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25 Amazing Papercut Artists

by Grace Bonney


Today Design*Droits-Humains is almost entirely┬ádevoted to paper crafts. Coming up, we’ve got two interviews with artists who specialize in the classic paper techniques of marbling and paper cutting, as well as two paper-based DIY projects, a roundup of marbled design goods and an in-depth look at the history of marbling. To kick things off, I thought I’d share 25 of my favorite artists who create incredible cut paper designs. I narrowed this list to 25, but my full Pinterest research board (I love using those secret boards for my initial research) of 40+ papercut designs is right if you need a little more inspiration. xo, grace

Image above by

(Etsy shop )

More papercut designs after the jump . . .


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*Stay tuned for an interview with Jonathan next!

(Etsy Shop )

Naomi of (Etsy shop )

Emily of

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Comments

  • These are amazing! Mind-blowing, really! Now I’m going to have to sift through and inspect each one carefully, the amount of detail is insane! There goes my lunch hour…

  • I love love love these. I actually made one last year for my husband (first anniversary! paper!!) similar to the style of Julene Harrison, with our names, our wedding date, and a graphic representation of a barn and a 2-seater bike (wedding details). It’s tiny, just 5″x5″ but it took forever to design and a lot of patience to cut out. I am awed by the complexity of these, what a testament to the patience and attention to detail of these artists! Amazing work.

  • Blown away!!
    That’s it! I’m delving right into all my to do paper-cut projects, right after the crazy chemistry exam tomorrow!
    Oh my god! These artists are amazing!
    And Hello Jonthan Chapman! :)

  • How absolutely stunning these are! This is something I must learn, it’s too beautiful not to try.

  • Great Post! You should check out local Brooklyn paper artist Thomas Witte too: He was is a group show with Hina Aoyama last year at the Christopher Henry Gallery. Interesting work!

  • Wow,such fabulous work! I’m totally in awe of the skill and patience required to make these! As well as Mr Yen and Suzy Taylor another of my favourites is Louise McLaren

  • I am so impressed by people who can hold their hands steady enough to do this! Not to mention the patience and focus needed. It is absolutely amazing!

  • I don’t know the whole story but Mr. Yen’s work looks a little too much like that of Rob Ryan, who has been making similar cut-outs for much longer… I suspect some amount of appropriation there.

    • Lauren

      I have to say I disagree. There are several paper cut artists whose work looks much more like Rob’s, to me. That said, I think Rob spear-headed a movement that has inspired an overall trend in paper cutting to include longer written pieces that feel like framed poems, etc. To me, Jonathan’s work is less about the long pieces of writing and more about shapes and decorative compositions.

      Grace

  • Here’s a graphic novel where all the images are done with cut paper. It’s beautiful and a emotional and lovely story too.

  • I think that shouldn’t be forgotten! shes awesome and her kits make it possible for everyone to try a craft! I also love suzy taylors work of course! and would love to be as good and as creative some day! xxx

  • How about Su Blackwell –
    and Claire Brewster –
    both exhibited with many other fantastic artists at the First Cut exhibition that was on in Manchester (UK) from October 2012 to Jan 2013.
    Amazing work

  • It’s great to see such talent and variety!
    Christina Lihan is another crazy talented paper artist:

    Her work is mainly architectural and exquisitely detailed.

  • Great list! I was lucky to show with Jaq Belcher and Hina Aoyama at Christopher Henry Gallery last year. For anyone in NYC interested in paper art, there’s a wonderful paper art show up now at Davidson contemporary-

  • I think I died and went to paper heaven today! Thank you for this beautiful assemblage with many favorites and so many artists that are new to me, like Donna Ruff. I would second the nomination of Su Blackwell, one of my faves!

  • Lovely post. So glad to see Rob Ryan mentioned here. He is one of my all time favorite artists and I totally agree with you Grace… His work is like poetry. The message is always so sweet and thoughtful.

  • This is great – so inspirational. There was recently an exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery (UK) ‘The First Cut’ dedicated to paper cut artists – it was great to be able to see so many diverse pieces in one place – just like here with your piece. I recently created a animated paper cut music video – using paper and light/shadow….

  • I ran into works by Peter Callesen a few years back and was totally wowed!! The ones you show here are simple compared to his more amazing works esp like the bird…people appearing to rise from a simple cutout…all should check him out further for truly inspired works! But I am also amazed by other artists you showed…such patience! Thanks for a look at many and thanks to the commenters for even more!

  • I have a print of that first Elsa Mora paper cut (girl with a cats on her skipping rope!) that I bought years ago. It is a beautiful print – the black is so deep and rich it looks like it would feel velvety if you touch it! I recommend her prints and would buy again.

  • amazing, beyond any words I can think of!
    It just occurred to me whether some, or all, of those extremely skillful hands have properly insured….

  • Absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I love this form of Art. A snip snip here, a snip snip there with amazing results. Thank you to the Artists for your kind hands and patience. I have been reintroduced to the Art. Thank you.

