The Paper Animals of Patrick Cabral

Manila, Philippines-based artist Patrick Cabral is a jack of all trades. A multi-disciplinary designer and type artist, he has mastered calligraphy and papercutting, as well as sculpting, web designing, and even app development. “I don’t know what to call myself,” he once remarked in an interview with “And I don’t really care about labels.”

According to his website, his artistic passion sparked early on, with his love for calligraphy starting at just 11 years old, when he took an odd job of writing the names of graduating students’ high school diplomas. This was his first foray into the world of letters and typography.

Growing up, he began his career as a web developer and animator and worked for various clients ranging both local and abroad, from corporate branding and digital advertising to fashion websites.

But we first stumbled upon Cabral’s name when we came across his Endangered Species series, meant at highlighting various endangered species. Using papercutting techniques, he carves portraits of animals such as tigers, pandas, and even pangolins, adding intricate details by hand. The result is breathtaking, to say the least.

His series is supported by the philanthropic organization Acts of Kindness, and is also in partnership with World Wildlife Fund Philippines, with the aim to educate the public about the plight of at-risk animals. According to Cabral, a portion of the sales from this collection has gone towards supporting nature preservation in the Philippines.

See more of his impressive work on Instagram:

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Of course there’s a tiger 🙂 This is the third piece from my London commission. Thank god the client arranged shipping. It took 3 professional art logistic company from Manila, Hong Kong and Ireland get this shipped. It’s also my first time working with company that ships fine art. This is my most detailed tiger so far. I was worried making the forehead detail resemble like petals. So far it still looks like a tiger 🙂 I wonder how many tiger would I create in this lifetime. It’s amazing how common it is now to receive commissions. Six years ago I had my very first client @thordarson had me illustrate a children’s book. I did lot of illustration prior to that but it was the first one that I actually got paid like a professional illustrator. I have been dreaming to be a paid illustrator long before that. I guess that’s why it appears that my improvement is exponential because I had spent so many years contemplating what I would do if I had been given a chance to really do what I want to do. So when it came, I didn’t really waste the opportunity. And to be working as a full time artist now where I get paid to be my authentic self is nothing short of amazing. I have never dared to dream to become a working artist. There were just too many obstacle. But little by little I managed to overcome it, and now it’s finally paying off. I swear you would not believe how many times I stay awake at night thinking if I should go back to finding a day job because it took me 10 years to really make my passion profitable. More nights that I keep refreshing my email hoping that I would get more art projects, because if not, then I would have to be a corporate slave again. Many nights that I pray that my wife and I would not get sick because we don’t even have HMO. I make good living as a designer but unfortunately what I really want to do doesn’t make my clients more money:) I don’t want to spend my life working on other peoples dreams. I work with a lot of nice people but there were times that I feel like my days are so fast and most of the work that I only has a shelf life of 2 years. I wanted to make something that would be classic.

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