Yulia Brodskaya is an innovative and creative artist based in UK. She is breaking down barriers and inventing exciting new techniques using paper. The artist’s unique works of art are incredible masterpieces. All painstakingly created by folding, rolling, and cutting paper.
Brodskaya has been developing her style, which she refers to as ‘painting with paper,’ for more than 12 years. When she first began working with paper, she was one of the first people to experiment with this material in such a vivid and dynamic way. It wasn’t until she began to share her artworks online that she discovered the historic art of ‘Quilling.’
Quilling is an art technique that dates back to the Renaissance era. It involves twirling paper into simple, defined shapes to create an intricate design. But Yulia Brodskaya had no idea this technique even existed. She invented her own version of Quilling with less strict rules. The result was some spectacular, groundbreaking pieces of art that quickly grew in popularity.
Brodskaya continues to experiment with colors and styles. Since she began work on her very early designs. She has become more confident in expressing herself. She manipulates her materials – heavy card or paper – in any way that helps her achieve her vision, rather than constricting herself to the rules of Quilling.
Brodskaya’s projects often focus on typography. Thanks to her rich background in graphic design. She also uses bright, vibrant colors throughout to create joyful, eye-catching works of art. Always on the hunt for new shades and types of paper!
Painting with paper
If you’d like to learn more about this fascinating art method, check out Brodskaya’s new book: ‘Painting with Paper: Paper on the Edge.’ First released in early September 2019. It’s an in-depth exploration of her creative process from start to finish. Packed full of helpful, actionable tips you can implement to come up with your paper art pieces. It’s an essential read for any (aspiring or established) paper artists.
Brodskaya’s book: ‘Painting with Paper: Paper on the Edge
Paper always held a special fascination for me. Over the years I’ve tried many deferent methods and techniques of working with it, mainly as a hobby because back then I was studying to become a Graphic Designer and couldn’t imagine that paper art will become my true passion. I realized that I will be a paper artist after I found the way of working with paper that has turned out to be ‘the one’ for me: now “I draw and paint with paper instead of on it”.
When 10 years ago I first attempted working with paper strips, I didn’t know anything about traditional/historic Quilling and basic shapes which is used, I didn’t have any craft kits or special tools which can help to learn the technique. Actually, I didn’t even know that the technique I have been using had a name – I’ve been told that when my first commercial projects started to appear on the internet. I, unknowingly, invented Quilling from scratch for myself; but it turned out that my method is not really the same: the key difference is that I use heavy paper or card which I shape and manipulate any way I want to, as if I’m drawing with paper strips, and do not limit myself to any basic shapes as traditional Quilling prescribes.
About the paper: It is still a challenge to find all the tints and color shades of paper that I’d like to have, it’s not like mixing paints or selecting the desired color digitally; I’m limited to what paper manufacturers produce; this means that I’m always on the look for paper. Shopping for paper is my favorite shopping activity when I go abroad, I get really excited if I manage to find some local independent manufacturer – this usually means new colors that differ from the papers available from international paper manufacturing giants. I use all sorts of paper in my work.
Tools that I use: The main ‘special’ tools that I still use to this day is a cocktail straw for rolling and curving strips and little wooden toothpicks for rolling tight circles. And of course, some scissors, PVA glue, tweezers, a cutting knife for cutting paper strips.
The time needed for the paper is creation varies dramatically depending on the portrait size and level of complexity, but on average it takes me around 3 weeks to complete one portrait; large scale pieces over 1m take even longer.
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