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!