The Origami Series began with an assignment for my photo class. We had to create a self-portrait based on the style of a famous photographer, so I had to choose Annie Leibovitz, who is a huge inspiration to me. She often created controversial, conceptual, and dark pieces, plus she is in the line of work that I would love to pursue, so of course I had to do something inspired by her. 

I've had the idea to cover someone with paper mache for a while now, and figured it was the perfect opportunity. For my self-portrait specifically, I wanted to use the pages of a book to create paper cranes to represent my love for reading and writing (and the cranes have sort of become my symbol over the years). My professor always jokes with us, saying, "Oh, you should turn this into a series!" And I loved the portrait of myself so much that I decided to do just that.

I'm forever obsessed with the idea of how connected man and nature are, and of the idea that since God is a creator, it is our most human trait to create as well. So this series is the culmination of those thoughts (which I have actually written several school papers about), of how I was made to create.

So the origami aspect of it is me mimicking God's creation of those things. We create because he creates, and the origami is the visual representation of that calling.

Also during the series, I made a fun behind the scenes video showing off a bit of the process (though I am a bit awkward on camera.)

 

We were able to refine the process a bit as the series progressed, however. Originally, I would blow dry the models so that the paper mache would harden so that I could hot glue the origami onto them, but then we decided it would be easier to hot glue the origami to strips of paper and then paper mache them on, thus eliminating the need to blow dry and burn people. My later models were happy for that breakthrough.

I would like to extend a huge huge thank you to all my models, Tabatha (butterfly), Ben (snail), Spencer (fish), and Amy (flower), for being so willing and excited to do this for me! I absolutely love it when people are happy to do crazy things for the sake of art, and without them this would not have been possible! I also want to thank everyone for their support of the project. I've talked with a lot of people and have been able to share a lot about it, and it fills my heart receiving such a positive response.

Things I would have done differently: Preconceptualized background colors. I didn't really think too much about colors until the flower photo, when I thought it would be cool to have a green background to correspond with the flowers. Then I had to think about how all the photos would look together, which made a little bit of extra work in changing colors around (for example, the paper crane photo used to be dark blue!). If I had access to it, I would have even gotten different colored backgrounds to avoid having to do extensive color retouching. 

All in all though, I am incredibly pleased with how the set of photos turned out. And again, thank you to everyone who helped out with this project! You guys are the best.

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