These Illustrations Were Made Out of Tissue Paper

Stacey Elaine’s illustrations stand out not only for their chosen subjects and themes but also for their unique medium. Made of tissue paper (the kind you’d find used as gift wrap), her pieces are created by free-hand cutting designs into the layers of tissue paper, which Elaine then gently applies and seals onto heavy hot press watercolor paper.

“I’m drawn to the bold contrast between the saturated colors of the tissue paper and the bright white background upon which they are adhered,” she writes on her website. Many of her pieces contain very detailed, intricate hand-cut designs, which take Elaine anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete.

“Because I don’t draw my designs before cutting them, sometimes it can take a few tries to create the perfect shape or form that I’m looking for, whether it be a flower, insect or giraffe,” she notes. “I often have only a vague idea of what I want to make when I get to work, and sometimes the end result is vastly different from what I originally had in mind.”

Her designs are primarily inspired by her love of the plant and animal world, with her pieces reflecting her fascination with the shapes, lines, colors, and movement found in nature. “I’m also inspired by prints and patterns I see in fashion, as well as interior design elements, such as textiles, wallpapers, and ceramics,” writes Elaine. “I’ve always loved folk art from Mexico and woodblock art from India, which is reflected clearly in some of my work.”

Based in Connecticut, where she shares a home with her husband, Doug, and two young sons, Boden and Cody, Elaine admits she makes nearly all of her pieces during her kids’ naps – a feat in and of itself. “My love of animals and color is unabashedly on display in my pieces, and I hope they bring you as much joy when you view them as it brings me to create them,” she writes.