It’s an art form that was first practiced in Ancient Egypt, and gained popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries among nuns and wealthy young women. With her unique approach, Yulia has transformed this age-old craft. “I made quilling cool, modern and gave this old paper technique a new life and significance,” Yulia says. We couldn’t agree more!
In between commercial projects and commissions, Yulia has been working on a series of “old people portraits.” She explains, “The reason I focus on aging and older people is related to the theme of death and mortality. My personal interest isn’t about what happens after, but in the aspect of old age. I am fascinated by how a person’s whole life gets written on his/her face. There’s also an added bonus: quilled paper is an excellent medium for creating wrinkles.”
Yulia’s artworks have been heralded around the world. Original pieces are owned by people like Oprah Winfrey and corporations such as Ferrero, Hermés, Paramount Pictures, Wimbledon and many private collectors.
Check out this 1-minute video of Yulia creating one of her artworks…