Hungarian-born, London-based paper artist Julianna Szabo creates intricate designs and 3D sculptures using paper. Since graduating from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland with a degree in Graphic Design, she’s been commissioned by brands like Gucci, Fossil, and the National Print Museum.
Her work elevates sheets of paper to three-dimensional sculptures and often brings these pieces to life through stop motion animation, using visual metaphors that draw the viewer into her tactile worlds. But she also has a passion for typography, which also comes across some of her designs.
Since Szabo has moved around quite a bit, the different cultures she came across serve as sources of inspiration, as well as her love of nature. “I can get inspired by almost anything,” she admitted in an interview with Strictly Paper. “From my daily walks by the sea at Dun Laoghaire, and now along the Thames, watching a movie, reading a book, or just looking out the window watching the birds with my cat. Having moved abroad, and traveling is also a great source of inspiration in itself, also it made me more open to accept and appreciate different cultures, which I can incorporate in my work.”
Her paper art also has a playful element to it, with pop culture references sprinkled across her work. Each piece calls for a different approach and requires different materials. “Once I have the design for a work, I have to choose the right paper for it,” explains Szabo. “I decide the weight, texture, colour. I use different paper when I have to fold, tear or cut. I use acid-free paper to make sure my works last for a long time.”
For paper cutting, she uses a good quality self-healing cutting mat, scalpels with replaceable blades, a scorer, and a good tweezer. “There are many types of scalpels on the market, my only recommendation is to use the one that feels the most comfortable,” she explains. “I personally use an x-acto knife.”
Take a look at some of her playful designs in the gallery below.