Introducing Drawrigami, Combining Origami and Drawing for Art

This is a center spread for a sketchbook where I combined origami (Japanese paper folding) and drawing (to lay down water coloured pencils) into an art piece. I’m not really good at either origami or drawing, so I made the best of what I had to combine the two into something which’s total was greater than the sum of its parts. It also meets my mandate for origami considering “what will I bring to the game”, with the answer being a “replicable originality”, or new twists to traditional or common origami that others can try or create their own variations.

This spread was a lot more intensive than I had planned, as documented below, so it will be the most detailed piece on the sketchbook on this art form I created. Created means I came up with it on my own than copying someone else, though someone else might have done it before. I just couldn’t find it.

The story of how I came to create and do this form of art goes like this.

I had bought some origami paper from Dollarama at Christmas that was translucent (partly see through), which I thought would be cool to be able to see a little bit of what the inside of origami pieces looked like. You never get to see that with opaque origami paper. However, the paper was really flimsy and not a lot of good for origami so they were relegated to something I was going to have to think of later.

I’ve had a little sketchbook since last summer I had not done anything with because I was not very good at visual art by hand, and was trying to figure out what I could do that would appeal to others, if not on quality, then at least on originality and/or visually.

Just before Christmas, I introduced some people at work to origami over lunch. For a first try and with it being Christmas, I found a simple origami tree that was also neither very three dimensional nor thick. Because it was simple, I mused at the idea of being able to practically create a forest with many copies of it since it wasn’t time consuming to fold. However, it could get rather padded by layers of paper, even if it weren’t many layers, because paper layers add up quickly to a lot of thickness, especially if you have to glue them to hold them together like a forest of these paper trees. I also realized how ironic that concept was, a forest of paper trees where the paper was made from trees once in a forest.

A few weeks after I had my origami paper forest idea, I reorganized my origami paper and came across the flimsy Dollarama paper previously mentioned that was useless to me in being thinner and flimsier than gift bag filler paper. That was when it dawned on me that paper was perfect for my forest idea, possibly even thin enough I could do it in my sketchbook. After some testing, I deemed it was possible so the quest was on to see if I could think up something more to do with this paper forest rather than just a paper forest to look at. It’d have been something different from the norm, sure, but neither terribly interesting nor exciting, which wasn’t much better than what my fourth rate art skills might have been able to produce. I also realized at the time that I’d also have to think of a bunch of other origami art pieces if I were to fill the sketchbook, since there was room for 15 spreads and two single pages, meaning somewhere between 17-32 such pieces! This was going to take some time to figure out before committing! But I have committed, since I had committed to learning at least 50 new pieces of origami this year. I’ll just have to be strategic and creative with the pieces I learn to have them useful for this sketchbook.

So if you like what you saw above, I hope you’ll come back or follow the blog to see more “drawrigami” in the near future! Or if you just like some origami, in general, there will be lots of that, too. Please click here to see origami posts on this blog.


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