  • Really great to see a feature on papercut artwork. Some new artists I am not so familiar with too. I agree with those who’ve mentioned Su Blackwell. I’m also a fan of Emily Hogarth’s work. I also love a bit of paper cutting myself- have a look at my blog

  • A really great group of papercut artists! Their work is truly inspiring and the varying types of work in the cut paper medium is exciting. Have you seen Gestalten’s ‘Papercraft’ and ‘Papercraft II’ books? There are so many artists revolutionizing the medium!

  • look up marianne vogler and tami komai in internet to see works that are exciting and different than what you show here. Both reside near Basel,Switzerland .

  • Thanks for your list I LOVE paper cut art.. I think Nahoko Kojima is leading the contemporary side of paper cut sculpture right now. Her Cloud Leopard at the Saatchi Gallery last year was groundbreaking!

  • Wow! Wow!! Wow!!! This is the first time I’m hearing about paper art but I’m hooked already. How and where can I learn to do this? Gosh!

  • I am so overwhelmed by the number of amazing artists in the paper cutting world.

    I met Nahoko Kojima a few weeks ago and signed up for her workshop after I viewed her work in person and now I’m addicted. I didn’t realise there was such a large community of paper cutters in existence. Thank you everyone for sharing your favourites, I will look them all up.

    My favourite paper cutter is still Naho. She has a new work exhibiting next month in London if you haven’t seen her work. Keep your eyes peeled for this one.

  • Heather Clements has some pretty outstanding work as well. Here is her flickr, which has some of her other work besides her paper cuts. It’s gorgeous.

  • Absolutely amazing collection. I would love to learn this art and will be extremely delighted if anyone could teach me. I live in Chennai, India. Even online classes are fine. Classes in person would be excellent. Thank you in advance.

  • Love these! I try to ‘draw’ but in papercut . I use laser cutting and I would be interested in hearing comments re relative merits of hand v laser:
    I actually prefer the lines – not as angular. and means I can offer personalisation :each customised papercut can be produced as an original but not as expensive as a hand-cut original. Villages, towns, iconic historical figures, Rabbie Burns CR Mackintosh. Keep cutting – or lasering!:)

  • Thank you so much for including me with this amazing group of artists. I want to comment briefly on laser vs. hand cutting. I prefer doing my work by hand, because the little over-cuts that result keep the work from being perfect- and although cutting patterns is repetitive work, it becomes my own mark, not from a computer file. That being said, I’ve experimented with doing some stuff by laser too- as it enables me to make many works from the same pattern. There are things the laser can do that I can’t- like very tiny text for instance. When I’m cutting the newspaper pages, I’m always thinking about what to leave and what to cut away.

  • hi, i just love these designs.i also want to create some.i never tried this type of art till now.but now i am gonna try this.thank all of you to inspire me.

  • I can’t believe you forgot Paper panda! She is amazing! Glad to see you got Suzy Taylor in there though, finest british art :)

  • Amazing!!! I’m only aware of the beautiful works of Mr. Yen, Rob Ryan, Elsa Mora and Yulia Brodskaya in the field of paper cutting. Thank you so much for introducing us to more awesome papercut artists. Truly inspiring! :)

  • I found a framed paper cutting of two rabbits and a radish, very similar to the owl pictured above. There is a green oval that I assume is the artists signature in Chinese. It was interpreted to be “Ore-ki”. Any info would be appreciated. It has VIII on the back.

  • Check out the amazing work of Sarah Steinwachs too. It is truly incredible. She is an artist and a design professor in Philadelphia.

  • Andy Smetanka is incredible and works creating silhouette animation. He has a new project he is working on that will be as fantastic as all of his work –

  • I am missing Marthe “Whispering Paper”. She creates truly amazing paper cuts on commission basis.


    and on Etsy

  • There are so many great paper artists out there but where do we start to get commissions for this type of illustration? If it isn’t created on a computer most companies don’t want to know. I’d like help with this if anyone could check out my papercuts. I layer the paper as if it were paint to create detailed illustrations on second inspection. cargocollective.com/ChantelleBell

  • I love the brilliance of paper engineers and artists, it’s an amazing skill to possess. A wonderfully curated assemblage of inspiration here. I too use my secret Pinterest boards for initial research and concepts. I have a paper engineering board that all of your images are going into, feel free to forage o=from mine as well
    Thank you for a wonderful series of posts. –GarrottDesigns

  • Lovely collection of papercut artists, I originally found papercutting through Paper Panda , whom I’m surprised is not on your list, . I am also aware of Suzy Taylor, Sarah Dennis and Peter Callesen. Lovely to see so many others though too.

  • I am so overwhelmed by the number of amazing artists in the paper cutting world.

    Really great job of all paper artists really I salute.

  • I was just wondering if you can cut some patterns out please if I provide the colour patterned paper or give me a name of someone who can. Thank you.

  • I really like all this type of work, they are true works of art, but the prices of some are out of my budget. (I know I could get a laser cut piece, but that doesn’t showcase any skill)
    I recently bought a hand cut piece from a young lady from north Wales, the time it must have taken her to complete against what she charged was truly great value, perhaps in years to come, she may also make this list;
    Cheryl Edwards of
    If anyone is looking for a good quality bespoke piece at a sensible price, you may do worst than give her a call.

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