8 years ago, I have started my project “100 methods of drawing”, and leaf-cutting art is one of my favorite. Within this project, I try to use different materials and techniques. I draw with ketchup, nails, gypsum, food, etc. So once during autumn in 2013, there were a lot of fallen leaves on the street, so I came up with the idea to use leaves as a material to draw. Leaf’s life is fleeting so as our lives and I am giving a second life to them to discover an untold story.
I simply imagine a bright moment that I want to share with my audience. I draw it on the leaf and cut with a razor. The most important thing is to find the best suitable place to catch with my camera at the right time and right angle. And the story has been released!
Hope you will like them and enjoy my art.
More info: Instagram
To tell it from the beginning, I collect good-looking leaves (usually in late summer and autumn), making sure that they are the correct size. I prefer to use maple leaves, I like their color, texture and shape. It looks very beautiful in a picture. Then I draw on paper, making sure that I know what parts have to be cut, then I glue paper on the leaf and cut the drawing with a razor knife. Paper gives additional support to the leaf. I press the leaf and make sure that the glue has dried enough. If I take it too early, the leaf just shrinks. Then I look for a good place with a beautiful recognizable background to take a picture. It took time for me to realize what's the perfect angle to take and time to choose for photo shooting. Then I make some edits with photo editing tools and post the picture to my Instagram. Roughly one work can take up to 2 weeks from the beginning to the final stage.
Here's a little more about myself. I work as a senior manager at Nazarbayev University administering entrance exams and monitoring marketing campaign of the Center for Preparatory Studies (division of the university). My hobby helps me to think creatively and out of the box in any area I'm involved in. But mostly I prefer to consider my hobby a space where I can be myself and express myself through my art. And it also saves me from burnout.
What I really like in cutting leaves is that I control every step in the process and it is really satisfying to see the conversion from a basic leaf to an art piece. The usual tools that I use to make drawings are a razor knife, paper, and glue.
I have two kids (a 3-year-old boy and a 6-month-old daughter). So right now it is hard to find a time for my hobby, but whenever I have it, I spend it with pleasure. There are a lot of requests to buy my leaves. So right now I am working on starting my online shop to offer such an opportunity. But I really want to open my own art studio and spend time on my art projects.
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