Follow up on Dragon, the paper artist from Tainan

Some of Dragon's fine works.

Some of Dragon's fine works.

In my previous post, I introduced a new artist from Tainan. His art consists mainly of animal figurines made from paper. The figurines are quite surreal and I have become intrigued by both the artist and his works. I decided to call him not only to find out more about him but to also discuss the possibility of working together. Find out more about him below!

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Felipe: When did you start making paper art?

Dragon: I started when I was about six or seven. 

F: Why paper art? Is there a particular reason that you got into it?

D: It all started when my mother made me these paper butterflies. She would first draw the butterfly's outline and then cut it out. As a kid, I loved it greatly and started to create paper butterflies of my own. As I started making them myself, I noticed that I have a knack of creating realistic looking butterflies, without the need to even outline them first. So you could say this whole passion started because of my mother.

F: Why paper insects? 

D: Well, I started out with making butterflies. After a while, it's only natural to expand into other types of insects. I also have great interest in arachnids and especially beetles. I've also made some vertebrate paper art as well.

F: All of your work is really life-like. How long does it take you to make one?

D: It really depends on the complexity of the animal's structure. It can take anywhere from a few hours up to a few days!

F: When I first met you, you mentioned that all of the animal paper art are made from either 1 or 2 cuts. So you just use either 1 or 2 pieces of paper and rely more on folding? Is there a reason that you stressed on either 1 or 2 cuts?

D: Good question. 1-Cut art are made from a single piece of paper and I fold it to make it look life-like. But there are certain limitations with just a single piece of paper. To achieve the best result, for certain animals I use 2 pieces of paper to give it that realistic feel. And the reason to stress the artwork is either 1 or 2 cuts is so that customers can have a better understanding of how it is made. If you simply look at the end product, you may have a hard time figuring out how it was made.

F: Who or what was most influential on your artwork?

D: I think the ideas that I come up with are the most influential.

F: Within your current lineup of animals, which is the most difficult to make?

D:  Fireflies have a small body mass, thus they require the most concentration out of me when making them. Proportion-wise, stag beetles are the most challenging.

F: Based on how realistic the paper art look, I can tell you have spent a great deal of time observing them. Do you have a favorite?

D: I love the rhinoceros beetles and the stag beetles! Among them, Hercules beetle would be my favorite!

F: Do you have any pets?

D: I especially like arthropods, thus I have various types of insects as pets. 

F: What prompted you to make animal paper art for a living? Were there any difficulties along the way?

D: In 2015 a friend of mine suggested that I should take the Street Artist License test. Luckily I passed. I started to display my works and received a lot of support from family members and strangers as well! The support gave me a great boost of confidence and that's when I decided to dedicate my life to this passion. I'm blessed with these skills and haven't encountered much difficulties yet. (Knocks on wood)

F: Last question! Will we be seeing any types of mythical creatures in the future?

D: Possibly! I never refrain from trying new things! 

An unexpected but pleasant find

From time to time, I travel to Tainan, located in Southern Taiwan, with my parents to visit relatives. Tainan is most famous for its "small eats" and snacks of all sorts and visitors to the city always wait for hours just to satisfy their taste buds. Some of the more famous dishes, to name a few, include beef broth, fried shrimp rolls, milk fish soup/congee, and old school minced pork noodle soup. For those that plan on visiting Tainan and would like to find out more about where to go, feel free to contact me and I would be more than willing to share with you the places I've been to! = )  Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan, is definitely worth a visit.

An extremely narrow alley with a cafe hidden within.

An extremely narrow alley with a cafe hidden within.

As I was wondering about in Tainan, I noticed a booth with numerous small items on display and I can't quite make out what they were. As I walked closer, I noticed they were insects and arachnids made from paper.  I've always liked animals since I was a little kid, may it be regular pets such as dogs and cats or other six-legged friends. I had particular fascination with rhinoceros beetles, stag beetles, and cicadas. I've always begged my father to take me up to the mountains and try my luck to catch them.  Thus you can imagine my surprise when I found this booth. The insects were extremely lifelike and I just could not take my eyes off them. The creator goes by the name of Dragon, and he has been making paper animals since he was a kid. What makes these paper insects special is that all of them are made from just 1 or 2 pieces of paper. I had a hard time deciding whether to buy the stag beetle, a favorite from my childhood, or the scorpion. Since I'm a Scorpio, I just had to go with the Scorpion. Stag beetle will have to wait. 

The paper scorpions are made from 2 pieces of paper and color customization can be done for all of Dragon's paper creatures. Dragon suggested the gold that most closely resembled the scorpion he modeled after and I went with it. I watched closely as Dragon delicately cuts the golden paper, much like a surgeon performing surgeries. Ok, I may have exaggerated a bit but you get my point. Dragon worked delicately on the scorpion, oblivious of the crowd of bystanders observing him in awe.  I was very pleased with the end product. 

The scorpion now sits on my desk, shimmering from the lamp's light. I sometimes hold the golden arachnid in my hands to observe it closely. It's quite amazing how Dragon was able to create this lifelike art from paper...not to mention this was done with only 2 cuts and 2 pieces of paper! 

2016 and beyond

When Sora Edge was founded, the idea has always been to introduce interesting products to the world. Back in August 2015, Sora Edge came up with the idea of LifeDock that serves as a docking station for smartphones and a planter. (To read more about LifeDock: click here

We put it up on a crowdfunding platform to raise funds for its production. Unfortunately the campaign did not get the funds needed. LifeDock may undergo certain design changes and there is a possibility that we will give it another try in the future.  As for now we are working on another fun project that will also go through the crowdfunding route. The project is still in its nascent stages but more details will be released soon. 

Apart from designing our own products, Sora Edge will also be on the look out for new and interesting products, art works, or handicrafts. There are a lot of talented artists and designers right here in Taiwan, and we would love to showcase their works here. We look forward to this new adventure and are curious as to what we will find along the way! 

A new year!

Happy New Year everyone!!! I'm sure 2016 will be a great year. Sora Edge will be taking on a new direction and what better way to start! I have a great feeling about it and quite excited about it! What's the new direction? Well, it will unfold in due time so hang on to your seat and join me on this new adventure! 

LifeDock Indiegogo campaign is now...LIVE!

We are excited to announce that the LifeDock Indiegogo campaign is finally live!!!

After months of preparation we finally reached this point. However, this is only the start and we still have a long road ahead of us!

Visit our Indiegogo page at http://igg.me/at/lifedock and find out more about our perks! There are a few Early Bird Specials up for grabs!

Please share with your family and friends about us and help us spread the word. Cheers!

 

LifeDock on Indiegogo soon!

We originally wanted to bring LifeDock onto the Kickstarter platform. However, after looking into more details, we discovered that only citizens from certain countries can start a campaign on Kickstarter. Indiegogo does not have such limit on its campaign creators. In the end, we decided to go with Indiegogo! Look for LifeDock in the very near future!