Shobhna Patel

shobhna_patel_spotlight_01How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it before?

Papercraft/art is a handmade and 3D approach to creating illustrations with paper or card, making them tactile so the audience can interact with the piece. Papercraft has a dainty and sweet charm to it. I think creating paperart is a fairly simple process, as paper as a material can be easily manipulated.


How did you start off in the arts? How/when did you realise that you were an artist?

I’ve always known that I wanted to be an artist, since the age of 4! Throughout my secondary education I was well known for my artistic talent by teachers and students; different teachers always told me that I had a natural artistic talent which I must pursue.

However, it wasn’t always so great, during my A-Levels due to changing schools my grades within Art and Design subjects started to decline. At an interview for a Foundation course at college, after my A-Levels, the tutor looked at my portfolio as if to say “oh please…NEXT!!!” – however after starting the course the same tutor apologised for misjudging me and was highly impressed with the artistic ability I displayed, I was even awarded a “Most outstanding artist” award in the end!

During my Foundation course at college a real passion for art and design grew in me, and as I started pushing my artistic abilities I realised how important a career in the creative industry was to me.



shobhna_patel_spotlight_02Please describe a typical day of art making for you.

My specialised area within art is pretty simple: Sit down, source scalpel, paper and cutting mat and off I go. Sometimes if I’m so engrossed in a design I can spend hours and hours on it!


What contemporary artists or developments in illustration do you find interesting right now?

Stephen Sagmeister was my initial inspiration, I love how he creates great big typographic designs with natural and everyday materials. I also love the work of Slinkachu, who creates little scenes by placing very tiny models of people in public places. Rob Ryan is also another obvious inspiration to me.

Rather than people however most of my inspiration comes from books that I collect on literature and craft, for example Papercraft: Design and art with paper, Tangible: High touch visuals, Playful Type and most importantly, The Wizard of Oz: A scanimation book.

shobhna_patel_spotlight_03These books in particular have made me aware of the small group of people out there who are creating highly tactile and handmade illustrations, crafts and artistic pieces by using ephemera, random materials and objects – for me they’re a great inspiration, as well as making me aware that you should never be afraid of getting too creative, as anything is possible.

Its great how such creative styles are becoming more viral and are now being used in advertisements, literature and films.


See more of Shobhna’s work here